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For the third year in a row, Minneapolis resident Greg “gerg” Flanagan wanted to be 12 for his birthday. To celebrate, he threw a pinewood derby race. When guests arrived (including me and my family, thanks gerg!) they grabbed derby kits and began assembling and decorating the cars. While some participants used gerg’s excellent workshop to modify the basic shape of wood blocks, other people kept the default shape and used paint, stickers, toys and random pieces of hardware to complete their cars.

While the atmosphere was fun and informal, the race’s rules called for entrants to adhere to the official rules, which meant cars could only be a certain size and couldn’t weigh more than 5 oz. It was a double elimination so everyone got to race at least twice. When all the dust cleared, the birthday boy was the winner, despite spending most of the time helping other people with their cars.

It was awesome!

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