RWA Newsletter #3, November edition

Previously Proposed Initiatives:

Following ‘floating’ the idea of renaming the Under 12 events at the RWA Canberra Carnival and receiving only positive responses from Executive, Management Committee members and others I will shortly advise the organisers of the Canberra event to rename the Under 12 Boys and Girls events ‘The Australian Under 12 Road Walking Championship’.  This initiative will hopefully raise the level of interest in the event and create greater participation.

President Meets with Athletics Australia CEO:

RWA President Bob Cruise, met with Darren Gocher during the Athletics Australia CEO’s recent visit to South Australia on October 10th 2017.   The CEO stated his visit was one of a number to help him further familiarize himself with the broader athletic community.  The impromptu meeting lasted about 30 minutes and was conducted in a very cordial and positive atmosphere.

Darren asked a number of questions relating to race walking in Australia and was particularly interested in the relationship of RWA with Member Associations and Athletics Australia.  Much of the time available was dedicated to this discussion.

Bob Cruise congratulated Athletics Australia competition department on the quick action in introducing a Women’s 50 Kilometre Australian Championship walk in December.  Unfortunately the failure to publish a competition timetable for the Athletics Australia Junior Track and Field Championships in March did not get similar congratulatory remarks from the RWA President. In response Darren stated that there were only two persons in the competition department and they were under considerable and constant pressure.

Bob Cruise advised that RWA would be conducting an Under 12 Australian Race walking Championship in June 2018 and raised a number of RWA concerns e.g. a national database for race walking judges and an evaluation mechanism for judges. Darren invited RWA to email him with those concerns and possible solutions.

Judging Seminar:

Athletics Australia, in conjunction with RWA, are holding their annual Race Walking Judging Seminar on Saturday 2nd December 2017 in Melbourne. This is the day before the AA 50km Championship meet at Fawkner Park. Newcomers to IAAF level III, all are welcome.

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cost: Free

Venue: The Blackman, 452 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Vic 3004

Presenters: Zoe Eastwood-Bryson (IAAF Level III)

Bob Cruise (former IAAF level III)

Registration: Register with Di Lowden

Date: December 2, 2017

The 2017/2018 Executive

The RWA Executive consists of four members.  They are:

Terry Swan:  Terry is the Secretary of the highly successful Victorian Race Walking Club. As an IT professional Terry has taken to the role of Secretary/Webmaster of RWA with enthusiasm.  The high quality and informative face-book and webpage are directly attributable to Terry commitment and energy.  Terry combines his administrative role with walk judging duties.  Terry is the father of outstanding young walker Kyle Swan.


Andrew Mitchell: Andrew has been involved with RWA for approximately twenty years.  During that time he has been Treasurer of RWA.  In his younger days he was a race walker and competed regularly at the RWA Canberra Annual Carnival.

Andrew is part of a race walking family.  His mother, Heather is an experienced and respected race walking judge as well as being President of NSW race walking Club.  His sister Kirsten Crocker is currently an international race walking judge.


Shane Pearson:  Shane is currently President of the Queensland Race Walking Club, a coach of some promising young Queensland walkers and a former Australian 50 kilometre race walking representative having competed in Podebrady (1997) and Mezidon (1999) at the Race Walking World Cups.    Shane is Vice President of RWA and is currently employed as an Executive Chef within the hospitality industry in Brisbane.


Bob Cruise:   Bob was a former IAAF race walking judge and judged internationally for 28 years.  He was a member of the IAAF’s Race Walking Committee for 8 years and was a senior lecturer for IAAF race walking judge courses.  Bob judged at the Sydney and Athens Olympics as well as five Commonwealth Games.  Bob is an experienced leader and manager having been a TAFE CEO for approximately 20 years.  Bob is President of RWA and currently coaches a group of approximately 30 athletes.

An Analysis of Judging at Wollongong 2017:

Following is an analysis of judging at the 2017 Australian Road Walking Championships conducted in August 2017 in Wollongong, NSW.

The analysis must be treated as indicative only.  The collection and consolidation of information gathered from many events over a number of years is necessary before reasonably accurate predictive outcomes become available.

  • There were 99 competitors;
  • There were eight judges plus a Chief Judge who also acted as an ordinary judge making the panel effectively nine (9) ordinary judges and a Chief Judge;
  • The number of ‘Yellow Cards’ issued totalled 61 i.e. an average of 0.61 per competitor excluding the possibility of two per competitor;
  • The number of ‘Red Cards’ issued totalled 27 i.e. an average of 0.27 per competitor and 3 per judge;
  • 10 athletes i.e. 39% did not receive a ‘yellow card’ prior to receiving a ‘red card’;
  • The ratio of ‘Red Cards’ to ‘Yellow Cards was 0.44;
  • The average number of ‘Red Cards’ per judge per race was 0.6;
  • Of the ‘Red Cards’ given 12 i.e. 44.4% were supported i.e. a second or subsequent judge also issued a “Red Card’;
  • 8% of ‘Red Cards’ were for ‘Bent Knees’.
  • The ratio of ‘Red Cards’ for ‘Bent Knees’ to ‘Red Cards’ for “Loss of Contact’ was 0.68;
  • There were two (2) disqualifications i.e. approx. 2%.

