Great Turtle Race crawls on

Posted at 11:01 PM, Jul 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-09 23:01:27-04

OSCEOLA, NY (WWNY/CNN) - Turtles had enthusiastic coaches behind them at the annual Great Osceola Turtle Race this weekend.

“All of the contestants will start in the middle,” said Race emcee Bill Currier. “We usually run about eight to 10 turtles at one time. I’ll yell, ‘Go!’ and everybody starts cheering the turtles on, and they run to the outside lane.”

Turtles have competed in Osceola for more than four decades. It all started when a man walked into a bar holding a turtle.

“They got this idea - hey, let’s race this turtle in the road,” said Mona Currier-Bassett, a Osceola Hotel employee.

Like many athletes. Some turtles compete after escaping tragedy. One competitor, Susie, was rescued from the middle of the road.

The top three turtles and humans in each race take home some cash and a wooden medal, but the competition is all about fun. The small town hidden on the Tug Hill Plateau will come alive again next summer for these shelled sprinters.

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