Game For Something Different?
Then try the 3rd International Penang 12-Hour Walk. It's a mouthful, so let just call it as The Walk. I'm not a fan of competitive walking. Mainly because in such mass events, case in point the hugely popular Malay Mail Big Walk (MMBW), the crowd would be so thick it renders marshalling and midpack walking ineffective. Most of the participants are there because a friend is also along for the walk/stroll.
In terms of athlete population, competitive walkers are even rarer in this country. Other than the school/district level competition, there's hardly any other events other than the MMBW. On a different level there are 2 ultra walking events that attract a reasonably healthy size of participants. They're the bi-annual Genting International 24-Hour Walk (which I missed attempting last year, a wise decision really) and the annual 12-Hr The Walk happening this end-November. This year in The Walk, I'll be attempting my first ever ultra, albeit a walking one. My next 2 races will be in September and this should tide me over the remaining part of the year. Hopefully by doing something different, I'll be able to build up my motivation for next year.
I'm not sure why race walking didn't catch on. Perhaps of the odd way the racers sway their hips. Unlike Shakira's, I don't find the race walking technique sexy at all. But the speed with which the elites are hitting are much faster than I could run! That pretty much sums up how efficient they've elevated the simple act of walking to.
I found 3 informative sites (Racewalk.com, Thewalkingsite.com and Marathonwalking.com) and have briefly tried out the technique - pretty interesting! There's also the cool dude - http://ultrawalker.blogspot.com. I think passing the 20K mark shouldn't be an issue but beyond that I'm clueless as to how my legs and hips will react. Perhaps then I can switch to the window-shopping mode of walking.
For the entry form and info pack to The Walk, check out the RunnersMalaysia website.