What is buggy?

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A pusher on Hill 2 during Raceday 2009

Buggy (also called Sweepstakes) is a race held annually since 1920 at Carnegie Mellon. Teams of 5 atheletes (the pushers) push an un-motorized vehicle (a buggy) containing a driver around a 0.84 mile course in a relay format where the vehicle serves as the baton. Roughly half of the course is uphill, during which the pushers run and shove the buggy uphill. During the other - downhill - half, drivers are on their own to navigate tight turns at speeds of up to 35mph.

Show me a buggy race!

Here is the 2013 Men's Championship Race

Who is involved?

Over 400 Carnegie Mellon students (both men and women, mostly undergrads) per year participate as part of one of the 12-15 organizations - about half of which are greek. The race is run by a volunteer student committee called Sweepstakes.

When is it?

  • Raceday: CMU's Spring Carnival in late April on Friday and Saturday 9am - noon.
  • Practice: Sept-Nov and Feb-April on Weekends Sunrise - 9am.
Satellite view of the course with the path of the race highlighted in blue

Where is the race?

The course is mostly located behind CMU's main campus in Schenley Park. It starts at the intersection of Margaret Morrison and Tech St near Margaret Morrison Hall, loops around Flagstaff hill turning right, and finishes at the intersection of Tech St and Frew St. See Course and watch CMUtv's Meet The Buggy Course Video for more detailed information.

CIA's drivers pose with their buggies during design competition 2010


Teams are generally broken down into three major roles: pushers, drivers, & mechanics. Pushers train on and off the course to improve their times and their exchanges, watch the Pushers Video. Drivers gain experience navigating the course during the weekend "free roll" practices. Mechanics do the engineering, designing and building new buggies from the raw materials and then maintaining and tuning them to be as fast as possible. Of course, you can participate in more than one of these roles. To see how buggies are made, watch CMUtv's Apex Build Video.

Why should I join?

There are so many great reasons, answering this question requires its own page. See Why Participate?

See also