Turtles ready to run in Yukon race

Event set for June 12 in City Park parking lot

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From Staff Reports

The 44th annual Yukon Turtle Race is set for Friday, June 12.

The event takes place in the parking lot by the north shelter of City Park, 2200 S. Holly Ave. next to Mulvey’s Pond. The race will begin at 10 a.m. The free contest is open to children ages 5 to 11, and they are eligible to enter as many turtles as they can catch or buy.

The contest offers divisions for small, medium and large turtles. Ribbons are awarded for fastest turtle, slowest turtle, largest turtle, smallest turtle and best costumed turtle.

Care should be taken in decorating the turtle that whatever the child does, is not permanent or harmful to the turtle. For example, please do not paint the turtles.

This will be the 44th year for the turtle race in Yukon. Riley Delong, this year’s event coordinator, says many participants of the past now have their kids entering the race. He said that usually the first turtle saunters across the finish line in about 15 seconds, but after that it’s anybody’s guess.

Occasionally, the entrants are pet turtles, but for the most part they are ones that have been caught.

“Generally the tame ones don’t seem to run as well,” said Delong. “Many times the best racer is a wild one caught just the day before.”

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Riley also added, If you catch a wild turtle, it is important to return the turtle back to the same place it was found following the race.”