If you’ve been tempted to join the PARK-RACE experience by recent news coverage of its tenth anniversary, then there are a few rules that you need to know about to make sure that you get the most from your visit.
(1) Barcodes are rare and highly collectable items which should be kept in a safe place. Don’t run the risk of losing yours by bringing it with you to your PARK-RACE. Volunteers exist to serve you, and have nothing better to do with their weekends than pander to your every need. They will be only too happy to write your details down at the end of the race and to enter them manually on the results system. No barcode? No worries!
(2) It takes a village to raise a child, and PARK-RACE is that village. Want to go for a PB? Tired of hanging back waiting for your little cherub to stop and smell the roses? Give them a taste of independence and tell them you’ll see them at the finish. What’s the worst that can happen?
(3) Everyone loves a PB, so why not bring a pack of dogs along with you? If you feel like enhancing your time without the benefit of steroids, then strap two or three or four to your harness and let them boost your speed. Add to the fun by using the longest leads that you can find, so that racers without huskies can practise their plyometrics with a little rope jumping and slalom-style weaving.
(4) Your PB is all that matters, so run as though you own the park. If you’re a slower runner, then make sure you start at the front so that you don’t get caught up in any bottlenecks. If you’re a speedier runner, then sharpen those elbows and knock all obstacles out of the way. Remember, the human body has amazing healing powers, so if you knock a passer by, small child or fellow PARK-RACER out of the way, they’ll bounce back soon enough.
(5) PARK-RACE is a race not a run and it certainly isn’t a walk. Whether you’re racing yourself or your nemesis, be sure to use all available racing tactics. Defend your position by running two abreast through the narrow sections so that no other racers can pass, and remember that racing continues past the line and into the finishing funnel. With luck, you can make a few extra places up with a little bit of nifty footwork between crossing the line and collecting your position token.
(6) If you have a pet pooch but don’t want the hassle of stopping every time it smells something interesting, then let it off the lead and bring it to heel with the occasional call. Any PARK-RACER who isn’t nimble enough to avoid your mutt’s meanderings deserves to eat dirt and anyone who objects to your canine’s playful behaviour clearly needs to take a chill pill.
Edit: HerWerMerNerBuN has pointed out that I omitted rule 7.
(7) The numpties will probably get your time wrong. They will be grateful to be informed of your 1 second faster Garmin time.
Edit: Richard has pointed out that rule 7 has a second part.
(7.2) PARK-RACERS should also point out to the organisers that their garmin shows the course to be 20 meters long and ask if they could get that sorted out before next week.
Edit: Charlie has drafted a wonderful rule 8.
(8) On finishing PARK-RACE, you will be given a small commemorative plastic plaque with your finishing position on it. Take this home with you as a keepsake to add to your collection.
Edit: And Tim has issued the following reminder to all PARK-RACERS
Remember that PARK-RACE is brought to you by a highly paid team of organisers, richly rewarded for ensuring every event runs to perfection.