Wildcats bleed pink during rubber duck race

With grimacing faces and pixie-dust-coated mouths, Wildcats traded in their purple stripes for pink Monday as they raced rubber ducks for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Hosted by the Weber State Women’s Center, the inaugural Pink Rubber Duck Race kicked off homecoming week by drawing in nearly 100 students to the event.

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Students lined up to participate in the Pink Rubber Duck Race for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Students used a giant pixie stick to propel a rubber duck across the pool. (Source: The Signpost/Lichelle Jenkins)

“We had a lot of participants,” said Women’s Center Breast Cancer Awareness Chair Jamie Crandal. “I think we had a pretty good turnout today.”

Set up under the Bell Tower Plaza between Elizabeth Hall and the Shepherd Union, the race opened to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to Jamie Crandal, the rules for the race were simple: competitors chugged a large pixie stick which they then used as a straw to blow rubber ducks down the kiddy pool.

For Julia Whitney, Weber State Student Wellness coordinator, watching students eat the entire pixie stick at once was one of her favorite parts of the event.

“I liked cheering them on while they were eating the pixie sticks,” she said. “Watching the looks on their faces as soon as they realized that it would be harder than they thought it would be.”

For most students, swallowing an entire pixie stick before blowing their duck across the pool was the most difficult part of the race.

“Eating all the sugar at once was so disgusting,” said Weber State student Larissa Jiron. “But it was definitely a fun and exciting way to get people informed.”

Winners of the race were treated to many prizes including Weber State T-shirts and breast cancer awareness water bottles.

However, any student was welcome to take free items that promoted breast cancer awareness, including their pink rubber duck.

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Mark Narula and Fihi Kaufusi, both freshman at Weber State, fight to get their ducks across the kiddy pool during the Pink Rubber Duck Race on Monday. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

Along with handouts promoting breast cancer awareness, an announcer was also present at the event to help call the race and encourage students to join in.

However, according to announcer Shawn Franks, playing good music and enticing students to join in the race was not his only job.

Bringing awareness about breast cancer to the campus was Franks’ main goal for the event.

“If we can bring knowledge about breast cancer to at least one person, you know that breast cancer is a real thing and that it affects thousands of women, then I think we’re doing what we set out to do today,” Franks said.

Crandal agreed. She believed the race was a great way to not only bring students together, but to reach out to the student body and remind them that breast cancer can happen to anybody.

“One in eight women can get breast cancer and you don’t have to be over 40 to be one of those eight,” Crandal said.

Crandal felt the event was an overall success.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done this and I think it had turned out pretty well,” Crandal said. “It was fun and people were entertained and a lot of people got involved.”

According to Whitney, the event attracted more people than anticipated.

“We actually ran out of pixie sticks,” she said. “I think it went really, really well.”

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Rachelle Jones and Selena Parrish, both visiting high school students, race their ducks across the pool. Selena’s duck won by a beak. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

Whitney hopes students will come away from the event with a new sense of awareness for the disease.

“The overall goal, I feel like, was to get breast cancer back into people’s minds,” Whitney said. “So this was the one time out of the year that we were able to get people to start thinking about breast cancer in a fun way.”