The Law of the Playground
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100m - 1500m
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The joyless track elements of the Track & Field set. Ranging from a short and relatively painless 100m to the soul-crushing infinity of the 1500m, the emphasis on different pacing techniques did little to hide the fact that you were just running in a world where technology had long made running inefficient and unnecessary.
At 100m, the idea was to simply sprint the whole distance. For some this proved to be a matter of bounding heroically - for others of heavier gait, some ethereal custard would drag at our legs. Frustrating when you try your hardest and come last, so you have to feign an effortless defeat. Which is difficult when you can taste blood in your neck.
200m : Also a sprint event; so twice as many children end up red faced at the end. If the fat kid actually did sprint this one, instead of galumphing along in the oblivious lumber of the stubbornly unfit, he was prone to vomiting.
400m : The four hundred metres was the shortest track event to involve a measure of pacing yourself. The fact that you didn't have to sprint with your fingers splayed out like cocktail sticks stuck into a potato was amply counterbalanced by the fact you were running twice as fucking far.
800m : On a course that is a 300m circle, as was ours, this distance allows for the humiliation of "lapping". Watching the sport billies sail past and honking their disdain was irritating enough, but they would also sit down at the finish line and slow applaud the late arrivals.
1500m : Certainly the most annoying race from the mathematical point of view, falling pointlessly short of the 1600m that would have made a perfect geometric progression. After five laps of the 300m circle, it was more than a division between fast, slow and comical. Some would be lapped once, some lapped twice or more. Those getting lapped only once would secretly look down on those getting lapped more often; although they couldn't openly ridicule them, as Sport Billies are very territorial about bullying. The 1500m event would essentially boil down to the entire group watching the extremely unfit and obese kid do the last two laps on his own. A genuine Slim Fast moment.
approved Dec 3 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Jon Blyth
With the advent of affordable pocket calculators (and pre "Daley Thompson's Decathlon") we devised a game of Track and Field that could be played anywhere, but usually in Maths lessons.

The game was a race to 100 on your calculator, by pressing '1++' and then the 'equals' key.

Longer events did take place but the '100m' was always a favourite.
approved Feb 10 2003, submitted Feb 8 2003 by Chris Lawton
Sometime at secondary school I invented the following method of escaping the horror of Track + Field:
1) don't give a shit that you come last

2) walk.
After about a week, maybe a quarter of the whole class had joined in this wonderfully un-knackering protest. I suddenly hit upon the idea when I realised that even a bollocking from the teacher for not trying was vastly preferable to actually running the damn race.
approved Nov 10 2003, submitted Nov 5 2003 by Blort Snart
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