Monday, 24 June 2024

Forty-second annual International Worm Race draws fierce competitors

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From left, worm racing stars Desirae Bradley-Cordova, Colleen Garner, Nikki Tucker and her mom holding sister Alyssa Tucker. Courtesy photo.




 


CLEARLAKE – The competition proved brutal from the beginning when, during the first heat, the judge for the 0-5 category called out, "Oh! We have some worms crawling over worms!"


Trainers and their parents cheered the worms on as the squiggling creatures inched their way toward the finish line in each race. Spectators crowded around the racing circle, eager to see which worms would move on to the finals.


To start every heat, trainers placed their worms in the center of the racing board. When the race began, the worms were to crawl to the outside of the racing circle a full 12 inches away.


Approximately 200 racers participated in this year’s event on Saturday, July 4, at Austin Park in Clearlake.


Despite the stiff competition, the worm Dizzy 4 Desi – trained by 13-year-old Desirae Bradley-Cordova from Oroville – took first place, earning her $100, a first-place trophy and bragging rights until next year.


Although no one could be sure, the worms radiated a hint of nervousness as each countdown began. However, Colleen Garner, the local worm champion from Clearlake, won the second-place spot with her worm, Madame Worm. Garner earned $75 with a second place trophy.


Nikki Tucker from Rocklin took the third place trophy along with $50 to go toward her next year's entry.


Her sister, Alyssa Tucker, won the fourth place trophy and $25. She was asleep from all the excitement of the day by the time the final prizes were handed out. That is OK – a long day of racing is tiring for one who is just 2 years old. Earlier in the day, watching her with her squirming worm in hand was adorable.


There may not be another event like this in the world, which is why we had participants from as far away as England this year. This event is extraordinary; where else but Clearlake can you race a worm?


This event is sponsored by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, but it could not happen without the help from the volunteers.


Thanks also got to Affordable Signs & T’s; Arbor House Bed & Breakfast; BiCoastal Media; C&G Enterprises (music DJ); Clearlake Code Enforcement Officer Lee Lambert, Bill Edmunds (worm master) and his son Jim Edmunds; Foods Etc.; Tom Hewlett DDS and wife Carol; Konoctees; Lakeshore Bait & Tackle; Mendo Mill; Penny Slaver; Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery; Wild About Books; and chamber volunteers Al Devilbliss, Natasha Russell, Nicole Lenhart, Tammy McClain, Jim, Zack and Jake Peters.

 

 

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The annual worm race drew fierce competition on Saturday, July 4, 2009, in Clearlake. Courtesy photo.
 

 

 

 

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As the race heats up, the worms' support teams cluster closely on Saturday, July 4, 2009, in Clearlake. Courtesy photo.
 

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