The United States Power Walking Association (USPWA), a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has formed to promote the positive aspects of power walking as both a recreational and competitive sport. It is intended to complement, and be an alternative to, the sport of race walking.
With the support of walkers from around the nation, the organization’s goal is to see power walking become an official set of events in the National Senior Games, a biennial sporting event for athletes age 50 and better.
How Power Walking Differs from Race Walking
Power walking is a form-friendly racing option for many older athletes. The rules of power walking are simple:
- One foot must be on the ground at all times.
- Running, deemed to be when both feet are off of the ground, is forbidden and is cause for disqualification.
- Each foot-strike must be heel to toe at all times.
- When the lead toe strikes the ground prior to the heel the motion is called “creeping.” The form is forbidden and is cause for disqualification.
- The forward leg’s knee may be bent from the time of the heel strike until the leg passes under the body.
- In race walking, however, the lead leg must remain straight from the time the heel strikes the ground until the knee passes under the body. Failure to maintain this form is cause for disqualification.
Qualifying for the National Senior Games
USPWA staffers have started outreach efforts to state senior games’ organizers to encourage adding power walking to their competitions. If the sport is added to the National Senior Games’ roster, then top finishers in the state senior games’ competitions will qualify for the national competition.
For instance, the Huntsman World Senior Games is Utah’s state senior games and is held in St. George. Athletes can enter one or more distance events: 1500 meters and 3000 meters are on the track, and the 5K road course. Medals are awarded to the top three finishers in all five-year age groups. In 2015, over 100 walkers took part in the power walking races.
To receive updates via e-newsletter, sent your request to UnitedStatesPWA@gmail.com with “USPWA newsletter sign up” in the subject line.
For more information, go to the USPWA’s Facebook page.
Source: From the USPWA press release dated April 3, 2016.