Believe it or not race walking (not as it is done nowadays) has been part of the Olympic Games since 1908 - when only men used to participate. Women were allowed to take part from 1922 - so it is not something new, just the style has changed somewhat.
KwaZulu-Natal Athletics calendar has three specific walking only races each
year and these cater for all distances from 10km - 50km. At almost all road
races, walkers are allowed to participate. Although prize money is not the
same as the runners, at most races, a few clubs do pay 1st - 3rd position the
same as runners and some clubs also cater for category prizes.
Walkers are starting to make headway in athletics. We at PDAC have walkers who only specialise in the shorter distances - up to 21.1km - as well as walkers who enjoy doing all distances, including the ultras up to 50km.