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. This is assessed by race judges. Typically held on either roads or on running tracks, common distances range from 3000m up to 100 kilometres (62.1 mi).
There are two racewalking distances contested at the Summer Olympics: the 20 kilometres race walk (men and women) and 50 kilometres race walk (men only). Both are held as road events. The biennial World Athletics Championships also features these three events, in addition to a 50 km walk for women. The IAAF World Race Walking Cup, first held in 1961, is a stand-alone global competition for the discipline and it has 10 kilometres race walks for junior athletes, in addition to the Olympic-standard events.
The sport emerged from a British culture of long-distance competitive walking known as pedestrianism, which began to develop the ruleset that is the basis of the modern discipline around the mid-19th century. Since the mid-20th century onwards, Russian and Chinese athletes have been among the most successful on the global stage, with Europe and parts of Latin America producing most of the remaining top level walkers.
Compared to other forms of foot racing, stride length is reduced; to achieve competitive speeds racewalkers must attain cadence rates comparable to those achieved by world-class 800 metres runners.
- World Class Racewalking
- Race Walking Record – News, photos and reports all about racewalking
- World Masters Race Walking Rankings
- Race Walk UK
- Race Walk Australia
- The Walking Site
- Swiss Walking Federation, official website
- Centurions History