When it comes to the Race Walk the first thing people normally think about is the duck-like walk of the athletes. Although walking fast looks quite easy, it requires enormous strength and exact positioning to be one of these athletes.
The main rule of this event is that both feet should touch the ground and the supporting leg must remain straight from the point of contact with the ground and remain straightened until the body passes directly over it. The stride must also not be over two third of the height of the athlete.
Due to the strict rules of form, over nine judges will be deployed to monitor the athletes walk. A competitor will be disqualified if they receive two cautions for the same violation from the same judge or three judges at the same time.
Compared to running at the same speed, there is 1.5 times more energy consumed during the Race Walk due to challenge of keeping the exact walk position.
The Men’s & Women’s 20km and Men’s 50km race will be held during the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 as well as the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 50km race is the only event that is solely for male athletes and is the longest event in both time and length. The world record for the 50km Race Walk is 3h 34m 14s and Records for Men’s & Women’s 20km Race Walk are 1h 17m 16s and 1h 25m 41s respectively.