All Kinds of Racing Are Popular in England. “Three-Legged” Race and the Egg-and-Spoon Race. Animals Don’t Race Until They Are Made To. The Boat-Race Between Oxford and Cambridge
There are all kinds of racing in England — horse-racing, motorcar racing, boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. On sports days at school boys and girls run races, and even train for them. There is usually a mile race for older boys, and the one who wins it is certainly a good runner.
Usually those who run a race go as fast as possible, but there are some races in which everybody has to go very carefully in order to avoid falling.
There is the “three-legged” race, for example, in which a pair of runners have the right leg of one tied to the left leg of the other. If they try to go too fast they are certain to fall. And there is the egg- and-spoon race, in which each runner must carry an egg in a spoon without letting it drop. If the egg does fall, it must be picked up with the spoon, not the fingers.
Naturally animals don’t race unless they are made to run in some way, though it often seems as if little lambs are running races with each other in the fields in spring.
Horses are ridden, of course. Dogs won’t race unless they have something to chase, and so they are given a hare to go after, either a real one or an imitation one.
The most famous boat-race in England is between Oxford and Cambridge. It is rowed over a course on the River Thames, and thousands of people go to watch it. The eight rowers in each boat have great struggle, and at the end there is usually only a short distance between the winners and the losers.
The University boat-race started in 1820 and has been rowed on the Thames almost every spring since 1836. At the Henly Regatta in Oxfordshire, founded in 1839, crews from all over the world compete each July in various kinds of race over a straight course of 1 mile 550 yards (about 2.1 km).