In these days of cut-throat athletic competition, it is nice to find a sport that retains traditional values. I am talking about snail racing. I had not been aware that there have been championships since the 1960s.
More than 150 snails took part in the annual event, held at a summer fete in Norfolk, eastern England on Saturday where a silver tankard stuffed with lettuce leaves was the prize.
The snails are placed on a special damp cloth marked with three concentric circles and the creatures race 13 inches (33 cm) to the outer ring.
“We take this seriously,” snail racer John McClean told Reuters.
“We have got training slopes. We look at diet, we are drug compliant as well. It is the whole thing when you look at elite sports.”
The competition has been held since the 1960s with each race lasting several minutes. Competitors are able to select a snail from the organizers’ stash or bring their own.
Jo Waterfield from the nearby village of Grimston found the eventual winner among her plants.
Here is thrilling video of the finals of 2017 World Snail Racing Championship that attracted over 100 competitors.