Running of the Rodents
On Thursday, April 14, Spalding University hosts its 44th Annual Running of the Rodents, themed “Superheroes: Rat Racers Assemble.” In the horse-race inspired event, trained rodents will compete for the coveted garland of fruit-flavored ring cereal as they speed around a miniature racetrack—.024 furlongs in length. Local news broadcaster Dawne Gee of WAVE 3 will emcee the races.
Since 1973, the Running of the Rodents has been a fun-filled Louisville tradition, coined as “The Most Exciting Two Seconds in Sports” by Trivial Pursuit® after 1987’s winner won the Rodent Derby in 1.8 seconds.
A public parade will precede the Running of the Rodents. Parade participants will be dressed in superhero-inspired attire, and in Kentucky Derby tradition, racing fans will wear decorated hats as part of the festivities.
Lunch ($7.50; cash only) will be offered following the parade in a new location, the ballroom of the College Street Building, 812 S. Second Street (third floor), where the Running of the Rodents will take place.
WHEN: April 14, 2016: Rat Parade at 11 a.m. Rat Races to follow with an 11:30 a.m. call-to-post.
WHERE: Rat Races: NEW LOCATION: Spalding’s College Street Building (812 S. Second Street), third floor ballroom a.k.a. “Spalding Downs”
Rat Parade: New route for 2016 tours the SOBRO neighborhood. This year's route will begin on Mother Catherine Spalding Square (Breckinridge Street between Third and Fourth Streets). The parade will head west on W. Breckinridge Street to S. Fourth Street and then will head south on S. Fourth Street, turning left on W. Kentucky Street at Memorial Auditorium. The route will turn left again on S. Third St. and will proceed to York St. where it will make its final turn south on S. Second St., ending at Spalding’s College Street Building (812 S. Second Street).
WHY: Spalding University’s former professor Sister Julia Clare Fontaine overheard a senior complain about the “rat race” of finals week, she immediately had an idea for a stress reliever before spring session final exams and created the event now known as the Running of the Rodents. Spalding University’s annual rat race serves as both a stress reducer and a unique method of teaching students about animal care as well as behavior modification techniques.
For more information call 502-873-4410.