The 2018 National Winter Walking Championships were held on the Sunshine Coast under wet and miserable conditions.
Tyler Jones (1:33.02) claimed the title for the men and Rachel Tallent (1:36.02) claimed the women’s, both races were over 20km on the wet track just outside of Sunshine Stadium.
Despite not having the best preparation Jones was the easy winner for the men after Luke McCutcheon withdrew.
“I went to Europe with my girlfriend, to Spain actually – I did get in a few training sessions over there but not nearly as much as I would have liked,” Jones said.
“During the race today, I had a bit of a battle with Luke McCutcheon and I was thinking it was a bit of classic
a State of Origin, NSW vs QLD battle but in the end I managed to hold on.”
Rio Olympian Rachel Tallent, who has been busy recently with her completing her thesis for her Honours in Psychology was the victor for the women but said the weather played a little part.
“Wow today was wet, fun but very very wet,” Tallent said.
“I just wanted to keep my splits consistent over the 20 km, unfortunately I slowed down a bit at the end but overall I’m happy with my race.”
In a surprise move, Olympic medallist Dane Bird-Smith who is coming back from injury was ‘convinced’ by his coach and dad, Dave Smith, a 12 -time national race walking champion, to enter the invitational 5km event.
Dane Bird-Smith is heading to China next month to compete in the final round of the IAAF World Race Walking Challenge. The Taihu International Race Walking event is held in Suzhou, east of Shanghai.
The day was extremely well attended by dedicated fans. The next national level race walking event will be held in Melbourne at Fawkner Park in December.
Full results from the day can be seen here.