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Shell games: Race for the not-so-fleet of foot
Turtle contest returns at Foster House
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Forsyth County News

Turtle race

* The Foster House is at 305 West Main St., in Cumming. For more information, contact (770) 887-9905, or go online at

Contenders at Saturday's annual turtle race be warned.

Consecutive, two-time champ "Stewart" plans to push for another victory in the parking lot of the Foster House restaurant.

Stewart's owner and trainer, Kade Martin, said he's had the turtle since 2006.

"He does pretty good at the race," said Martin, who enjoys attending the annual gathering.

Foster House owner Amanda Davis said she started staging the event at the Cumming eatery seven years ago "to honor a Forsyth County tradition."

As a child, Davis would go with her family to a similar turtle race held at Forsyth County Bank.

"Me and my family would always go to it and enjoy it," she said.

Davis said she decided to resurrect the idea after opening the Foster House seven years ago.

Last year's event saw 25 shelled critters plod along the parking lot in all directions toward a circular finish line.

Davis said because of the animals' tendencies to crawl "every which way," they compete in a 20-foot wide circle.

Turtle owners set their animal down in the middle of the circle and whichever crosses the line first snags a $50 prize. Second and third place winners receive a commemorative T-shirt.

The free event gets started at 1 p.m. Saturday. Children need only bring a turtle.

Longtime county resident Van Mashburn LeBlanc remembers going to the turtle races as a child.

"It's a great tradition," LeBlanc said. "It was always fun and it was always something nice for kids to get to do."

LeBlanc said some brought their own turtles to the race, while others would "truly go out that morning, catch one, put it in a box and take it to the race."