The Egg and Spoon Race is one of the popular exercises in TBAE’s “Boeresport” Games team building event. The Egg and Spoon Race is an uncomplicated activity, where the main objective is to balance an egg (or similar item) on a spoon and race with it to get to the finish line first. This is not only a popular team building activity, but is also often found at school events where it is combined with other traditional games such as Sack Races and Three-legged Races.
Although some might argue with this, the Egg and Spoon Race was not birthed in South Africa. The Oxford Dictionary states 1894 as its earliest recorded usage although earlier practice has been claimed in Colonial USA. In 1897, the Egg and Spoon Race was part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; it was also part of the Silver and Diamond Jubilee’s of Queen Elizabeth the second. A set of wooden eggs and spoons dating from the 1920’s is exhibited in the Good Time Gallery of Museum of Childhood in London. Until the 1950’s Egg and Spoon Races were regularly held among employees of Trinity College in Cambridge.
The rules of the Egg and Spoon Race are straight forward. The race takes place between individuals or between teams in the form of a relay race. Whenever a participant drops their egg they either have to stop and reposition the egg to continue, or they need to go back to the start, or they can even be disqualified, depending on the rules agreed upon for that particular event. To make the event more challenging, contestants may be required to hold the spoon with both hands or hold the spoon in their mouth.
For those who take their Egg and Spoon racing seriously, we have a few tips which will give a contestant the winning edge. Firstly it is vital that the egg and spoon is carried with soft hands and relaxed muscles. This makes it easier to sense the position of the spoon and eggs in space, enabling the contestant to make quick corrections. Relaxed arms and hands, also promote relaxation of the shoulders, chest, neck and shoulders. The next critical point to remember is to, always, keep your focus on the finishing line and not let the eyes stray towards the egg or other contestants. The body is best kept in balance by focusing on an object that is fixed and further away, and remember the body tends to follow where the eyes are looking. To be a winning Egg and Spoon racer, it is also necessary to have the right footwear. They need to be thin and flexible so that the contestant can feel the terrain he/she is running on, which assists in making necessary adjustments.
There are a number of world records for Egg and Spoon Racing with the New Yorker Ashrita Furman the owner of a large share of them. Ashrita Furman’s records include as at 7 July 2012 the fastest 100m in 19.39 seconds, fastest 100m with a spoon in mouth in 25.3 seconds, fastest mile in 7 minutes 8 seconds and fastest mile with a spoon in the mouth in 9 minutes 29 seconds. In 1990, a London Marathon runner completed the marathon in 3 hours and 47 minutes whilst balancing an uncooked egg on a dessert spoon.