WELLINGTON — The reigning champion of Lorain County Fair’s fowl race had just met the duck he used for the contest that morning.
“I just took somebody’s duck,” Evan Born said with a laugh, adding that there’s no training for the fowl race. He used his cousin’s bird to race around a short course and won with a time of 14.65 seconds Friday afternoon.
It was an appropriate approach for the race, which saw children and teenagers of all ages walking ducks, geese, chickens and even a turkey around a short obstacle course.
“It’s a way to have fun with the animals,” fair board member Chrissy Balint said. “You can just be a person walking through the barn (to compete).”
The fowl race, an annual event for the Lorain County Fair, differs from many other events in the fair which require contestants to train and groom their animals. In the fowl race, competitors walk a bird across sticks, around three buckets and a chair before going under a wood plank and arriving at the finish line.
Balint, who regularly oversees the event, said she figures out the obstacle course as she goes and sees the race as a chance for fair regulars to take part in the fair — even when they’re not in 4-H.
“Even if you don’t have a fowl bird, you can (compete),” Balint said.
Though the race saw some stubborn birds — including one that ran around the track on its own and had to be reined in — it was largely a successful event, evidenced by the large crowd of onlookers that filled the stands.
Two more competitions followed the fowl race: An imitation turkey call competition and an imitation rooster call competition.