The QiRanger Adventures

Now this is funny…

with 6 comments

No running here...

No running here...

Each year, I enjoying spending a large amount of time watching sporting events. I think the time and effort in preparing one’s body for physical competition is admirable. Of of the sports that I think is fairly interesting to watch is Race Walking.

I remember seeing this for the first time in 1984 during the Games in Los Angeles. I was amazed at the speed these competitors achieved… and for how long. For those unfamiliar with the sport, here’s the Wiki:

Racewalking is a long-distance athletic event. 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. Stride length is reduced, so to achieve competitive speeds, racewalkers must attain cadence rates comparable to those achieved by Olympic 400-meter runners—and they must do so for hours at a time since the Olympic events are the 20 kilometres race walk and 50 kilometres (31 mi) race walk.

I mean, think about it… keeping up a fast-paced walk (which is faster than most can run) for more than a marathon. That’s some serious endurance training. I always found it interesting when athletes were accused of running or given warnings for doing so. I’ve tried to do it a few times, and the best I was able to achieve was a 9-minute mile.

Just how fast do these participants go??? Take a look at these records:

Men’s 20 km

See also: World record progression 20km walk men
Mark Athlete Nationality Venue Date
1:16:43 Sergey Morozov Russia Saransk June 8, 2008
1:17:16 Vladimir Kanaykin Russia Eisenhüttenstadt September 28, 2007
1:17:21 Jefferson Pérez Ecuador Paris August 23, 2003
1:17:22 Francisco Javier Fernández Spain Turku April 28, 2002
1:17:25 Bernardo Segura Mexico Bergen May 7, 1994
1:17:33 Nathan Deakes Australia Cixi City April 23, 2005
1:18:04 Bu Lingtang China Beijing April 7, 1994
1:18:13 Pavol Blažek Czechoslovakia Hildesheim September 9, 1990
1:18:20 Andrey Perlov Soviet Union Moscow May 26, 1990
1:19:08 Mikhail Shchennikov Soviet Union Kiev July 30, 1988
1:19:12 Axel Noack East Germany Karl-Marx-Stadt June 21, 1987

Men’s 50 km

See also: World record progression 50km walk men
Mark Athlete Nationality Venue Date
3:34:13 Denis Nizhegorodov Russia Cheboksary May 5, 2008
3:35:47 Nathan Deakes Australia Geelong December 2, 2006
3:36:03 Robert Korzeniowski Poland Paris August 27, 2003
3:36:04 Alex Schwazer Italy Rosignano Solvay February 11, 2007
3:36:06 Yu Chaohong China Nanjing October 22, 2005
3:36:13 Zhao Chengliang China Nanjing October 22, 2005
3:36:20 Han Yucheng China Nanjing February 27, 2005
3:36:42 German Skurygin Russia Paris August 27, 2003
3:37:04 Alex Schwazer Italy Cheboksary May 11, 2008
3:37:09 Alex Schwazer Italy Beijing August 22, 2008

Women’s 20 km

See also: World record progression 20km walk women
Mark Athlete Nationality Venue Date
1:24:50 Olimpiada Ivanova Russia Adler March 4, 2001
1:25:18 Tatyana Gudkova Russia Moscow May 19, 2000
1:25:20 Olga Polyakova Russia Moscow May 19, 2000
1:25:29 Irina Stankina Russia Moscow May 19, 2000
1:25:59 Tamara Kovalenko Russia Moscow May 19, 2000
1:26:22 Wang Yan China Guangzhou November 19, 2001
1:26:22 Yelena Nikolayeva Russia Cheboksary May 18, 2003
1:26:23 Wang Liping China Guangzhou November 19, 2001
1:26:28 Irina Pudovkina Russia Adler March 12, 2005
1:26:31 Olga Kaniskina Russia Beijing August 21, 2008
1:26:35 Liu Hongyu China Guangzhou November 19, 2001

However, I will say this… the sport does look funny. The way that walkers swing their hips to get the right cadence cane make you laugh after a few drinks.

This week on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me it was the subject of one of the on-air games. In the game, a contestant was asked what would make a race-walker run… watch this video from Japan and find out. It’s great.


Written by Steve Miller

September 12, 2009 at 10:03 am

6 Responses

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  1. It is an interesting sport. Now you got my curious about the rules. Do they have judges that are walking(ha) around making sure no one is running?


    September 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    • Yes. That’s one of the problems with the sport. It’s all done by the human eye. One of the identifiers that someone is running is if the shoulders start to rise too high.


      September 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm

  2. I had to go look it up on wiki very interesting about the judges.

    There are judges on the course to monitor form. Three judges submitting “red cards” for violations results in disqualification. 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


    September 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm

  3. That video’s so funny I had to watch it again. ;P


    September 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm

  4. Love the new look, keep up the great work the number of visitors must have increased?.


    September 13, 2009 at 1:04 am

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