. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(Maegan Lemon – Daily Press)

Ride for Bikes, a public charity, is proud to announce that the 2018 No Sweat! Just Wet! Wet ‘n Wild fun run was a fun success.

More than 200 adults and children came out to enjoy the family fun event put on right here in Artesia by Ride for Bikes. The money raised benefits the Ride to Meet the Challenge scholarship program. The No Sweat! Just Wet! Fun Run is a four-mile course that participants can walk, run or bike through. But first, they must make it past the soaker teams that bring along a water event designed to get you wet.

Participants were greeted by Directors of Events Curt Pittam and Sarah Long. They welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming out. Pittam then explained what was going to happen and that there were more events this year, more sprayers, more slides, and a surprise by the Border Patrol. They also reminded everybody that after the fun run, they were to vote on their favorite soaker team, the team they liked the best, and that this team would win the Super Soaker Team trophy. Participants voted by dropping a poker chip into a bucket that represented that team.

Michele Brito, director of scholarships for Ride for Bikes, explained how the fun run funds the scholarship program. She then introduced this year’s winners: Kiersten Hernandez from Artesia and Nayeli Romero from Lovington. Brito then went on to introduce and congratulate the 2015 winner, Alfredo Gomez, who has graduated this year as a certified welder.

To prepare for the fun run, a physical warmup was led by Liz Saiz, with music equipment provided by Richard Orosco. Then, the national anthem was sung by Alana Orosco.

The race started when Eddy County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jason Decker and crew blocked 13th Street for the safety of the participants. Assisting them was Ruben Delarosa and the Eddy County road crews. These Eddy County folks have supported the fun run every year and are to be commended and thanked for making the event safe.

Walkers started off and were immediately surprised by a water blast from an Artesia Fire Department truck hiding just a few hundred feet down 13th Street. It was, however, a cool and refreshing relief.

The next mile was uneventful until the aid station sponsored by Austin Construction. They supported three such stations, which provided cold water to drink and first aid service as needed. Water was supplied by HollyFrontier.

Next up was the Artesia Lanes team with their “Strike It” theme. Les Bowden has enjoyed doing the event for several years now, and the bowling alley people have fun putting it on.

The last team on Tumbleweed was the Cottonwood Volunteer Fire Department and “Fingers of Death 6.” In 2013, this team won the coveted Super Soaker Team trophy and have been a reliable team since.

Turning south on 26th Street introduced newcomer Santo Petroleum and their super waterslide. Native Artesian Peyton Yates as a participant had been coming out for many years, having fun along with the best of them. This year, he sponsored a soaker team. Lots of laughter could be heard as people rolled down this yellow monster slide. But more was to come.

Next came everybody’s favorites, the foam teams. These two teams compete fiercely for the Super Soaker Team trophy every year. First up was the Elks Lodge’s Boot Camp Bubble Bath. This team has won three team trophies, and kids really love getting down and crawling through a soap-filled tub covered in camouflage netting. Perhaps mothers should take notice of how to get their children to take a bath.

The next team has been here since the fun run started and, as said, they always bring their A game. The Artesia Fire Department and their Dome of Foam always delights everyone that goes through literally a dome full of foam. Comments ranged from, “It’s so relaxing” to “It’s scary ‘cause you can’t see.” This one is one to experience.

A newcomer was on the corner of 26th and Fairgrounds Road leading into the home stretch. EOG Resources had an extremely fast waterslide. Children at the end of the fun run talked about the fast blue slide.

Mack Energy came out again this year, hoping to repeat their upset win from last year with not one but two slides. The tall slide with the dolphin on top was by far the favorite. There was a little mischief going, too, as this team seemed to catch a lot of folks with a surprise water spray near the end.

Next was the Navajo Refining Fire Department and Loudon Electric, and their “Surf’s Up” water sprayer, complete with hula girls dancing and handing out flowered leis. This water station is always fun, as it is different, in that there is music, dancing girls, and the sprayer really got people wet because it sprays water from the top and both sides. We also suspect their water cannon was active.

Last on the course was newcomer the U.S. Border Patrol. The agents showed up in full military garb and were readily soaking down participants with their super soaker water guns. Lots of people came in talking about this team, and they seemed to have as much fun as the walkers. We are looking forward to their participation next year.

The whole Wet ‘n Wild fun run would not be possible without the water truck teams. The fun run course is out on county roads where there is no source of water. So, these water truck teams are essential to the success of the event. Hocker and Sons was a huge help this year and deserves a big round of thanks. Not only did Rocky Hocker help coordinate the water trucks, they cosponsored two water stations with Santo Petroleum and EOG Resources.

M&R Trucking also supplied a water truck. This team was a great help, as we pulled them around the course to support various teams. This effort really helped the whole thing to go smoothly. They performed admirably.

Bullseye Trucking supported Mack Energy’s double slide event and got in a few ambush shots to unsuspecting walkers.

So, the big question – who was voted best Super Soaker Team 2018? It was a close race for a while. Last year’s winner, Mack Energy, took an early lead, perennial winner the Elks Lodge with Boot Camp was giving them a hard time. But in the end, one team pulled way out ahead, and that team was, the Artesia Fire Department. When told they had won, team leader David Watson replied, “What, we finally won? How cool is that?” Congratulations to the 2018 Super Soaker Team winners, Artesia Fire Department.

Participants came from Roswell, Carlsbad, Las Cruces, Lovington, Midland, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La., and of course, Artesia. HollyFrontier was the biggest team sponsor.

Judging by the smiles and laughter from the people finishing the course, it was family fun event.

Ride for Bikes would like to thank everyone who came out to walk, run or bike the course. Thanks to the teams that manned the soaker teams and to the water trucks and sponsors.
For more information on the charity Ride for Bikes, visit www.rideforbikes.com.

  • 6-10-WWT-BowlingPins

    (Maegan Lemon - Daily Press)

  • 6-10-WWT-FinishLine

    (Maegan Lemon - Daily Press)

  • 6-10-WWT-FoamGirl

    (Maegan Lemon - Daily Press)

  • 6-10-WWT-HulaGirls

    (Maegan Lemon - Daily Press)

  • 6-10-WWT-SlideKid

    (Maegan Lemon - Daily Press)

  • 6-10-WWT-SplashingKids

    (Maegan Lemon - Daily Press)

  • 6-10-WWT-SquirtingBiker

    (Maegan Lemon - Daily Press)