LAVENHAM, MB – A spring ritual that could be on an episode of Fear Factor is set to crown its annual champion.
The 10th annual Canadian Wood Tick Catching Championship is set for this weekend in the tick hotbed of rural Manitoba.
The idyllic setting of Lavenham’s rolling hills and poplar bush will again provide the backdrop for the nation’s top tick catchers.
“We are all a little off, I suppose,” organizer and two-time champion Denise Turner said. “When you grow up and live your life picking off ticks several times a day for two months every spring they stop bothering you.”
Each year over two thousand tick catchers from around the globe strip down to their swimsuits to run a half day race to see who can attract the most ticks.
“The last time I won it was the ticks I had in my trunks and the 30 I had under each breast,” Woodward explained. “This year I’ll wear more baggy trunks so more can crawl in there.”
“Oh yeah, the ticks in the nether regions really can make a difference,” Turner offered. “Often that’s what will make the difference. We encourage racers to use a lot of Vaseline because internal ticks don’t count.”
“This year we are happy to change up the course to have a one-way track to Spruce Woods Provincial Park. They are having record numbers of ticks so our tick catchers will love it,” Turner explained.
Lavenham Manitoba is home to three time world champion tick catcher, 60-year-old Maude Woodward, who is pumped for this year’s contest. “It’s great to be able to compete for a national championship by just walking off my front porch.”
Many of the professional tick catchers will adhere to a secret special diet that they claim helps attract the ticks.
“You want to stay away from eating cinnamon or citrus leading up to the challenge but I won’t tell you what my secret is,” Woodward said.
Many locals claim competitors prefer a diet high in beef liver, heart and chicken organs.
Registration opens Friday at 4pm and closes at 10pm. The event goes at sunrise on Saturday morning and a social is planned at the Lavenham Hall Saturday night after the everyone’s had a chance to shower.
“You’ll typically see anywhere from 200 to 3,000 ticks on each competitor,” Turner explained. “With this year’s high tick levels we could see a new record set. The old record is 4,569 ticks.”
Spectators are encouraged to meet at the finish line and tick counting area and admission will be $20.
This year’s championship will be re-broadcast on tape delay on CIPP-TV Channel 116.
Photo Credit – USFWS Midwest Region
Notice to reader – click here to read the full disclaimer and disclosure. If you don’t know that this event, story and website are fictional then we have grave concerns for your well being. Please Google fictional or even fiction. Ticks are real. Sadly, lyme disease is real too. Manitoba has ticks as does most of North America. Lavnenham is a real place but it does not host a tick catching competition. Or at least it hasn’t yet. All the characters mentioned are also fictional and any resemblance to real people or events is a coincidence. If you go to Lavenham next weekend you may be able to find a wood tick or two. If you can’t just knock on a door of a local and they will help you. Please don’t get upset because you think people would intentionally stroll through the bush of Manitoba catching as many wood ticks as they can. That is a silly idea and no one would ever do that. Ticks are gross. Stay safe and be dangerous.