2017 Keep on Walking - Notes and News
Walking and racewalking have become a very big part of the River City Runners and Walkers Club and local events. For those interested in Race Walking, here are some important things to know.
Racewalking, what is it and how do we do it?
Racewalking developed as one of the original track and field events of the first meeting of the English Amateur Athletics Association in 1880. The first racewalking codes came from an attempt to regularize rules for popular 19th century long distance competitive walking events, called Pedestrianism. Pedestrianism had developed, like footraces and horse racing, as a popular working class British and American pastime, and a venue for wagering. Walkers organised the first English amateur walking championship in 1866, which was won by John Chambers, and judged by the "fair heel and toe" rule. This rather vague code was the basis for the rules codified at the first Championships Meeting in 1880 of the Amateur Athletics Association in England, the birth of modern Athletics. With Football (soccer), Cricket and other sports codified in the 19th century, the transition from professional Pedestrianism to amateur racewalking was, while relatively late, part of a process of regularisation occurring in most modern sports at this time.
There are two rules that govern racewalking. The first dictates that the athlete's back toe cannot leave the ground until the heel of the front foot has touched. Violation of this rule is known as loss of contact. The second rule requires that the supporting leg must straighten from the point of contact with the ground and remain straightened until the body passes directly over it. These rules are judged by the human eye, which creates controversy at today's high speeds. Athletes may sometimes lose contact for a few milliseconds per stride which can be caught on high-speed film, but such a short flight phase is undetectable to the human eye.
Almost all River City Runners and Walkers races offer a running and walking division. With racewalking becoming such a competitive event, we ask all participants of or events to please walk the entire event. If you would like to run portions of an event or to try to run in an event, we ask you to please sign up as a runner. We are a group that mainly judges ourself during the events. During a few events during the year judges are placed on courses.