Racing Etiquette 101


Walls: Part I

Bubba gumpLet's talk walls. As we know there are a wide variety of walls available in the sport of OCR. Four foot walls, five foot walls, six foot walls, seven foot walls, eight foot walls, TWELVE foot walls, Z-Walls, Traverse walls, Inverted Walls, Floating Walls, Under walls, through walls, slip walls, warped walls and probably a few other types of walls that I've never encountered or have thankfully failed to remember.

Chances are that you will encounter more than one of these wall types in your next race. Why? Well, they're walls. Very simple design. Very simple to build. Not always simple to negotiate.

I could start on an extensive treatise on the many methods to succesfully negotiate a wall. But that's not what this discussion is about. This is about the etiquette of racing when you encounter a wall.

Z-WallEasy ones first: Z-walls, other Traverse-type walls, and Floating Walls. These are the vertical barriers that you must go across in a sideways motion, usually by moving from a hold of one sort or another (rock wall holds, cut up 2x4's, etc...). When you are getting ready to begin, please wait until the person in your lane/on your wall is finished (either having rung the bell or fallen) before you start. You might be incredibly fast and they might be slow. You may find yourself catching up to them. You may distract them, causing them to fail. You may be distracted because they got stuck ahead of you and you are quickly catching up. One person at a time. Also, on Z-walls like what Spartan Race is now using, there is a huge cutout so that people on opposite sides can see and come into contact with each other. It is a race, but please try to avoid bumping each other as you traverse the wall; one or both of you could be knocked off. And seriously, nobody really wants to deal with crotch to crotch contact on an obstacle.

For Slip walls with rope, Warped Walls with rope, and Through Walls it's really simple. One person per rope or lane. And wait until the person is cleared before starting as even the most stable-looking of grip can fail spectacularly. For the Through Walls, there's typically a hole of a size big enough for just one person. Trying to go through one of these en masse is just silly.

Thus ends Part I. Mainly because I've heard that people don't like to read a lot of words all at once anymore. And also because I love to write lots of words. Until next time, play nice!