We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Racewalking?

Jessica Ellis
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Racewalking is a competitive track and field sport, quite different from power walking or running. Since the 1904 Games, racewalking has been part of the Olympics, and also holds a biennial World Cup event. Correct form is a serious component of the sport, which is judged for violations as well as for time.

Racewalking is an efficiency-based method of moving on two legs that is quite distinct from running. For correct form, a walker must never be completely out of contact with the ground; the back foot cannot fully leave the surface until the front foot has touched the ground. Additionally, the leg carrying your weight must remain completely straight until your body has passed over it. Either lifting or bending the leg incorrectly can result in violations by the form judges, and competitors with several violations can be disqualified.

This form of movement is far faster than walking, and some elite competitors can reach speeds very close to professional runners. Currently, the recognized world record for the men’s 20 km (12.4 miles) is one hour, 16 minutes, 43 seconds, held by Sergey Morozov of Russia. Comparatively, the current world record for a 20 km run is 55 minutes, 48 seconds, held by Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia.

Although initially only a part of the Olympics as a short distance race, racewalking has become a major part of the track and field Olympic sports. Despite the early representation of racewalking by male competitors, there was no female racewalking competition in the Olympics until 1992, when the women’s category was added for the Barcelona Summer Olympics. While elite female racewalkers are typically slower than males, their record scores are fairly close, with the women’s 20 km world record held by Olympiada Ivanova of Russia standing at one hour, 25 minutes, 41 seconds.

There is some controversy over the sport, as the violation system is judged by the human eyes. To lower the chance of accidental disqualification and human error, most competitions allow three violations before disqualifying a walker. At the elite level, disqualifications do occur, occasionally in surprising circumstances. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, only moments away from the finish line and the gold medal, Australian competitor Jane Saville was disqualified for a lifting violation. The hometown hero was greatly distressed by the official’s call, and many Australians were furious at the outcome.

As a hobby or exercise, racewalking can be enjoyable and challenging, although proper training is recommended to achieve correct form. As it has different muscular emphasis than running, it can be an excellent alternative for injured runners or those recovering from running injuries that do not wish to give up rigorous training. With the popularity of the sport ever increasing, it is now easier than ever before to find clinics and racewalking experts to help improve form and increase speed through efficient techniques.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for Sports n' Hobbies. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.