Rules of Racewalking

Racewalking has three main rules that the athletes must adhere to at all times:

  1. When making contact with the ground, the knee must be straight until passing beneath the body. Failure to do so is a "bent knee" and can result in a warning or red card.
  2. One foot must be in contact with the ground at all times (judged by the human eye, equipment such as cameras cannot be used to determine this). Failure to do so is called "lifting" and can result in a warning or red card.
  3. After three or more red cards (from at least three different judges), an athlete can be disqualified from the race by the head judge.
    However, an athlete can be disqualified the last 100m of a race if they make any rule infractions during those final 100m.

Cards of Racewalking

Bent Knee Loss of Contact Disqualification
A judge can issue this card when the athlete's knee is not straight when their foot first makes contact with the ground. A judge can issue this card when an athlete does not have at least one foot on the ground at all times. This is measured by the human eye, therefore additional equipment (like cameras) can not be used. When issued this card by the head judge, the athlete is disqualified from the race.

Interesting Facts about Race Walking

  • Race walking can have much the same cardiovascular benefits of running but with less impact on joints.
  • Heart rates of racewalkers are often higher than joggers because both upper body as well as the lower body is used
  • Miranda racewalks or runs anywhere from 3 to 15 miles a day, 80+ mile/week, lift weights, core exercises in preparation for 20km Olympic races.
  • The Race Walk has been an Olympic event since 1906!

More links for information on racewalking:

USATF Race Walking