The Green Bank Observatory hosted the sixth annual Space Race Rumpus June 9 through 11, although, this year’s event was a little bit different.
“Usually, we hold this event in honor of Northern Pocahontas Wellness,” GBO director Karen O’Neil said. “But this year the Northern Pocahontas Wellness actually ran it. It’s a group that has been around for about six years now. Our ultimate goal is to raise enough money to open a wellness center here on the Green Bank Observatory grounds, similar to the one in Marlinton. And I also want to say that we are by no means trying to compete with them, as Marlinton’s Parks and Rec are the ones who are helping us to do this. So each year the Space Race Rumpus has been utilized to help build the wellness center, and now that the organization is getting a little steam, they decided to run the Rumpus this year.”

WINNERS IN THE Youth and Adult Divisions of the Short Track Race which was held Saturday morning as part of the Space Race Rumpus at the Green Bank Observatory. The track distances were one mile for 10 years old and under, two miles for ages 11 through 16, three miles for the women, and four miles for the men. Short Track Race winners’ names and times can be found on page 8. B. Nottingham photos

The first race of the event was the Mini Time Trial, a race against the clock. Children 10 and under raced 1.8 miles, while everyone else had to go six miles.
In the boy’s 10 and under division, Isaac Anger came in first with a time of 5:43; Braden Kuhn was second with a time of 6:48; and Willie O’Ganian took third place with a time of 6:50
In the girl’s 10 and under division, Mary Huber came in first with a time of 9:00; Tessa Johnston, second with a time of 9:14; and Kate Huber was third with a time of 10:05.
In the boy’s youth division, Iam Johnston came in first with a time of 17:00; Luke Anger, second with a time of 17:32; and Max O’Ganian, third with a time of 20:55.
In the girl’s youth division, McKenna Woody came in first with a time of 22:06; and Madison Rogers came in second with a time of 23:32.
In the men’s under 45 competition, Nick Joslyn came in first with a time of 17:24; Mark Jackson, second with a time of 19:19; and Adam Rogers, third with a time of 20:06.
In the women’s division, Marcella Rogers came in first with a time of 23:18; Erica Engquist was second with a time of 23:30; and Kelly Sykora, third with a time of 25:03.
In the men’s 45 and over, Michael Uhl came in first with a time of 14:44; Mike Anger, second with a time of 15:00; and Kevin Rogers was third with a time of 15:09.
The Good Time Family Band opened the festivities Friday night, rocking out with some passion. “Drawing talent from Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties, and groups such as Dem Pickets, Vern’s Pot o’ Chile and the Elk River Ramblers, the Good Time Family Band explores the musical territories charted by artists from the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and the Beatles to Chuck Berry and Marty Robbins.”
“This has been our biggest event so far,” O’Neil said. “We had 175 people staying on the grounds in campers and tents, and we had over 200 people attend the concerts. It is truly amazing to see how big this thing is getting. And I hope that it continues to grow for many years to come. We hope to add a few things into the fray next year, such as a space costume-themed race. We also had one of the biggest rides, a half century road ride, which was a fifty-mile ride down to Minnehaha and around to Durbin.”
Saturday at 9 a.m., people started individually on the Short Track Race. The track distances were one mile for 10 and under, two miles for 11 through 16, three miles for the women, and four miles for the men.
In the boy’s 10 and under, Braden Kuhn came in first with a time of 8:05; Willie O’Ganian was second with a time of 8:26, and Kyle Reed, third with a time of 8:49.
In the girl’s 10 and under, Zanna Logar took first place with a time of 9:07; Raina Logar, second with a time of 10:17; and Maddie Belan was third with a time of 11:18.
In the boy’s 11 through 16, Wills Vosteen was first with a time of 13:14; Iam Johnston, second with a time of 13:25; and Max O’Ganian, third with a time of 14:08.
In the girl’s 11 through 16, Anna Belan came in first with a time of 16:23; McKenna Woody was second with a time of 17:11; and Madison Rogers, third with a time of 17:25.
In the women’s 17 and older, Mandi Riddle took first place with a time of 17:02; Kristi Lanier was second with a time of 17:20; and Sara Chua, third with a time of 20:13.
In the men’s 17 and over, Joey Riddle was first with a time of 20:37; John Webber, second with a time of 21:09; and JJ Ford, third with a time of 22:40.
M.F.B. (My Favorite Band) played quite a funky set for the crowd Saturday night.
“For the last five years, M.F.B. has laid waste to the music scene with grooves so contagious and an over-the-top stage show that has left audiences mesmerized. A hedonistic crescendo of raw energy and musicianship of M.F.B.’s shows spill from stage to dance floor to cultivate impromptu conga lines, dance competitions, broadens smiles and brings the crowds to anxiously await the opportunity to dance right back for the next show.” (space racerumpus. org)
There are a lot of activities at a rumpus and it takes a lot of planning and preparation.
“None of this would be possible without our sponsors,” O’Neil said.
The sponsors are Green Bank Observatory, Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, Cigna, Pocahontas County Dramas, Fairs, and Festivals, and Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, The DirtBean, Joey’s Bike Shop, Rocks Outdoor Adventures, Mountain State Brewing Company, Varner Construction LLC, Murphy’s Auto Sales and Repairs, Mitchell Chevrolet, First Citizens Bank and Trent’s General Store.