Mucking Competitor Wins 15th Title At Park City Miners' Day

Sep 3, 2019

 

Miners’ Day celebrates Park City’s miner heritage. Part of that celebration included the annual Mucking and Drilling competitions at City Park.

Crowds gathered at City Park to see miners compete in timed events. First up was the drilling competition where miners drilled holes into a large rock. After that was the mucking competition. That event has a mine cart with a scoop on the front that travels along a railway track. Competitors ride on the side of the machine scooping loads of dirt and gravel into the cart as fast as they can. Finishing first in the mucking competition was Payson, Utah resident Remigio Portillo. Portillo has won the event 15 of the last 18 years. Portillo doesn’t practice, in fact he only does the event once a year in Park City, but he’s helped by decades of mining experience.

“I’ve been mining for 40 years off and on. Eurkea and Lehi and just around.” Portillo said

Portillo had a large cheering section at the competition. His wife Jody says its an annual family event.

"We’ve been married 17 years, so since the year before we got married," Jody Portillo continued. "We got married August 31st and had our honeymoon in Midway so we could actually come to the competition.”

“yeah this is our honeymoon.” Remigio added.

“So yeah we made it like a tradition to come up here every year.” Jody said.

Running the mine cart throws up a lot of dust and has plenty of jerking motion. Despite all that Portillo wears a white cowboy hat that stays on his head and impressively remains clean.

“You just get it done," Remigio explained. "Yeah, it’s like everything else. If you drive, if you watch what you’re doing you make it where you’re going.”

Portillo turns 70 at the end of the year.

“It's a tradition for our family, our kids to come up and we usually have a bigger crowd but this year they couldn't all make it," Jody continued. "Yeah this is like our family thing. We all bring a picnic lunch and we just hang out in Park City afterwards and we love it up here. I mean he's a hard worker he loves to work.”

“She makes me work,” Remigio joked.

“I do not make you work,” Jody laughed back.

Finishing 2nd in the mucking competition was Brian Still. Third was Park City resident Larry Simpson. Simpson also finished first in the drilling competition with Keith Quimby finished second and Brian Still finished third.

Portillo had some parting words for Park City before residents see him again next year.

“And whoever’s listening, good luck the next year!”