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So, The 2010 World Snail Racing Championships Happened…

When you wake up you’re all weak
Throwing your life away
Someday, sorry coming home
Sorry snail
What you wait for… – “Snail” by Smashing Pumpkins

In an event riddled with an unparalleled  level of excitement which is rivaled only by NFL preseason football, the 2010 World Racing Championships went down in the tiny village of Congham in Norfolk, England on Saturday. The World Championships have been held annually in Congham for the past 25 years and like every race which preceded it, it was rife with slow-moving, heart-racing action.

This year’s winner was Sidney (above crossing the finish line), who is owned by Claire Lawrence, a 62-year-old Gastropod-loving gal from nearby Litcham. Sidney outraced 200 other molluskian (?) competitors with a breakneck time of three minutes and forty-one seconds.

Background of how the race is put on, miscellaneous tidbits and a thrilling piece of video journalism chronicling the event follows.

Via The Telegraph:

Hilary Scase, a championship official, said: “Snails like damp conditions and as Congham is surrounded by ponds and is very low lying it is just right for snails. Congham is to snail racing what Newmarket is to horse racing.”

Races, which begin with the shout “Ready, steady, slow”, are held on top of a table covered with a damp cloth.

The snails are placed in the centre of an inner circle, from which they must travel 13-inches to an outer circle which forms the finishing line.

Once the snails have been placed inside the inner circle, their owners are not allowed to touch them. The 13-inch course is kept well watered throughout to encourage good speeds.

Heh. “Ready, steady, slow.” Sounds like what the motto might be for Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams as he hoists himself out of bed every morning. Unless breakfast is ready.

In any event, the race sounds absolutely enthralling. In fact, I have already begun the process of securing a flight and accommodations for next year’s event. And from what I can gather, the watered-down track must create a virtual Slip-N-Slide for the little snails. Fun!

Now for the video:

And as your one-stop shop for all things snail racing-related, a photo gallery of the exhilarating race courtesy of the World Snail Racing Championships official site:

Finally, for no reason whatsoever other than I referred to the song above and it’s Smashing Pumpkins Week on Weedtubeage, here’s “Snail.”

Nice.

Sidney the snail races to victory in world championships [The Telegraph]