Duck season: The race is on | SummitDaily.com
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Duck season: The race is on

Jane Stebbins

BRECKENRIDGE – Thousands of rubber ducks are engaged in rigorous training regimes and following strict dietary guidelines in preparation for the 15th annual Rubber Duck Race.

“Their wings are flapping; they’re ready to jump into the river and race their little hearts out,” said Deb Edwards, executive director for the Summit Foundation, the beneficiary of the fund raiser.

But officials need volunteers to work at duck “adoption” sites beginning today until Aug. 30, and others to work during the event.

The popular race is set for Aug. 31. That afternoon, thousands of bright yellow ducks will be dumped into the Maggie Pond and begin their mad trek down the Blue River to the bridge between the Riverwalk Center and Blue River Plaza amidst throngs of cheering residents.

The ducks are American mountain ducks, Edwards said, specially bred, raised and trained for high-altitude competition in frigid water.

Volunteers are needed at adoption sites throughout the county. In Breckenridge, those sites include the post office, rec center and City Market; in Frisco, Safeway and Wal-Mart; the City Market in Dillon and the Silverthorne pavilion.

Others are needed to assist ducks into the water on race day, and retrieve them if they get stuck behind rocks along the way. Others are needed to guard both banks of the river to keep people and dogs away from the racers, sell merchandise and conduct last-minute duck adoptions, and help with cleanup at the end of the race.

“They get to mingle with 15,000 of their favorite rubber duck friends,” Edwards said.

Ducks now are available for adoption for $5 or $25 for a “six-quack.” A maximum of 200 corporate ducks, available for $200 apiece, will compete on behalf of companies that adopt them. The winner of that race will win a trip to a 2003 Colorado Rockies baseball game for 12 people.

Additionally, Grand Timber Lodge and East-West Partners have agreed to a challenge to see which firm can adopt out the most ducks.

Last year, 11,000 ducks raced in the various competitions and raised $73,000 for the Summit Foundation. This year, the goal is to adopt 15,000 ducks, Edwards said.

The Summit Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents and visitors in Summit County in various realms, including arts, education, sports and social services, among others.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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