Rubber ducks in last-minute training for Saturday race
BRECKENRIDGE – The Summit Foundation is making final preparations for its 15th annual Rubber Duck Races, set for Saturday in Breckenridge.And representatives from three Breckenridge companies are vying to see who can sell the most ducks before 2 p.m. race day.”We’re used to the Hilton and Grand Timber talking smack to us all the time,” said Jack Wolfe of East West Hyatt. “It’s water off a duck’s back, as far as I’m concerned. As was proven last year, we have the best ducks; we have a better chance of winning. These guys are amateurs; they don’t know what they’re doing – they’re young ducklings.”Steve Lunney of Valdoro Development-Hilton Grand Vacation Club said that despite Wolfe’s “insider advantage” – Wolfe sits on the Summit Foundation Board – the Hilton’s ducks are bound cross the finish line first.”I’ll whoop his butt,” Lunney said. “On a day-per-duck basis, we’re killing him.”Mike Millisor of Grand Timber Lodge “ducked out” of pre-race talks Thursday.”He was embarrassed of his duck counts,” Wolfe said.Last year, East West Hyatt and Grand Timber Lodge raised $10,000 for the foundation in sales of $5 ducks.At 4 p.m. on race day, Summit Foundation volunteers will dump thousands of ducks into the Maggie Pond. The rubber ducks then race over the Maggie Falls, dodge abandoned mining debris, dash through a culvert, bob their way through exposed rocks, race through the calm waters in the Scully Pond and down the narrow river to the finish line at the Riverwalk Center.The first-place duck will secure a Caldera Olympia spa donated by Accent Spas Backyard. Other egg-citing prizes include a vacation for two to Blackcomb, Canada, and winter season passes to Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone.Ducks for both races may be adopted at selected banks, information centers and businesses, or by calling the Summit Foundation at (970) 453-5970 today. On race day, adoptions may be made at select banks and information centers until noon and at “Duck Central” at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center up to race time.Should a duck become entangled in natural obstacles along the race course, a regiment of official “Duck Rangers” will dislodge the obstructed duck and send it along its way. Only officials of the duck race will be allowed to assist a stuck duck.Folks are asked to leave their pets at home as ducks are terrified of other animals.The Summit Foundation’s race typically marks the end of the summer and will include a cash barbecue and live musical entertainment at the Riverwalk Center and Main Street Station, as well as kids games. The Riverwalk also will be the site of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center’s Mountain Sport Festival and the Blue River Run & Roll race.Lunney and Wolfe said they began their last-minute sales push Friday.”We’re both feeling quite ducky about our counts at this point,” Lunney said. “But we’re not disclosing what they are.””I still have the superior ducks,” Wolfe said. “And my secret weapon? You know where the duck race starts: right out the back door of Main Street Station.”All bucks from the ducks benefit The Summit Foundation, established to improve the quality of life for residents and guests of Summit County. Since 1986, the Foundation has awarded more than $4.6 million to 167 local, nonprofit.
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