This is my father-in-law. He is a super fun guy. He works at BYU and on a walk one day noticed some BYU students having a rubber duck race in the stream that runs along the southwest hill of BYU campus. He decided this was something the L. family needed to do. So he and Eric spent a lot of time planning the purchasing of ducks. There were monster ducks, professional ducks (a doctor, a pilot, etc.), international ducks (Japanese, Scottish, German and Spanish), fairy tale ducks, animal ducks (horse, tiger, etc.), military ducks, and a few other sets of ducks. All in all they ordered 36 rubber ducks from some website.
We drew names as a family, putting the kids' names in one cup and the adults' names in another, to see who would pick first. (To be fair, we let the two two-year-olds have first dibs in order to decrease the chance of complete melt-downs if they didn't get the ducks they wanted.) Each kid picked a duck, then each adult picked a duck. Then we did it again. We then headed up to BYU to start the races.
We originally planned on doing one long race, but we decided early on that several short races would be better, and it was. Although the ducks started in a nice little clump, they very quickly strung themselves out. The ones at the back had no chance of winning. By doing several shorter races we were able to allow several people to win.
As you can see, the ducks really spread out along the way. Some ducks were consistently decent (Ike's fireman duck did well pretty much every race), and some ducks consistently got bogged down and stuck (most notably, Grandpa's grandpa-themed duck).
While we walked along, the kids cheered for their ducks, and we did our best to keep the ducks from getting stuck in jetties, waterfalls and small whirlpools. Some of the kids were more enthusiastic than the others. One of my nieces named her duck by her very own name and was repeatedly heard shouting, "Come on S--! You can do it S--!" Other kids did not understand that "stuck" meant your duck could not possibly ever in a million years get out of their spot. They thought "stuck" was when your duck slowed down and was being passed by other ducks. Nonetheless, nobody was so competitive as to ruin the day with sticking to the rules so specifically.
The stream is the perfect speed for a nice stroll. Nobody had to run to keep up with their ducks or to catch a duck that had taken off too abruptly. Much of the walk is shaded, which was nice, although some of it is in the sun. I think next time we ought to do the race either in the morning or the evening because it was fairly hot, and everyone was quite thirsty by the end.
All in all, it was a very fun event - for everyone, except maybe the two babies who didn't care at all.