Why attend a horse race in a flouncy hat when you can go for the World Snail Racing championship, in your pajamas?
Open to snails from across the world, the race, for those who can handle the speed, has been running as a charity event in an English village since 1960. The snails undertake an ardours, often slippery journey across two concentric circles, aiming to reach the outer boundary within record time spans of three to five hundred seconds.
This year’s race on the July 21 saw over 150 snails slug it out, with the creature named Hosta storming – well, crawling – a silver tankard and lettuce leaves to victory.
Between mulling over Brexit, the trainers gave their race snails pep talks. One owner was heard saying, “Just be calm, concentrate on where you need to be. Don’t worry about the other snails. Just hit the finish line and we go on from there.”
Another explained his training regimen thus, “We take this seriously, we have got a slug farm. We have got training slopes. We look at diet, we are drug compliant as well. The whole thing is an elite sport.”
I remember scoffing at my brother for recommending the animated film Turbo, about a garden snail’s racing aspirations, as a good watch back in 2013. But this year, I have really come out of my shell.