Snails under starter’s orders

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Preparations are underway for the “slowest and silliest” race on Saturday 3 August at the Food & Craft Market just outside Aylsham Town Hall, when live snails will compete for the coveted “Lettuce Pot”.

Organised by Slow Food, whose logo is, of course, the snail, the second Great Aylsham Snail Race is open to young and old, but children make better snail owners and trainers than adults.

Entry is free for the Open Race but £10 sponsorship fee per snail for the Business Challenge for local traders, which will go to charity.

The winner of each category gets a handsome pot filled with a quality lettuce and the honour of being Aylsham’s Great Snail Race 2024 winners.

Last year’s victors were Leaf Cruncher, in the first race, owned and trained by Niamh Pulford, aged five, who finished in 4 mins 56 secs, and Olivia in the second, in a faster time of 4 mins 38 secs, belonging to Olivia Brett, four. The Business Challenge was won by Richard Anderson-Dungar of Aylsham Business Enterprise Forum.

How to enter Simply email with name, age, and contact details of the entrant as well as the name of your snail to be registered.

The race is organised and refereed by the Snail Master who keeps order, tests for drugs, watches out for cheating, and starts the races. He keeps the course well-watered to encourage good speeds.

Entrants are advised to collect snails from a garden or hedgerow about a week before the race. Favourite places are behind or underneath big stones. They like wet areas.

Owners are encouraged to give their snails appropriate names like Speedy, Flash or Leaf Cruncher (see above).

So start the hunt for your winning snail now.



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