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Aadyn Durbin, 6, stood with a trophy in his hand for his endurance in the kids’ pedal pull, his face painted a splash of green that matches the color of his mohawk.
The event, staged at the Hardin County Fair Friday night, pits children against one another in a difficult test of strength as they sit astride a miniature tractor attached to a weighted wagon. The concept is simple: Whoever pedals the tractor and wagon the farthest claims victory.
Organizers used ropes and tires to mark a finish line, and those who made it to the end of the track constituted a full pull.
Some could barely budge the tractor while others built momentum early and sailed to a full pull. Others used their body’s motion and attrition to will themselves to the full pull.
A larger blue tractor, nicknamed Baby Ugly, was attempted by a young girl, whose mother instructed her to “use your legs, sweetheart.”
Elizabethtownresident Crystal Edwards stumbled upon the pull during her visit to the fair and said her kids showed interest as an aid against boredom.
In Aadyn’s case, he had to pull four times to claim his trophy, but his father, Brandon, said he knew his son was up to the challenge.
“He saw it and he wanted to do it,” he said. “He’s done it before.”
Brandon Durbin said his son had competed in and won the pull in the past at the fair.
“He was only 3 when he did it,” he said.
Durbin said his family makes the fair an annual event and particularly looks forward to the rides.
“Just to get out and have some fun,” he said.
Aadyn watched as Tayler Bailey, 10, engaged in a series of pull-offs with two young boys as they tried to claim a prize. Trophies and ribbons were distributed by members of the Central Hardin High School FFA.
After each pull, Bailey came back describing the tiresome effects of her efforts and ultimately fell short to Nevan Druen, who was coached by his father, Stephen.
“We just stumbled on it,” he said. His son immediately showed interest in giving the contest a try.
After the first pull, it was obvious Nevan had a chance to claim a prize and his father instructed him on how best to attain a full pull. After a successful pull was nearly halted by a brief struggle at the end, Druen jokingly told his son he would have considered discipline had he not started rolling again near the finish line.
Druen said his family planned to move on to the mud run and may take in some games before they called it a night.
“It’s just something to do with the kids,” he said.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.