Wis. company holds annual 'Running of the Roaches'

Wisconsin pest control company holds annual 'Running of the Roaches' charity fundraiser

Associated Press
Wis. company holds annual 'Running of the Roaches'
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A roach walks around the racetrack on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, at the New Berlin, Wis., headquarters of Batzner Pest Management. The company puts on roach races every year as part of their customer service week. Each one has a different number painted on it. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

NEW BERLIN, Wis. (AP) -- Cockroaches are the subject of nightmares for some people. But for one Wisconsin company, they're a sport.

Batzner Pest Management held its 13th annual "Running of the Roaches" on Thursday in New Berlin.

Nine Madagascar hissing cockroaches ran three heats on the custom-built 8-foot-long track. Each roach had an employee guide it with a straw.

Training manager Karl Rowell joked that they separated the roaches at dawn to train so they didn't "pull a leg." He says they're fed dog food and lettuce.

The company is donating $500 to the Fisher House Foundation on behalf of the winning team. The foundation helps families of patients at military and veterans medical centers.

Rowell says the winning team also gets bragging rights, which include putting pictures of roaches on the losers' desks.

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