Running competitions come in all sizes, from 50m for elementary students all the way up to a marathon, 26.2 miles. At Rivendell we practice 50, 75 and 100m sprints, and talk about the key points for better sprinting speed. Our big “distance event” is actually the Fun Run in the fall, but we recap good technique for distance running as well.
The kids’ favorite running event, though, is often the relay races. We practice two types. The first is a shuttle relay, in which the runners go back and forth between two lines. This is the type of relay run at the PSD Elementary Track Meet (which we hope will resume next year!). The second is the traditional circular relay like you see in the Olympics.
The handoff is key. Do it poorly, and you lose time. Drop the baton, and you’re out of the race entirely. We don’t disqualify teams for dropping the baton, since we’re just learning, but it emphasizes that teamwork and technique are important.