National Walks Championships 2021
Irish Life Health National Race Walks Championships & Masters 10K Championship
The championship will double as the Irish national championship and has attracted an international field as part of the World Athletic Race Walking tour with a 35K main race.
St Anne's park in Rhaeny is set to host over 100 athletes from across 10 countries at 11am on Sunday 19th Decemeber 2021. This is set to be the largest edition in recent memory with a calibre of talent to match.
The highlight of the day will be the Irish Debut of Perseus Karlstrom (Sweden). Karlstrom is the 2019 World Championship bronze medallist from Doha, 2-time European Cup champion (2019 & 2021) and the previous winner of the world walking tour will be looking to set a marker for the 2022 season with a victory in the first race of the World Athletics Walking Tour. Karlstrom won’t be having it his own way with 3-time Olympian Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley) to debut over 35km. Boyce may test himself towards Robert Heffernan’s (Togher AC) national record of 2:31:18 as the 50km specialist debut’s over 35km. With David Kenny (Farranfore) missing through exams and Alex Wright (Leevale) focusing on the shorter distances, Boyce will be outright favourite for the national gold. However, the race podium will be a hotly contested affair with Polish pair Rafael Sikora and Jakub Jelonek along with Stefano Chiesa (Italy) poised to challenge. All three have posted strong marks over both 20km and 50km. With the 50km resigned to the history books there will be some young and hungry 20k specialists looking to resign the 50km specialists to the past. European U23 champion Jose Manuel Perez (Spain) and Olympic 20km 10th place Callum Wilkinson looking to demonstrate that speed trumps endurance when it comes to 35km. Finally, there will be a number of international athletes looking to post World Team Champs and World Championships qualifying times on Irish soil including British twins Dan and Domnick King, Bruno Erent (Croatia), Nick Christie (USA) and Johnathon Hobbs (Great Britain). A battle is expected to complete the Irish program between Adam McInerney (Celbridge), Joe Mooney (Adamstown) and Jerome Caprice (DSD).
In contrast to the men’s race the women’s race will be a wide-open contest that will go right to the final kilometres. Mayara Luize Vicentainer and Elianay Pereira (Brazil) are likely to show their intent early. Elianay Pereira, the two-time Brazilian champion will have a stern test from Agnieszka Ellward. Just one minute separates their 20km and 50km PB’s. Ellward, faster over the 20km while Pereira holds the better mark over 50km. Many international eyes will be watching to determine what distance the new event favours. Domestically Kate Veale (West Waterford) will front the fight to the international athletes. A 35km debut for the West Waterford star, should the race be tight in the final kilometres, the travelling Dungarvan contingent may spur Veale on to victory.
The shorter distances will contain a mix of athletes, some looking to set up trying a longer distance ahead of the 2022 season, while others are seeking an early qualification for forthcoming championships. Heather Lewis (Wales) will be in the mix with the men’s race as she sees a qualification time for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham over 10k. In 2021 Oisin Lane (Mullingar Harriers) established himself as a top junior with a 6th place finish in the European U20 Championships, he will be using the 20k race as a first step towards becoming a senior international. Matthew Glennon (Mullingar Harriers) will be keen to show he’s the best Irish junior since, well, his training partner Oisin. Emily MacHugh (Naas), Maria Flynn (Naas) and Ruth Monaghan (Sligo) will all be keen to test their fitness ahead of bigger challenges in 2021, along with the up-and-coming youth stars.
Finally, the juvenile athletes will have the unique opportunity to race alongside the elite stars and best junior talent of Ireland. An important phase in their development as they race alongside world and European medallists, under the eye of international judges. A chance to show off the hard work on their technique and endurance so far this winter. Credit to the coaches and clubs such as North Leitrim, Tuam, St Senans, Clonmel, St. Josephs, Mullingar Harriers, Celbridge, Waterford and Clareriver Harriers for travelling in such large numbers.
|09:30||Race Number & Chip Collection Opens (All races)||Start/Finish Line|
|10:30||Race Number & Chip Collection Closes (All races)||Start/Finish Line|
|10:55||Final Call (35K, 20K, & 10K)||Start/Finish Line|
|11:00||Race Starts (35K, 20K, & 10K)||Start/Finish Line|
|11:50||Final Call (500m, 1K, 2K, 3K, & 5K)||Start/Finish Line|
|12:00||Race Starts (500m, 1K, 2K, 3K, & 5K)||Start/Finish Line|
|14:30||Medal Presentation (All Races)||Start/Finish Line|
|15:00||Event Finish||Start/Finish Line|
Please click HERE for the latest results.