Great Black Hills Duck Race kicked off with a twist

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Rapid City, SD A summer tradition in the Black Hills was slightly different this year.

The 26th Annual Great Black Hills Duck Race is usually in Rapid Creek, but this year the rubber ducks were raced through an obstacle course.

Black Hills FOX reporter Robert Grant tells us why.

With the drop of the flock – they're off.

The Hardrocker football players raced to pick their rubber teammate.

Then took a dip with the duck – splashing down the slip and slide.

They later dried off with some football drills, and then raced to the finish line on a tricycle.

So, this may not be your typical duck race, but it was the best alternative with dangerously high creek levels.

Dominic Martinez, a Rockers football player, said "I love sliding through the slide, doing duck races. I'm a big kid. I read comic books and stuff so I love doing stuff like this."

While it's all in good fun – the race is also for a good cause.

Each of the 17,000 ducks were purchased for $5 and donated to the Children's Miracle Network.

This year, they raised more than $75,000 – which will go towards equipment and programs at Regional Health.

Shawn Powers, the projects coordinator for Regional Health, said "It can be found right here. They don't have to travel, they don't have to go to Denver, and they don't have to go to Mayo. They can stay right here and get the care they need right here in their own hometown."

And hometown Hardrockers were happy to help - and relive their childhood memories.

Cameron Luna, a Rockers football player, said "It's kind of a moment for us to have some childish fun and I think some of the kids wanted to jump out there and do the slide and race the ducks with us."

They also say it improved their teamwork just ahead of this year's football season.

Martinez said "I feel like it makes our team come together and build a stronger bond."

More than $25,000 dollars in prizes was awarded to the first 34 ducks to cross the finish line.

This year's first place winner of $5,000 is Emily Linn of Rapid City.

In second place and the winner of $3,000 is Larry Larson of Rapid City.

And Beckie Belsaas, also from Rapid City, finished in third place with a $1,500 dollar prize.