Racing Etiquette 101


Walls: Part II

mother of all wallsThe most basic of walls are just that, walls. A vertical barrier that exists only to hinder your forward progress on an obstacle course. In part I, lots of the more exotic types of walls were discussed, but this time, I'm keeping it simple.

Walls you crawl under (aka UNDERWALLS). These are really simple to complete and practically a no-brainer when it comes to etiquette. Go under the wall. Don't stop when going under the wall. Keep going when you've finished going under the wall. Simply put: Don't interfere with anyone else as you go under. Be quick about it to avoid bottlenecks too. Move on.

The other walls, what I am calling OVERWALLS, are the standard "to move forward you've got to climb over this barrier" type of wall. The concept is easy. The execution, however, is not always so. To keep the flow of the race going and to avoid bottlenecking at a wall obstacle, it is important to get over the wall as quickly as possible. Do this however you must! If someone is ahead of you on the wall, just wait a moment for them to clear before you begin. It's simple, it's just like we all learned in kindergarten: Wait your turn. Most walls are built in such a way that there are natural "lanes".  Give the courtesy of one lane per person. Because even though some people muscle straight up a whole lane, many end up having to swing a leg to the side to get over the barrier. This side swing takes up most, if not all, of the lane. Wait till they are done and you avoid the possibility of getting kicked accidentally. You also don't interfere with another climber. And lastly, your own efforts don't get interupted if the person waiting behind you lets you finish.

Not without my permissionNot without my permissionThis last bit of etiquette is for the runners in the later heats of the day.  There will almost certainly come a time when you either need help getting over a wall or are asked to give help (or perhaps you offer) for someone else.  It's important that you give assistance in the proper way.  Most of you have heard of the "Spartan Handshake" and have probably chuckled over it.  In most cases, there is no need for it.  Just position yourself beside the wall and take a knee.  The other leg should form a natural step for the person to use.  If more help is needed, a second lifter can stand with their back to the wall and use their hands as a stirrup and their shoulder as the next step.  The only time you should be putting your hands on the keister of the person you're helping is if they want you to (or perhaps if there's an emergency balance issue going over.)

To sum it all up:  Take your turn, be quick about it, and don't go grabbing people's butts without permission.  Till next time, play nice!