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Antennas up! Snails race in France

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 01:22

Aug. 16 - The World Snail Racing Championships take place in France, with those snails who don't make it to the winners podium ending up in the cooking pot. Kilmeny Duchardt reports.

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Snails donned their racing stripes for the 43rd Annual Snail Racing Championships in France. Starting at the center of the circle, the gastropod sprinters slimed for their lives to the outer edge at the annual festival in Lagardere. And the stakes were high. Losers faced the prospect of turning into escargot. Participants watched as the trail-glazing snails crept to the outer edge. (SOUNDBITE) Unnamed participant, saying (French): "It's great. It's a lot of fun. It's all about nature and it's something different from what we usually see. It's a little bit like horse racing with a bit of passion, and there you go." Winners received a pardon by the city's Mayor Patrick Dubos. (SOUNDBITE) Patrick Dubos, Mayor of Lagardere, saying (English): "We used to have a tradition of making 'escargolades' and eating the snails. One day we had an idea of having them race - it was just a silly idea and there was nothing more to it than that - it was not premeditated." This year's champions will face a new crop of racers next summer -- hopefully moving at anything but a snail's pace. Kilmeny Duchardt, Reuters.

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Antennas up! Snails race in France

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 01:22