The race starter stood up and shouted: "Ready, steady, slow!" The crowd cheered, but the competitors remained stuck at the start line. Welcome to the world snail racing championship.
More than 150 snails took part in the annual event, held at a summer fete in Norfolk, eastern England on Saturday where a silver tankard stuffed with lettuce leaves was the prize.
"We take this seriously," snail racer John McClean told Reuters.
"We have got training slopes. We look at diet, we are drug compliant as well. It is the whole thing when you look at elite sports."
The competition has been held since the 1960s with each race lasting several minutes. Competitors are able to select a snail from the organizers’ stash or bring their own.
Jo Waterfield from the nearby village of Grimston found the eventual winner among her plants.
"I pulled him out this morning and told him if he didn’t win I would squash him," Waterfield told Reuters. (Reuters)
slug it out：動詞片語，指分出勝負、一決雌雄。例句：Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson must slug it out in Wimbledon final.（諾瓦克‧喬科維奇和凱文‧安德森必須在溫布頓決賽中一決勝負。）
stick：名詞，指枝條、棍棒；動詞，指刺、戳、釘住、插牢、黏住、困住、梗塞。例句：You’d better stick to the rules.（你最好遵守規定。）
squash：動詞，指擠碎、鎮壓、發濺潑聲、發咯吱聲；名詞，指擠壓、硬塞、壓得粉碎的一攤；副詞，指啪地。例句：Six people in this car is a bit of a squash.（6人坐這台車有點擠。）