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`International Worm Races' Keep Contestants In The Dark

Things are getting mighty wormy this Saturday (Jul. 3) at the International Worm Races in Clearlake, California.

Things are getting mighty wormy this Saturday (Jul. 3) at the International Worm Races in Clearlake, California.

Thursday, July 1, 2010 1:34 GMT

CLEARLAKE, Calif. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Sometimes it pays to get left in the dark.

At least when it comes to the 43rd Annual International Worm Races this Saturday (Jul. 3) in Clearlake, California, where humans race earthworms in various heats.

Event organizer Lori Peters says some competitors swear by “training” their worms for the race using wacky techniques.

For example, some keep their worms only in dark rooms beforehand, which is said to make them move faster once they’re racing outside because they may be searching for darkness again.

Peters says others keep their earthworms in coffee grounds, so maybe the caffeine makes them speedier.

Either way, all worms have a shot at being champion, since past winners never return to reclaim the title.

Peters admits worms don’t have very long lifespans so after they race they go into “worm retirement” at a local farm that makes them into fertilizer.

But past champs like the late “Lightning Harry” are never forgotten.

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