Generally the judging could be described as ‘soft’ given the low percentage of disqualifications and relatively inconsistency given the low percentage of supported “Red Cards’. Experience, gathered by the writer, from approximately 30 years of data indicates that consistent judging exhibits around 60% to 75% supported “Red Cards’.

Note:  There is no formal evaluation mechanism for walk judges currently operating in Australia nor is there a national database of walk judges available. This is one of the ‘issues’ that has been taken up previously with Athletics Australia and will be followed up yet again (Ed.)

No 10000 metre walk at the Australian Track & Field Championships:

At the time of writing this I am awaiting a response from Darren Gocher CEO Athletics Australia as to why this event has been excluded from the Australian Championships to be held in 2018.  I would like to think it is an oversight by AA and eagerly await Darrens response.

Pit Lane at the Australian 50 Km Championships:

I have been advised (30 Oct.2017) by Michelle James, AA Competition Manager  that there will not be a Pit Lane at the 2017 Australian 50 Km AA Championships to be held in December at Fawkner Park in Melbourne.  Whereas this may seem to contradict previous advice the non-inclusion of a Pit lane is certainly welcomed by me.

Well Done Queensland:

The 5 Km event conducted by QRWC last week at Currumbin on the Commonwealth Games walk course was a huge success.  With support from Jared and Claire Tallent and other Australian representatives,  walk judges including Jill Huxley and Zoe Eastwood-Bryson and many volunteers and participants along with organisers it sought to give walkers an opportunity to walk the Commonwealth Games course and at the same time  provide the games organisers with feedback as to the suitability of the course.

Well done QRWC.

A young walker keeping the Tallents honest (Photo:  Angela Clarke)










2018 Australian Road Walking Championships/Second Federation Walk:

With AA and School Sport agreeing that the 2018 Cross Country Championships will be held in Queensland it is highly likely that the Australian Road walking Championships will be held in conjunction with this event.  If anyone has any further information please advise.  Perhaps I missed the announcement.



A Bit of History:

  • Three Magnificent Mexicans:


During the eighties and nineties Mexico produced some magnificent race walkers.  Mexico was truly the centre of world race walking.  Strongly supported by Government Mexico produced champions such as Segura, Rodriguez, Canto, Mercenario and Sanchez and more. 


Bernardo Segura was an outstanding race walker.  His successes included third placings in the World Student Games (1993), World Cup (1995) and the 1996 Olympic Games with highlights being Gold Medals in the Goodwill Games (1994) and the World Cup (1999) each over the 20 Kilometre distance.  His fastest time of 1hr.17.25.6 was achieved in 1994.  His biggest disappointment however would have been his disqualification at the 2000 Olympic Games 20 kilometre event in Sydney after crossing the line in first place. This disqualification, along with the disqualification of Jane Saville drew considerable discussion worldwide with numerous ‘threats’ of removing race-walking from the Olympic schedule of events.  Segura withdrew from the 2004 Olympic event in Athens.


Segura was a walker that “had a go” tending to sit and then finish strongly and as a result suffered at the hands of the judges on a number of occasions.   Bernardo Segura was born February 1970 in San Mateo Atenco.


Raul Gonzalez Rodrigues was born in 1952 in Monterrey, Mexico.  He enjoyed success in both his sporting and business careers. 


As a race walker Raul Gonzalez was truly brilliant.  Unlike many of his contemporaries Gonzalez was a walker who excelled at both the 20 Kilometres and 50 Kilometre events.  He won the Lugano Cup 50 Kilometre event on no less than three occasions.  But without doubt his greatest triumph came in 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Gonzales finished second to fellow Mexican Ernesto Canto in the 20 Kilometre walk and then backed up and won Gold in the 50 Kilometre event.  Gonzales retired towards the end of the eighties.  He was a four time Olympian.


Another great Mexican walker was Ernesto Canto.  Ernesto was born in Mexico City in 1959.  He became the star of race walking in the early eighties with placings in the Lugano Cup, World Championships, Olympic Games and World Indoor Championships.  Most memorable of these being wins in the 1981 Lugano Cup, 1983 World Championship and the 1984 Olympic Games 20 kilometre events.  Who could ever forget the cheers of the Mexican supporters as Canto entered the Los Angeles Olympic Stadium and strode to victory.


Towards the end of his walking career Canto suffered disqualifications in several major international events and this, along with some ordinary performances by his standard, led to an early retirement.


  • Ray Smith and Percy Cerutty:

A note from Coach Extraordinaire to athlete, Ray Smith, is shown below following Ray’s 6th place finish in the 1956 Olympic Games %0 Kilometre race walk.. 



—the fine print on Percy’s letter—

We march steadily to our goals!
We never let up!

Success, achievement,
awaits they who can grasp it!


Work does things!
Hard things take time to do!
Impossible things
take a little longer!


And of course, your contribution to this newsletter, particularly club reports and reports on the success or otherwise of locally based initiatives would be welcomed as well as any other matter you may think is relevant and beneficial to the further development of race walking in Australia. 

Please forward them to me at


Bob Cruise