Origins of The SnailRace8000

8000 years ago, over a few too many thimbles of ale, two best friends were arguing about which one of them was the fastest. ‘My shell would be a blur in the distance to you’, the first snail said. To which the other snail replied, ‘Ha, you’d have to use my snail trail to find me, I’d be so far ahead of you.’ Just as it was threatening to boil over, the barsnail said, ‘Why don’t you just step outside and have a race? I’ll adjudicate.’ The two old war buddies looked at each other and said in unison, ‘Oh, it’s on’ and headed for the door. Two weeks later, they made it out to the starting line…

Old time photo picture of two snails having a race. Picture of a house on a tree in the foreground, probably the tavern

That race was the beginning of the longest-running sporting event in history. The two competitors, who were members of separate clans, but had fought side by side in the savage Red Cabbage wars against the Slugs, never spoke to each other again after that first race.

Both snails claimed victory. And when they went back to their clans, they were treated as heroes. Only the bartender really knew who had won the race, but he apparently died of old age before getting back to the bar.

Years turned to decades, decades to centuries, centuries to millennia. The Sagacious Council of the Eight Ancient Clans of the First Order of Snail Race Arbitration (SCEACFOSRA) became more powerful than any dictatorship, monarchy, democracy, oligarchy or “totalitariat” that existed. Everything and everyone was answerable to The Council. They spawned the SnailRace8000.

Each year, each of the original eight ancient clans would hold competitions to find out who was the best of the best amongst their own snails. A hundred heats would beget ten heats, ten heats would beget one heat and one heat would produce a champion. A thousand snails to one.

But for that one snail, the champion of its kind, the winner of the winners of the winners, the race would have only just begun. They were about to enter the race of champions, where they would be driven to exhaustion, despair and madness, where there would be no prizes for second place, where there could be only one true champion. Where, after eight grueling races, a single snail would become victorious. A single snail would be crowned The One.