Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dudinska Patdesiatka - Race Report

During my stay in Dudince (South Slovakia) I had the pleasure of spectating a Racewalking event! Imagine athletes as lean as a grey hound, hips shaking from left to right at a furious pace, endurance to last for 50km with a cadence rate comparable to a 400m Olympian, and all this while maintaining contact with the ground with one foot at all times. Incredible!

In Dudince, competitive walking has a long history. The 50km event has been held since 1982, and in previous years has been well attended by athletes Europe-wide. The whole town participates in supporting the event - the local marching band provides the entertainment, locals run stalls selling Turkish Honey (nougat) and Medovina (wine made from honey), teenagers pass out wet sponges to the walkers as they lap around the town.

Below is the local marching band:

Some of the junior women:

The men competing in the 50km:

A volunteer handing out wet sponges:

Approaching the finish:

The finish line:

This video demonstrates effectively the pace that these athletes must achieve in order to be competitive. Never again will you scoff that walking is not a sport!

No comments:

Post a Comment