We walkers spend a lot of our spare time in the great outdoors discovering our beautiful planet on foot. Its a great way to exercise and really take in the world around us, but have you ever thought about stepping your game up a notch and getting involved in race walking?
Race walking is a a recognised discipline of athletics, is included in the Olympic Games and is essentially just a faster version of regular walking. It is regulated by the IAAF and judged so that you maintain a good walking technique. Points are then awarded based on how fast you complete a fixed distance and rankings are produced so that you can begin to compete with other who do race walking.
There are lots of different types of race walking events to get involved in; fun walks, charity walks, courses measured with distance and time and log distance challenges, so you can pick which best suit you and if you do really well
So what is in it for me I hear you ask… Well race walking can give your walking more meaning and give you something to work towards and aspire to if you feel ready for a new challenge.
Walking is great for our fitness levels as we all already know and has all the cardiovascular benefits of running or jogging with very few of the risks of joint and muscle injury.
There are different trophies and medals to be won at National, Area, County, and local level so there will definitely be something for you whatever your walking level and if you do really well you may even qualify for international events and could even be selected to complete in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, European Cup or World Cup!
Most races do just have medals as their prizes but there are one or two race walking events that have money prizes, the biggest being $200,000 in the IAAF Race Walk Challenge, now that would be nice wouldn’t it.
If you fancy getting involved there are events up and down the UK (check out the Race Walking Associaotion website) and others who do race walking will always be there to help you out. Although a competative sport, walkers are always encouraging of each other and are some of the friendliest people that you’ll meet.