Guysborough County puller in for the long haul
Kaili Maclennan of Guysborough County is undaunted by the prospect of being a minority, as one of only a few female drivers involved in the truck pull event at Rumble by the River.
"I’ve been doing it with my father since I was little. I just wanted to follow in his footsteps," Maclennan said. "It feels natural. I’ve been doing it for as long as I remember. I’ve just been brought up around it."
Maclennan was not the only member of her family participating in Rumble by the River. Her sister, who is still in high school, also competed at the pulls in Lower South River.
On the Labour Day weekend, Maclennan achieved a distance of 304.5 feet in one of many truck pulls that took place that day.
"I guess that’s a record," she said, after hopping out of her red Dodge Ram nicknamed Double Trouble, to take a break and watch the rest of the pulls with her family. "It feels pretty good to get a record like that."
This year’s Rumble by the River was the third truck and tractor pull Maclennan competed in. Although she was disqualified in the first class she pulled in, due to her truck smoking, Maclennan went on to participate in a king of the hill event, placing fourth in the diesel truck division.
Maclennan said what keeps her coming back is simple. "It’s an adrenaline rush," she said.
Her main long-term goal, whenever she competes, "is just to get to the end."
Maclennan is coming close to actualizing that goal, and that success is, in part, the product of her technical knowledge of pulling. After all, getting a good distance in tractor and truck pulling entails more than just gunning it and hoping for the best.
"There are actually a couple of techniques you can use," Maclennan said, describing the technical details of truck pulling. "You can floor it — or you can hold the brake, give a little gas, and when it revs, give it full gas. That builds power."
Maclennan used the second of those techniques to great effect on Saturday evening, sending dirt flying and eliciting a chorus of cheers — the loudest of those from her family who watched proudly from the sidelines.
Kaili Maclennan of Guysborough County at the Rumble by the River truck and tractor pull Sept. 1.
Kaili Maclennan, making dirt fly, as she pulls a weighted trailer at the Rumble by the River truck and tractor pull, Sept. 1.