I received the following interesting article from the event organiser which I like to share with you, especially if you will be one of those at the starting line of the event:
The third Malaysia International 24 Hours Walk is no ordinary event as it is not something that not everyone can sign up for. Due to the demands the event places on the physical as well as mental aspects of the participants, the Malaysian Race Walking Association (PLJKM) scrutinizes the entries before giving the nod to the participant. And come September 18, some 350 participants from 15 countries will try to overcome both mental and physical barriers as they try to achieve the feat of becoming a centurion, which is to break the 100-mile barrier within 24 hours.
The event that will be held at Genting Highlands will see the return of defending champions Jose Mora Bernardo of Spain and Irina Putinseva who won the men's and women's events respectively in 2003 at the same venue.
"It is a race against the clock and both the participants as well as spectators are in for a treat as the endurance factor will be pivotal in a race of this kind," said PLJKM president Datuk Peter Chin during a press launch of the event at Wisma OCM on Tuesday. "A special 800 metre track will be laid out and walking around the clock will no doubt put a tremendous physical strain.
"The participants are allowed to rest, eat food and even take a nap during the walk. But they will lose valuable time if the stops are too frequent.".
No Malaysian has broken into the centurion club and the closest participant that came to it was Effendy Suhaili from the Armed Forces who clocked a distance of 155.70km in the event in 2003. Most of the participants who want to achieve the century mark often do it with a minimum of breaks. The breaks generally last only for a couple of minutes to change shoes or have a quick rubdown or just sit down for a drink for a little bit. And as the participants move towards the later stages of the event, some are just physically wrecked.
Thus it is best to keep the stops short and keep on the move as the participants endure the pain to achieve a milestone. "But this is more of a mind over matter event as the participants need to overcome the pain barrier at times," said Datuk Peter. "The climate at Genting Highlands suits the foreign and local participants well and we are fortunate that sponsor's have been supporting this event well ever since it was first held in 2001."
What Is Race Walking
Race Walking began as an ultra-long distance sport in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and still maintains a great following in Europe. Easily the most famous event in the world was the Paris to Strasbourg walk (320 mile 3 day event) which has now become the Paris to Colmar (close to Strasbourg). This event is over a distance of 520km and is generally won in around the 60-hour mark. Other events are the Roubiax (France) 28-hour walk in which many European countries enter teams, the Lugano (Italy) 100 km and the London-to-Brighton (53 mile) event. On top of this, most countries have an active Centurion Club, which offers life-long membership for all sub-24 hour 100-mile finishers.