After being dumped into the river, Kiwanis ducks prepare to start their race downstream. Photo by Don Nelson

After being dumped into the river, Kiwanis ducks prepare to start their race downstream. Photo by Don Nelson

More than 2,000 very brave plastic ducks were dumped into the Chewuch River on Labor Day to begin their erratic journey through the Methow River confluence and on to the finish line of the 15th annual Winthrop Duck Race, at the Highway 20 bridge east of downtown.

The winning duck, a blue racer that rode the currents to a clear victory, brought Sally Telzrow of Seattle the first-place prize of $500.

Second place ($200) went to Mike Corrigan of Winthrop and the third-place ($100) ticket was held by the Methow Valley Education Fund.

The fundraising event is sponsored by Winthrop Kiwanis, which sold about 2,170 $2 tickets for the race. Proceeds will support children’s programs in the valley. This was the first year that an organization won a prize.

Tickets had also been purchased for Room One, Friends of the Pool and local resident Andy Johnson, who is recovering from a car accident. Next year, Kiwanis says: maybe a fleet of new ducks, made of rubber rather than plastic.

Spectators watch the ducks race down the river. Photo by Don Nelson

Spectators watch the ducks race down the river. Photo by Don Nelson

Volunteers gather at the finish line to make sure no duck escapes further down the river. Photo by Don Nelson

Volunteers gather at the finish line to make sure no duck escapes further down the river. Photo by Don Nelson