LIMA — Having a tug-a-truck contest at the Allen County Fair is nothing new. Having a truck rock climb challenge is new. Fair-goers this year will get the chance to witness both as part of the first University of Northwestern Ohio Truck Tug & Rock Climb Challenge.
A pair of clubs at the university — the Off-Road Club and the Diesel Club — are helping organize and put on the show, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the grandstand at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
“We were contacted by the fair board to see if we might want to put on an event this year at the fairgrounds,” Kiel Dennison, an instructor in the college of technologies at UNOH, said. “We decided to do a tug-a-truck and a rock climb challenge. We’re going to have a maximum of 40 trucks for each event.”
The concept is simple. The event will feature alternating heats between a traditional tug-a-truck competition and the rock climb challenge. The rock climb challenge is essentially an obstacle course with a mud pit followed by a track with varying sizes of boulders for the driver to negotiate in the fastest time without going out of bounds, Dennison said.
“We’re hoping to bring some new spectators and new visitors to the area with the event,” Dennison said. “I’ve not heard of any rock climbing challenges around the area so we figured we’d try to do something a little different.”
Dennison said the Off-Road Club takes trips to participate in similar rock climbing challenges. Those trips helped inspire the idea to try it at this year’s fair, he said.
“This is something the kids are really into so we put our heads together and decided to put it on at the fair and see where it goes,” Dennison said.
The event wouldn’t be possible without the help from the fair board, Allen County Engineer’s Office and R.D Jones Excavating, Dennison said. Dennison, who is helping organize the event with fellow UNOH instructor Aaron Roth, said he hopes it will lead to the university hosting a series of events at the fairgrounds.
“I’m actually hoping to start not only an annual tradition at the fair but start putting on events at the fairgrounds at off-fair times,” he said. “I’m hoping this will go well and we can continue in the future and put on several events.”
2012 Allen County Fair