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The Titan 500

What do you call a 50 lap race on Big Wheel tricycles?

In Henry County, Indiana, they call it the Titan 500.

Tri Elementary School in Straughn, Indiana hosts the event every year. Kids in fourth, fifth and sixth grade form teams to compete in the event.

It may not be the most important race in Indiana but to these kids, wining secures a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Once the wheels start spinning, it is mass chaos. Spectators are screaming. The racers are struggling. Bikes are falling apart. All elements that make a photo rich environment.

The No. 5 Puma team repairs their Big Wheel tricycle with duct tape Wednesday, May 26, 2010 after it fell apart on the track during the first lap of the Titan 500. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

The No. 5 Puma team repairs their Big Wheel tricycle with duct tape Wednesday, May 26, 2010 after it fell apart on the track during the first lap of the Titan 500. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

I focused much of my attention on last year’s winning team, No. 23 Dr. Pepper. This year, they won with at least six laps separating them from second place.

In this May 26, 2010 photo, Corbin Pew,  number 23, leads the pack of Big Wheel tricycle racers behind pace car driver Ken Gregory Wednesday afternoon during a warm up lap at the Titan 500 in Straughn, Ind. This is Pew's third year racing. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

In this May 26, 2010 photo, Corbin Pew, No. 23, leads the pack of Big Wheel tricycle racers behind pace car driver Ken Gregory Wednesday afternoon during a warm up lap at the Titan 500 in Straughn, Ind. This is Pew's third year racing. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

In this May 26, 2010 photo, Grant Jessup, number 23, pedals past his competition during the Titan 500, a 50 lap Big Wheel tricycle race at Tri Elementary School in Straughn, Ind. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

In this May 26, 2010 photo, Grant Jessup, number 23, pedals past his competition during the Titan 500, a 50 lap Big Wheel tricycle race at Tri Elementary School in Straughn, Ind. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

In this Wednesday May 26, 2010 photo, Jordan Rhodus lets out a  scream as teammates Grant Jessup, left, and Travis Isaacs give him a  push start out of the pit during the Titan 500 at Tri Elementary Schoo  in Straughn, Ind. Their team, No. 23 Dr. Pepper, went on to win the  race. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

In this Wednesday May 26, 2010 photo, Jordan Rhodus lets out a scream as teammates Grant Jessup, left, and Travis Isaacs give him a push start out of the pit during the Titan 500 at Tri Elementary School in Straughn, Ind. Their team, No. 23 Dr. Pepper, went on to win the race. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

In this May 26, 2010 photo, members of the the No. 23 Dr. Pepper team and winners of the race, from left, Jordan Rhodus, Grant Jessup and Travis Isaacs kiss the chalk-drawn bricks at the Titan 500 while teammate Corbin Pew lifts his head at the end of the Big Wheel tricycle race at Tri Elementary School in Straughn, Ind. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

In this May 26, 2010 photo, members of the No. 23 Dr. Pepper team and winners of the race, from left, Jordan Rhodus, Grant Jessup and Travis Isaacs kiss the chalk-drawn bricks at the Titan 500 while teammate Corbin Pew lifts his head at the end of the Big Wheel tricycle race at Tri Elementary School in Straughn, Ind. (AP Photo/The Courier-Times, Max Gersh) ©2010

Here is how we packaged the story on A1.

The Courier-Times ©2010

The Courier-Times ©2010

I’m looking forward to photographing this again next year.

To see a few more photos from the race, check out the photo gallery on The Courier-Times’ website.

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