In France they've been finding out this week who is this year's fastest cafe-waiter. Contestants?
LV AND SV: people watch as contestants line up for start of race in Montmartre, Paris. (4 shots)
SV AND BACK VIEW start of race. (2 shots)
SV AND CU: waiters running in race. (2 shots)
CU: unsteady waiter being passed by others
SV Race in progress
SV: running waiter passes slower competitor
CU: contestants racing through the streets. (5 shots)
SV: competitor finishes to applause followed in by another (2 shots)
CU: bottles on roadside.
CU AND SV: drummers in traditional costume play as winners line up for press photographs. (2 shots)
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Background: In France they've been finding out this week who is this year's fastest cafe-waiter. Contestants gathered in Paris on Thursday (19 May) to see who could carry a tray full of drinks the quickest over a tough up-hill course.
SYNOPSIS: The race started -- and ended -- in Montmartre, the famous artists' quarter. Apparently, the race dates back to 1924.
It was a mixed start -- some preferred the fast getaway, while others took it slower, preserving their stamina for the six-and-a-half kilometre course.
This year's race attracted 67 contestants, aged from 17 to 60. The waiters, all in their dapper working clothes, had to carry five bottles, of which two must be beer, and three aperiti?s. They're allowed to drop an occasional bottle, just as long as it doesn't break. All that matters is their tray must be full at the finish.
Some of those who got ahead of the others with a fast sprint start regretted it later, when their steam ran out and they were overtaken by the fresher runners. Going uphill with a trayfull of drinks, and dodging traffic at the same time, can really take it out of you.
Only seven out of the original 67 were eliminated, and the rest came in to lots of applause. The winner's time was 35 minutes and the last in arrived up to half an hour later.
They dumped their loads at the roadside after the race and, as drummers in colourful costume completed the performance, the prize-winners lined up for photographs. The fastest waiters go on to take part in a grand European fi??l against winners from other countries.