In the first-ever event held in 1982, the winning cockroach was called 'Soft Cocky'. Cockroaches are brought to the races by the participants but the roach could also be bought at the venue of the races. The preferred option is, however, to bring one's own cockroaches, from the stable. The proceeds from the event are given away to charity.
The background to the starting of this race in Australia in 1982 is attributed to two bar buffs who boasted that the cockroaches of their area were the fastest in Brisbane. They tested the validity of their claims in a parking lot.
The racing event in Australia generates a feverish pitch and the event held annually is given the hyperbole as "the greatest gathering of thoroughbred cockroaches in the world". Every year, seven such events are held in Australia, which is known as the sprint, the steeplechase and main event held at the Story Bridge Hotel called the Gold Cup event. The race arena is 6 metres (20 ft) ring.
The roaches kept in glass bottles are let out in the middle of the ring. The cockroach which reaches the edge of the ring first is declared a winner. There is an entry fee to participate in the event. The winners listed so far in the Hall of Fame of this Australian event are unusual names such as "Soft Cocky, Cocky Balboa, Cocky Dundee, Drain Lover, and Priscila-Queen of the Drains".
Cockroaches are known for their fast speed of movement, second only to the speed of tiger beetles. They can generate speeds up to 50 body lengths per second which in a sprinter's language is of the order of 322 kilometres per hour (200 mph) or equivalent to completing a 91-metre (100 yd) sprint in less than 1 second.
According to en.wikipedia