What is Race walking?
Racewalking, or race walking, is a long-distance discipline within the sport of athletics. Although it is a foot race, it is different from running in that one foot must appear to be in contact with the ground at all times. Races are typically held on either roads or running tracks.
Race walking | A unique combination of speed, endurance, strength and flexibility
History of Race Walking
Interview with Manish Rawat
Rules :- Race walking differs from running in that it requires the competitor to maintain contact with the ground at all times and requires the leading leg to be straightened as the foot makes contact with the ground. It must remain straightened until the leg passes under the body. Judges evaluate the technique of race walkers and report fouls which may lead to disqualification. All judging is done by the eye of the judge and no outside technology is used in making judging decisions.
Distances :- Races have been walked at distances as short as 3 kilometres at the 1920 Summer Olympics—and as long as 100 km. The men's world record for the 50-mile race walk is held by Israeli Shaul Ladany, whose time of 7:23:50 in 1972 beat the world record that had stood since 1935. The modern Olympic events are the 20 km (12.4 mi) race walk (men and women) and 50 km (31 mi) race walk (men only).
Judges:- There are three judges on the course to monitor the race. Judges evaluate walkers on the basis of the above rules. When a judge spots a violation, he or she submits a red card to the participant. Three red cards result in disqualification of the participant.
There is a scoreboard placed on the course so competitors can see their violation status. If the third violation is received, the chief judge removes the competitor from the course by showing a red paddle. For monitoring reasons, races are held on a looped course or on a track so judges get to see competitors several times during a race. A judge could also "caution" a competitor that he or she is in danger of losing form by showing a paddle that indicates either losing contact or bent knees.
No judge may submit more than one card for each walker and the chief judge may not submit any cards; it is his or her job only to disqualify the offending walker.
Interesting trivia – the Racewalk Wiggle :- In the 1960’s, one man changed the face of racewalking forever. He was Jerzy Hausleber, a Polish walking enthusiast. Before Hausleber, race walking was dominated by tall athletes, as a New York Times retrospective explains. It made sense: Taller walkers had longer strides and could go cover more distance in less time. What Hausleber discovered is that shorter, more flexible athletes could increase their stride frequency and tease more movement out of every step.
What is the Husleber gait:
- Walkers twist their hips more to give them the maximum possible stride length.
- They drop their hips lower to lower the centre of gravity to walk faster.
- They walk in a straight line to help do the twist better.