Annual race event brings excitement to a crawl
By Eileen Persike
For 26 years, the Great Library Worm Race in Rhinelander has thrilled contestants and spectators alike. The 27th was no different.
Sixty teams of two children gathered outside the Rhinelander District Library last Tuesday. Many were there early to pick up their materials from the Northwoods Worm Racing Federation, and by the time the worms made their debut, the excitement was visible.
Worms were named, race tracks prepped, celebrity officials apprised of the rules and children squeezed in around the tables.
Then it was go time.
Worms were dropped onto a yellow circle, and the first one to crawl to the outside circle finish line was the winner. If none of the racers finished within the allotted time, the winner was determined by the race officials. Winners advanced until a grand champion was named. In between was a lot of cheering and shouting and friendly competition.
In the end, when all the worms had performed to the best of their abilities, and the coaches (kids) encouraged them in every way they could think of, the top three teams were announced.
Third Place: Charlie Zanon and Cindy Edlund, with Wormie
Second Place: Natlie Schrock and Katelyn Schrock, with Olaf
First Place: Vance Eagleson and Reese Baron, with Fred
The race would not be possible without the support of the community judges. This year, Josh Schmitz and Greg Plautz from the Rhinelander Fire Department; SSGT James Peterson, U.S. Marines local recruiting office; Detective Josh Chiamulera from the Rhinelander Police Department. Track veterinarian was Dr. Jodi Fischer from French’s Homestead Veterinary Care.