How To Win The Emma Crawford Coffin Races

    Helpful tips from the mouths of the mourners.

    Coffin Races
    Emma Crawford Coffin Races & Festival. Photo by Jeff DeWitt

    Manitou Springs hosts an annual morbid match inspired by a girl whose casket washed down Red Mountain in 1929 after years of erosion. The eponymous Emma Crawford Coffin Races & Festival emphasizes the fun in funeral. We spoke with contenders on how to bury the competition.

    Local coffin competitor Cody Oborny has this suggestion:
    “Teams should do a practice run. However, pushing a coffin down your street may raise eyebrows.”

    Darwin Fredrickson of 2017’s fastest team, The Office, gives this advice:
    “We wouldn’t know a speedy coffin. [Ours is] heavy, clunky, and the wheels are ready to fall off. A lightweight Emma is important. The back runners need to be strong so you’re fast out of the gate; the two in front need stamina. Overall? Shake and bake, baby.”

    Steve Crumpler and Team Fossil won another macabre meet for Manitou last year, the Frozen Dead Guy Days coffin race in Nederland, which celebrates a cryonic corpse of Bredo Morstoel, who rests on ice in a shed. Crumpler’s tip:
    “Pallbearers must consume beer. Beer nourishes the body and soul. Lifestyles of Netflix watching and sedentary office work will take care of the rest.”

    You have your strategy. The next Emma Crawford Coffin Races & Festival is Oct. 27, 2018.
    emmacrawfordfestival.com

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