British Triathlete Chris Bartlett was presented with an unusual prize upon winning ‘I Carrera Ciclista del Cochinillo’ in southern Spain: a live piglet.
We’ve heard of unusual prizes, but this pre-Christmas award tips the wacky scales. The Ipswich-based athlete wasn’t aware of the prize when he entered the race, so was stunned to learn that the piglet, now named Lucky Rapha, was meant for the Christmas dinner table.
"When the official handed me the pig I asked what I supposed to do with it. ‘Eat it!’ he said." However, the professional cyclist made it his mission to save the little porker.
With only days until he was due to leave the country, Bartlett, who races for the Metaltek team, came up with a plan to save Lucky’s bacon (excuse the pun). After persuading Ollie Watts, the English owner of his Triathlon training camp, Kinetic PB, it was agreed that Lucky would remain at the camp as the official mascot.
Things are looking up for the fortunate little pig who fits right into camp life. “Lucky is already a big hit with the athletes who are staying at the camp. They touch her for luck every morning,” says owner, Ollie. “She loves running around the place and is particularly interested in the bikes.”
“She has to be the luckiest piglet alive and we are delighted to have helped save her from the chop.”
Race medals have suddenly lost their appeal now we know what happens in Spain. For an insight into Lucky’s adventures take a look at Kinetic PB’s video of the piglet making himself home at camp.