|Student Brandon Martinez urges his bug, Hercules, across the finish line at the Great American Bug Race at Palm Beach Atlantic University on Wednesday.|
The record books will proclaim that a roach named Hercules was the ultimate victor of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 30th annual Great American Bug Race on Wednesday.
But technically it was Hercules 2.0 who ran the final lap to victory, said the insect’s coach, student Brandon Martinez.
Martinez was forced to buy a replacement roach when the original Hercules ran away after an earlier heat. But his 50-cent investment netted him the grand prize of $100, which he shared with the bug’s co-owner, student Taylor Kaprive.
The Bug Race benefits the University's Science Club and is PBA’s longest-running tradition. It was one of the highlights of this year’s Homecoming Week.
Racers could bring their own bugs or purchase them for 50 cents, and the entry fee was $1. The race was run in heats, culminating in one final grand-prize run.
Martinez, a senior majoring in computer science, said this was the first time he’d ever attended a bug race. He said his secret to getting his roach to run the fastest was “anxiety, because I don’t like cockroaches.”
The race was open to students as well as alumni, faculty, staff, administrators and bug lovers in the general public. This year, University President William M.B. Fleming Jr. was among the entrants, although his bug failed to qualify for the final rounds.
The sponsor of this year’s race was Abalon Pest Services. The event raises money for the Science Club through sponsorships, bug sales, entry fees and T-shirt sales.
List of Winners:
1st Place: Taylor Kaprive/Brandon Martinez (Hercules)
1st Place: Evan Berlanti (Peter Parker)
2nd Place: Brandon Runkle (Master Chief)
3rd Place: Taylor Kaprive/ Brandon Martinez (Hercules)
1st Place: Liam Aleman (Mr. Racer)
2nd Place: Jonathan Schulmer (Pete)
3rd Place: Molly Browning (Fire)