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Why should you care? Pigeon racing is a distributed, mathematical sport, involving issues of anonymity and identity verification. And there's beer.

Participants (mostly retired white men, although groups at all levels would love to know how to draw more people in) raise pigeon at home, in sheds, window-box hutches, under the bed, wherever. They take their pigeons out on training missions where they're ditched in the wilderness and forced to find their way back.

Once the pigeon's homing instinct is up to the task, the pigeon racers will meet at a central location and release their birds. Since each bird goes to a different location, there's not a finish line to watch, or even a clear winner until some time after the first racers have returned. As each bird goes home, a keeper stops a clock which can only be deactivated by a band tied to the pigeon's leg.

The pigeon with the highest average speed wins. The owner takes home money. Everyone drinks beer.

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