The contest is held on a 250-acre section of Gull Lake. To prepare the area, the organizers drill 24,000 fishing holes, each 8 inches in diameter. It's a process that takes three days and massive amounts of Bengay. Thousands of people are out here, some of whom would be pretty hefty naked, let alone wearing five layers of clothing and mammoth Sorel Ice King pac boots, pulling sleds loaded with cases of beer, coolers, portable heaters, radios, lawn chairs, and-in some cases-actual fishing gear. These extra million tons or so causes the ice to sag, which sends lake water gurgling happily up through the holes. In effect, you are walking around in a large, gray Slushie, which within minutes freezes into a topo map of Hell, all knife-sharp ridges and slick hollows. The organizers are overlooking some great possibilities here. A combination three-legged race and EMT-wound-treatment derby would be a surefire way to maintain crowd interest during slow periods.