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Hamster Racing

There’s a sport in which hamsters are placed in miniature racing vehicles, even hamster wheels or hamster balls and that is called Hamster Racing.

The race is a straight 9 meter course (30 ft). The first hamster crossing the finish line within the fastest timeframe is the winner.

The world record time for hamster racing was recorded in 2001 where a hamster crossed the finish line within 38 seconds.

Gambling and betting online for each hamster have become common in the United Kingdom. It started in 2001 when a mouth and foot disease epidemic canceled some of England’s horse races and other sporting events, hence, bookmaking incomes decreased.

Professional hamster racing was introduced and promoted and the online bookmaker Blue Square organized the first-ever hamster racing series. There were a series of qualifying rounds throughout the week and a final race. The main event was broadcasted via webcast live and other media outlets like BBC London and Sky News, including a full-page article in big British newspaper publication The Sun and the Daily Mail.  

Hamsters that race were always divided into two race classes by following their species classifications – dwarfs and Syrians. Dwarfs, Cricetulus, is a genius of the rodent family that tend to be more rat-like in appearance than typical hamsters, while Syrians or Golden Hamster has expandable cheek pouches, mainly from the north of Syria and south of Türkiye. Also, they are sometimes divided based on level of expertise, long-hair or short hair.

In 2006, MTV promoted “HamTrak ‘06”, professional hamster racers that feature hamster teams sponsored by The Sun, XFM, Pimp my Ride and many others. It was first held in May 2006 in Hammywood Hills Rodent Raceway and won by the sponsor New Media Age “Team Hot Rodent”. Their hamster was an 8-month old female Syrian hamster. It was already her 24th win.

In 2007, Petco announced the return of their biennial hamster races, branding it “Petco Hamster Ball Derby”. It takes place every March and September of each year. The race course of Petco is 8-foot (2.4m) and hamsters run in spherical balls. Winners of the race receive different prizes like training equipment, hamster treats and many others.

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