Pea Shooting Championships
Every year, literally dozens of people gather in the small English village of Witcham to compete in their Pea Shooting Championships. Contestants stand 12ft away from a target made of putty and shoot pea beans as strongly and precisely as their lungs and eyes will allow. Some contenders have even developed specialized, laser-sighted pea shooters, much to the fear of their more-traditional counterparts, who favor doing things the old-fashioned way. Imagine an arms race, only less deadly and even more silly, if that was even possible. The winner gets crowned Pea Shooting Champion and enjoys bragging rights of being the best pea-shooter in Witcham.
Pancakes are considered delicious all around the world, so it should come as no surprise that many towns and villages in the U.K. hold annual pancake races. Participants are given a pan and a pancake and must run down the street as fast as possible while flipping their fluffy breakfast cakes, without dropping of course. If you happen to have difficulty walking, talking, and chewing bubble gum simultaneously, this is definitely not the sport for you.
Every year, on January 26, the cockroach racing competition is held at the Story Bridge Hotel in Kangaroo Point, Queensland, Australia on the occasion of Australia Day. A bucket of cockroaches are emptied in the middle of a large circular ring at the beginning of the race and the first to reach the edge of the ring wins.
Apple & Salmon Racing
Suppose you ever find yourself in the Tasmanian town of Huonville (unlikely). In that case, you might catch a glimpse of the locals tossing numbered fish and apples into the river, watching with glee as the current carries their goods downstream to the finish line. The event is organized by the Rotary Club of Huon Valley and is held every year to raise local initiatives funds. Before you ask, the salmon are fake.
Hundreds of people flock at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire, U.K., every year, in an attempt to catch a massive 9lb wheel of Double Gloucester cheese as it rolls down the hill. Whoever manages to reach the bottom first, or catches up to the cheese, wins the ultimate prize. That prize? Yup, the wheel mentioned above!
The steep hill, combined with the inherent danger of chasing a 9lb object racing down a hill at high speed, means injuries are inevitable. But, as any athlete knows, no gouda, no gain!