When compared to other track and field events, which typically result in physically demanding feats, race walking stands out as a sport that places a premium on precision and self-control.
What Are The Rules of Race Walking
The Victorian era (1837–1901) is credited as the birthplace of race walking, when aristocrats placed wagers on the footmen who accompanied their masters’ horse-drawn coaches.
It spread to the United States in the late 19th century under the name pedestrianism. It quickly became popular as a spectator sport, with competitors walking roughly 1,000 miles in six days before sold-out crowds at indoor venues.
It kept the betting going, with some people even wagering on who would be the first to drop out.
Pedestrianism’s Matthew Algeo writes, “It was a tremendous spectacle,” recalling the time when people watching was America’s favourite spectator sport. “Brass bands were playing, and there were people selling roasted chestnuts and pickled eggs. You could see and be seen there.
In England, the activity developed from a casual interest into a recognised discipline. Race walking quickly gained professional status after a set of fundamental rules was created.
The Laws of the Racewalk
In this sport, the goal is just to cross the finish line as quickly as possible, hence the name. However, it must adhere to very specific technical guidelines.
During running, an athlete will typically lift both feet off the ground at once during a sprint, but this is not the case when race walking.
However, race walkers are required to keep at least one foot flat on the ground at all times. At competitions, judges make sure the law is followed.
A penalty is assessed for “lifting” even if there is no outward sign of physical contact.
The fastest lifter will still be inside regulation time since the human eye can detect motions slower than 0.6 seconds. You need to take risks if you want to succeed. Canadian Olympian race walker Inaki Gomez revealed.
Moreover, the advanced leg of the athlete must remain straight as the torso crosses over it, with the knee never bending. A walker who bends his knee at any point in the race risks receiving a penalty.
Naked eye inspection of the race is performed by anywhere from five to nine judges, depending on the type of competition. ‘Lost contact’ () and ‘bent knee’ () symbols are displayed on their paddles.
A race walker is disqualified if they receive three separate warnings (paddles) from separate judges, including the chief judge. The offending athlete is given the red paddle as a sign of disqualification.
Race walking competitions often take place over lengths of 3000 metres and 5000 metres indoors and 5000 metres, 10,000 metres, 20,000 metres, and 50,000 metres outdoors. The 10k, 20k, and 50k races are all run on asphalt streets, despite their varied distances.