- The Rapid Prototyping 100 Meter Sprint:
All the competitors run like crazy for the line, but just before they reach it they
suddenly sprint backwards to a point a few meters from the start line, then begin again,
much more slowly.
- The SSADM Marathon:
All the competitors have to run while carrying a huge and heavy stack of paperwork.
Many cannot see over it, and take the wrong road. The others struggle to the finish line,
only to discover that the race has been cancelled.
- The COBOL Mile:
Younger athletes are rather scornful of this event, which has been run for so long it
predates metrification. It is still included because of the large number of older athletes
trained to run in it. Actually, most of the races run in the world are of this type, but the
sports media have long since lost interest in it.
- The Machine-Code 60 Meter Dash:
Rumoured to be the most spectacularly fast race of them all, but rarely run in public
these days because of the time it takes for the competitors to sew their own running shorts,
make their own running shoes, carve the starting blocks, level the running track, paint the
lines on the running track, etc, etc.....
- Synchronised Transputing:
A curious event involving huge teams of competitors passing a small number of batons
between each other. The aim is for each competitor to gain the maximum possible access to a
baton and then run round and round in very tight circles. However, since there are always
far fewer batons than runners nobody has ever worked out the point of the event.
- The Object-Oriented Foot Race:
Much attention has been focussed on this one, since its aficionados claim that it
will be the saviour of the modern games, making them cheaper to run and to tailorable to the
tastes of different audiences. When asked how long the race is, the organisers are apt to
reply wearily: "you don't get the point; when any instance of the race is run, we'll
just inherit from a 'distance' class.". Races are usually preceded by arguments about
the shape and colour of the track, but there seems to be a consensus that the track itself
should be quite short, so that it gets re-used a lot during each race. This admirable
philosophy resulted in farce during the last games however, when the 200 meters competitors
ran full tilt into a jump barrier put there for a following steeplechase event.
- The Object Oriented Analysis 1500 Meters:
The runners start off in the conventional style but by the time they reach the first
bend start violently disagreeing with each other about whether each individual runner should
be left to find a path round the bend on his or her own.
Some runners form a splinter group that starts the construction in 7
dimensional hyper-space of a track that *appears* to be straight but
actually bends round in order to meet the limitations of 4 dimensional
space-time. Unfortunately the construction of such an infrastructure takes
far longer than the time allowed for the entire event.
- Coxless FORTRAN:
One for the technically inclined. This begins as a rowing race, but after a certain
distance the crew are allowed to erect a mast and sails, and after a certain distance more,
they can fit an outboard engine. The International Authority which moderates this event
assure us that it will be adapted to keep up with the times, with jet turbines, rocket
power, and Warp drive all in the offing.
- The 'C' Long Jump:
This is like a normal long jump, except that the competitors, are allowed to go in
any direction, including into other competition areas, but have to jump back to exactly
where they came from. This requires a surprising amount of skill, and perhaps this explains
why this is the only field event in which entrants have been known to get lost, and to
arrive back at the jump pit long after it has been closed for the day, and all the judges
have gone home.
- The Mainframe Team Weight-lifting:
This event has had a remarkable history, since it began over 30 years ago with very
large weights being lifted by huge teams of weight lifters. Public taste since then has
tended towards smaller weights being lifted by fewer people, and the IBM team - which used
to dominate it - has suffered a decline partly brought on by its own suggestion that the
audience might like to take part as individuals, lifting not very heavy weights with hardly
any preparation at all.
- The Project Management '100 Meters:
This race begins as a conventional sprint, but just as the competitors reach the
finish, they are informed that it will in fact take 200 Meters to complete the race. As they
near the 200 metre mark, they are told that, sorry, but 400 Meters must be run, and after
that 800 Meters then 1500, then ...... ..... and as those who have not died or retired near
the end of the marathon distance, they are told they have been disqualified for taking too
- Catching the JAVA-lin:
The competitors in this event request that javelins be cast at them by any of several
javelin-throwers, who each have custody of a stack of javelins of various sorts. The aim is
to catch enough to build something useful - such as a wigwam, or er.. a wigwam - on which
the competition will be judged. This is the only event to have ever been won posthumously.
- The Management Consultancy Race:
The competitors all stand about telling the spectators how they would run a race,
were they to be entered in one. This lasts until the race sponsor runs out of money. The
winner is the one who has stayed in the best hotel for the longest period of time.
- The DEC-athlon:
Considered by many professional competitors to be the finest event ever devised, this
has now fallen into disuse and seems certain to disappear into oblivion. It has now been far
surpassed in popularity by the Modern Pentium.