The Race Of The Office Rats = Pencil Pusher Race in Prague

Pencil Pusher Race 2008

The Race Of The Office Rats Pencil Pusher = Kancelarska krysa in Czech (OFFICE RAT)

The Race Of The Office Rats is not only a sporting event, but a social event too. Representatives of different companies and institutions compete in a friendly atmosphere, regardless of whether they are from the private or public sector.

The first three years of this event attracted an incredible amount of interest from competitors, audience and media alike. Last year, 2006, the mayor of Prague, Mr. Pavel Bem, joined in the action as well. Reports appeared in the main daily news broadcasts on all three Czech national TV chanels. There was a huge amount of coverage by radio stations, press and internet medias as well.

The very name of the race itself indicates that the event takes place in a spirit of fun. More importantly, though, the event provides opportunities for informal meetings and team-building. And, of course, the entire competition gives a chance for stressed out office workers to relax and have fun, while at the same time providing amusement for members of the public.

The Race Of The Office Rats features participants who run in their traditional work clothes – men in business suits (jackets and ties) and women in dresses and skirts. Only one exception is allowed – sport shoes. Another essential prop is a mobile phone in one hand and a file folder in the other.

The start and finish of the race is always in the centre of Prague. Traditionally, the Master of Ceremonies oversees the races and competitions from a stage situated in the Fruit Market (Ovocny trh). He also has the right to call the runners on their mobile phones, in order to find their actual locality and physical condition. These phone calls, which are transmitted to the sound system, have become a favourite part of the event.

The categories of the competition are the men´s race, the women´s race and the mixed relay, which is very popular because of the possibilities for „company to company“ skirmishing. In the breaks between the races, there are side competitions such as a file and folder-throwing, a slalom on office chairs, and rope-climbing by the clerks.

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