The 2014 U.S. National Toboggan Championships are less than two cold months away and registration is open for the event, held Feb. 7-9.

The competition is intense and the atmosphere fun, with 425 teams vying for mahogany trophies and bragging rights for being the fastest on traditional wooden toboggans down the 400-foot-long, iced chute.

For 23 years racers of all ages have slid down the wooden chute onto Hosmer Pond. They have done it dressed as the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy Gale, Crash Test Dummies and bags of Wonder Bread. Some lube their sleds with secret ingredients, while others are there for the tailgating and mechanical bull riding.

The number of teams is capped at 425 to ensure each team gets two shots to compete in the finals. The event sells out each year and registration closes on Friday, Jan. 24. The cost is $30 per person. Experimental teams are $100 and can consist of two, three or four people on the sled.

The championship was founded 23 years ago to give locals an alternate outdoor winter activity. Since then the national championship weekend has become a major fundraiser for the municipally-owned and operated Camden Snow Bowl and attracts people from all over the Northeast and world.

Money raised benefits the Camden Snow Bowl, which will undergo a major renovation in the coming seasons to include new chair lifts and new lodge.

For more information about the U.S. National Toboggan Championships or the Camden Snow Bowl, call236-3438 or visit online at or at the official toboggan site. There you can find the registration form, rules, toboggan regulations and parking information, among other things.