Pedal pull draws a crowd

  Pedal pull competitor Royfe Walker works to pull a sled at Saturday’s competition.

Looks of determination crossed the faces of many young kids in Babe Harder Gymnasium at Marshalltown Community College as they powered pedal pulls across the floor Saturday.

The sweat and red faces were met with cheers from proud parents during the 30th Annual State Pedal Tractor Pull Championships.

Children ranging from 4- to 12 years old competed and had fun seeing who could pull a heavy sled the greatest distance across the floor.

“When I did it when I was little I got lots of trophies and we had to move them all down in the basement,” said 9-year-old Abby Carpenter, whose family had come from Tipton for the event.

Like many other competitors, Abby said she put in a lot of practice ahead of the pedal pull.

“At our grandpa and grandma’s house we have two pedal tractor pulls and we use them,” she said.

Paisley Stonehocker of Newton, 4, was among the day’s youngest participants. She said she enjoys pedal pulls and practiced on her bike.

“I ride my bike on the sidewalk. I can’t go down the street, I’m too little,” Paisley said.

Many of the families who came Saturday saw siblings compete at different age groups. One of them was the Hewitt family from Baxter and brothers Drake, 6, and Wyatt, 4, tried their hand at the competition for the first time.

“It’s really fun because you get to know new people,” Drake said.

Wyatt also said he likes meeting new people and that pedal pulling is a fun activity. Both boys said they got plenty of practice by riding their bikes up and down an alleyway near their home.

Saturday’s event was sponsored by the Noon Optimist Club of Marshalltown. The competition is held by the Iowa State Pedal Pull Association annually. Each age group had a girls’ and boys’ competition and awarded trophies to the first-, second- and third-place winners, who will get a chance to go to the National Pedal Pull at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D. Sept. 21.

For more information, visit https://iowapedalpull.com/