Have you ever heard of the Ride the Lobster race? No matter what you envision, it’s not even close .
Ride the Lobster was the world’s longest unicycle race. This was an 800 kilometre international relay race around the roads of Nova Scotia. It was first conceived by Edward Wedler. He gave the race its unusual name because he thought the roadways around Nova Scotia resembled a lobster.
The five-day race had five stages, composed of four legs winding around the province of about 200 km each and one day of time trials. The first stage was from Yarmouth to Annapolis Royal. The second stage went to St. Margarets. The third stage was composed of two-time trials, Hubbards in the morning and Truro in the early evening. The fourth stage was from Truro to Antigonish. The final stage went from Port Hawkesbury to Baddeck. The event co-ordinator, Heather LeBlanc, intentionally made early stages easier for the contestants and the final stretch difficult.
Originally the race was meant to be held annually. After the first race in 2008, the organizers have not arranged subsequent races. I’m sorry to say I don’t know why.
Each team was composed of four people—three riders and one support person. The support person was not allowed to ride. The three riders took turns completing the distance of the race. The rider was not to be switched over for the first 10 kilometres of each race day. After that, the team had full discretion about how often they want to switch riders.
In 2008, the inaugural race began on June 16, with 104 riders (124 had qualified) on 35 teams from fourteen countries.
The race concluded in Cape Breton with contestants reaching the finish line between 5–7 pm on June 20. The winning team was awarded $5,000 in cash and prizes.
You can watch some of the event in these two YouTube videos. It’s pretty awesome!
1st place: Germany (Jan Logemann, Johannes Helck, Arne Tilgen, Holger Summer) in 36:17:47
2nd place: New Zealand (William Sklenars, Ken Looi, Tony Melton and Véronique Grégoire) in 36:35:46
3rd place: U.S. (Kevin Chang, Corbin Dunn, A.J. Greig and Sondra Grisham) in 37:17:18
4th place: U.S. and Canada (Roland Kays, Vincent Lemay, Steve Relles and David Kays) in 37:29:38
5th place: Australia, U.S. and U.K. (Geoffrey Huntley, Chuck Edwall, Sam Wakeling and Jonathan Marshall) in 37:52:05
To read more details about this, I highly recommend visiting The Cape Breton Post.