More IAAF World Championships Firsts as Historic Festival of Race Walks Set for the Mall
11 August 2017
Organisers of the IAAF World Championships London 2017 will continue their ground-breaking ways on Sunday with all four race walk events set to be hosted on the same day for the first time in championship history.
The ‘Festival of Race Walks’ comprising the men’s and women’s 50km and 20km events will take place on one of the most famous roads in the world in The Mall with a 2km loop course between Buckingham Palace and Admiralty Arch one of the most iconic settings for the event at a Championships ever.
The introduction of the women’s 50km race walk brings the number of medal events at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 to an even 48 making the event the first ever gender equal IAAF World Championships.
Much like the marathon before it, the Festival of Race Walks is free for fans and spectators to enjoy in one of the most recognisable parts of the capital.
The Mall’s smooth red surface is claimed to emulate a red carpet leading up to the gates of Buckingham Palace. The turnaround points on each lap of the walks are the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace and just in front of Admiralty Arch. For a video overview of the course click here.
The start/finish line of the 2km loop is located approximately half way down the course, which offers plenty of key vantage points for spectators and fans to watch from. Like the marathon, the medal ceremonies for the walks will all take place outside of the main stadium for the first time ever.
Niels de Vos, Championship Director, said: “The Festival of Race Walks is a first for an IAAF World Championships so it’s only fitting that we stage the walks in a unique setting, not just for spectators, but for the athletes taking part. We know they are looking forward to racing on The Mall. It is such a great location because it means that fans of athletics and passers-by alike will be able to see almost all of the course at once because it is so flat and be able to cheer on those in action.”
The Festival of Race Walks sees four race walks take place on Sunday 13 August with the men’s and women’s 50km starting at the same time at 07:45. The women’s 20km will start at 12:20 and the men’s 20km at 14:20 with the medal ceremonies for all getting underway at 16:00.
With 14 track and field sessions also taking place in the London Stadium, the Championships is the biggest event staged at the venue since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with 2,200 athletes from 203 nations competing this week.
For further information on the Festival of Race Walks, including a video overview of the course and a map, visit the official Championships website here.
For the latest travel news and advise relating to the Festival of Race Walks visit the Transport for London website here.