Sunday, May 13, 2007

Racewalker Tribute

On Saturday evening Chris Rael hosted a special evening for racewalkers. Here is what the invite said:
 You are invited to a very special evening that will honor the dedication,
hard work, and legacy created by our very own Elaine Ward. Elaine has
been the driving force behind the success of race walking in Southern
California and with the North American Race Walking Foundation she has
created an institution that will ensure its continued success for the

 We will be having a special dinner to raise funds to purchase a
Perpetual Trophy that will be awarded the winner of the race walk at the
Southern California Track & Field Championship meet. The trophy will
officially be called the Elaine Ward Race Walk Cup and will be awarded
each year to that year's champion.

Adding to the prestige of the evening will be the presence of two-time
Olympic 50km Race Walker Philip Dunn, just back from the Pan American
Race Walk Cup, where he finished as the top American and helped the USA
mens team win first place for the team award. Philip will talk about
his trip to Brazil and his experiences as an Olympian.

Philip Dunn going to speak at an event to honor my coach? I was in.

It was a very enjoyable evening and a nice way to relax after a hard workout at the track, and a Saturday at work--yep, we're working overtime to get the movie done in time.

One of the best bits of advice from Philip about training for a 50K is to get used to take fluids every 2 kilometers, even on shorter workouts. Indeed, I seem to do better on the longer walks partially because I'm taking in fluids and even nutrition in the form of gels to keep me going. I'll certainly take his advice on the 15K I've got planned for Monday and start carrying my hydration belt on all future workouts.

At the end of the evening he handed out these cards with his statistics. He said they were a bit "cheesy" but what the heck--here it is. Click on the image to see it in full glory.