You've likely heard about the Turtle Races every Thursday at Brennan's in Marina Del Rey, and though the somehow-debaucherous crawling amphibians are the stuff of legend, there's still a big chance you've never actually trekked to the Westside to see them for yourself. So we did it for you, and we learned some things: 1) turtles are surprisingly fast, 2) if you're female, it's true, you're not allowed to bend at the knees (we have photo evidence!), and 3) never, ever, EVER point at the turtles.
Florida Keys Seafood Festival
Located on Lincoln (right near Washington), Brennan's is an appropriately neon-signed dive bar that's been doing real, live turtle races for 38 years. No joke, their first turtle race was held the same year the Vietnam War ended.
You have to sign-up in advance if you want to participate, and by "sign-up in advance" we mean 30ish minutes before. Once you're signed up, this guy will yell your name (hopefully the bottom one) and your turtle's name (hopefully the top one).
These dudes LOVE TURTLES, but they also love handkerchiefs, which they use to call fouls. Yes, there are fouls.
Once they call your name, this guy will totally turn to stare at you.
If you've got a turtle in the race, all you have to do is pick it up...
... and slowly place it in this holding bin, which constitutes the starting line.
When placing the turtle in the holding bin, if you're female, they'll foul you if you bend from the knees. Be sure to bend from the hips, like this girl...
... and this girl...
... and this girl...
... and, hopefully, this girl...
... and, definitely, this girl...
... and this girl guy.
The turtles (especially the one wearing the GoPro) are clamoring to get out and "run" to the Finish Line -- a circular, white line at the edge of the arena.
Oh yeah, we put a GoPro on one of the turtles. Check it out.
Photos are okay, but pointing at the turtles is TOTALLY NOT: they say it scares the creatures, but in reality, it's just a cash generator -- they fine you $10 for the first infraction and exponentially more for each subsequent one.
If they do catch you pointing, the turtles are reset completely, and the race starts again...
... which means these guys have a long way to go.
Wondering what you get if your turtle wins, other than BRAGGING RIGHTS FOR LITERALLY THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? Well, a ribbon, some sort of random 99-cent store item, and DUDE, BRAGGING RIGHTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
So, what's up AFTER the races? Duh. Drinking!
There's also a kinda-just-okay cover band. So, MORE DRINKING!