For Immediate Release
A new decade and now, an immeasurable global challenge, brings major change to the racing and event calendar. As the community morns the postponement of many of their beloved annual events, we deliver the news that one of the community’s locally produced and most unique races will sadly come to an end for the foreseeable future.
The Freak’n Farmer Adventure Obstacle Race, hosted for the past 8 years at the stunning location of Covert Farms by the Covert family themselves in partnership with Hoodoo Adventures, will not return in 2020, or beyond.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we make this announcement. This was not an easy decision at all.” Says Lyndie Hill, co-owner of Hoodoo Adventures and co-organizer of the event. “We spend a ton of time with the kids in this community and we see them everywhere wearing their Freak’n Farmer shirts. It’s one of the first things they want to talk to us about, they just love it cause it’s such a unique experience for them and for all ages. I dreaded telling my own kids the news, there were tears.”
The Freak’n Farmer started in 2012 after the Covert Family did another one of Hoodoo Adventure’s events, the Elevator Race. They loved the race and were looking for a new event opportunity for their property so they asked Hoodoo to come down to the farm and see what the companies could do together. At the time the Tough Mudder was storming the World and they had an idea… a mud run that pays homage to the farm would be a great fit! They were right, and the Freak’n Farmer was born.
In its first year the event hosted a mere 65 runners, but it was a hit, news spread fast and participant numbers skyrocketed in the following years. In 2015 the race was featured on Amazing Race Canada as one of the last Pit Stops in the TV Series. With the exposure the television show brought, the event exploded in 2016 and over 2000 people came to experience the Freak’n Farmer.
“It was that year that we started to host schools on the farm as well.” says Hill, “We thought it was such a great opportunity for team building for kids to just have fun getting muddy and dirty with their friends while challenging themselves. The kids absolutely loved it. In our house there are 4 seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Freak’n Farmer time and that makes me really proud of what we accomplished with that race and so heart broken about this difficult decision.”
Co-owner of Covert Farms, Shelly Covert shares, “There is nothing better than witnessing families experience and enjoy our farm. We feel that we have been very blessed with this land and it is meant to be shared with others. These past eight years working with our second family at Hoodoo has been incredible. We are two family run companies with very similar philosophies, so it is with great sadness that we wrap up this event. Our children and their friends have grown up with the Freak’n Farmer, they have been a part of it from set up, to racing to taking it down. This to them is what fall is all about”
After 2017, participant numbers slowly declined for the event and sponsorships have also been harder to come by. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the support that we have received from our past sponsors.” Expresses Mike Hill, co-coordinator, “The event would never have been what it was without the support of companies such as Home Hardware, Chase Valley Construction, Natures Fare, Radec Group, Greyback Construction, Jack the Bear, Barry Beecroft Fuel, Inland Kenworth, the local wineries and breweries and so, so many more who came to event, built obstacles, brought their staff members and their families to participate on many levels. They all loved the event as well, but all businesses need to make tough financial decisions at times, unfortunately that is the nature of business. This decision was not easy for anyone.”
Both the Coverts and the team at Hoodoo Adventures have a combined event experience of over a hundred years and this is by far the toughest event they have ever organized. It takes a team of up to 12 people almost 2 months to prep the course and the logistics for the race on the 700 acre farm and if you’ve ever been to one of the races, it shows on the day. The race has an amazing reputation and is loved by all who participate but the workload has become too much for the 2 growing companies. Combined with the current uncertainty of the global situation and concern of decreasing participation, together the organizers have realized all good things must come to an end.
Fortunately for the community, this partnership won’t end and the Coverts and Hoodoo Adventures are looking at new opportunities for the farm. They have also considered continuing with just a short 3km course for the schools to participate in depending on the community interest and how the future for the event world unfolds.
“We have valued the partnership with the Coverts and we have become family. Together we are looking for and considering new opportunities and we are excited about what the future may bring. As one door closes we are aiming to open another, so please… watch this space.” Encourages the team from Hoodoo Adventures.