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Duck Derby takes over Chicago River for a good cause

Duck Derby takes over Chicago River for a good cause
Duck Derby takes over Chicago River for a good cause 02:31

CHICAGO (CBS) – There was a sea of yellow in the Chicago River on Thursday as tens of thousands of rubber ducks took a dip for a good cause.

CBS 2's Noel Brennan was there for the Duck Derby.

Chicago does derby day differently. It's less about hats and horses and all about dropping ducks into the Chicago River.

"It is probably the most exciting moment that I've had in the month of August so far," said Sarah Howgate.

She may exaggerate a little.

"I would call it Indy 500-esque, incredibly fast, hard to keep up with," she said.

The rubber duck race was still riveting.

With so many ducks, it comes down to luck.

Howgate has a duck in this race.

"Duck number, like, 1,812," she said. "I hear he's been really swimming along, doing a lot of good exercises, and we really support him, and we believe in him."

Thousands of others watching along the river were also cheering.

"Definitely a great cause," Howgate said. "It's nice to see all these people turn out for this in support."

The Chicago Duck Derby encouraged fans to adopt a duck for $5, with all proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Illinois.

More than 93,000 adopted ducks raised more than $428,000, and they swim at their own pace.

"Oh! There we go," said Howgate. "We have a winner!"

There was no need for a photo finish. Everyone wins on Ducky Derby Day.

"I really just appreciate the enthusiasm and support of these ducks which also support a very good cause," she added.

A handful of winners got big prizes, including a car, but those were random drawings and had nothing to do with the actual speed of the ducks.

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