Thirty-four teams competed in a 12-hour, overnight lawn mower
race in Sussex, England. The lawn mowers ran 366 laps through the nearly
mile-long course at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. The race was conducted
at night, to make it more challenging for the competitors. Heavy rains that
occurred only made it more difficult.
Each of the teams was comprised of three drivers. They
alternated during the race to prevent fatigue. Much like in auto racing, pit
crews were present to service the mowers. “I’ve done half an hour and I’ve
broken the motor,” racer Clive Alton said. “They fixed it and sent me back out,
but I just thought ‘I’m going to die.’”
Lawn mower racing is a niche sport in the United Kingdom,
starting out of a pub in 1973. It has since attracted hundreds of enthusiasts,
as well as celebrity figures. This latest race began with an appearance by
actress Julie Walters. “I’m so shocked at how dangerous it looks,” she said.
“It’s very exciting, though. I can see how people can become obsessed with it.”