The U.S. 50k Race Walk Record Holder Katie Burnett is taking the long view of the sport for women
Chris Stafford and Cindi Leeman are joined by U.S. Team Member Katie Burnett who is currently holding the U.S. 50k Race Walk Record. After graduating high school in Arizona, she went from the race walk being “just another event” to her sport of choice. Katie got her start race walking the summer after 7th grade when she joined a club track team.
Early success in the event convinced her to stick with it while pursuing other sports and events until she went to college to throw NCAA Division I javelin. Deciding that the school wasn’t a good fit, she transferred to William Penn University (WPU) in Oskaloosa, Iowa. WPU is in the NAIA, which offers the race walk as a track and field event, so she returned to race walking. This change set her on the path that led to 6 NAIA All-American honors in the walk and 1 in the javelin. After college she continued to compete, moving up from the 3k and 5k at the college level to the 20k.
“I saw a girl doing the race walk one day and I thought that looks interesting I better try this and see how it goes and that first year I qualified for Junior Olympic Nationals that year I didn’t make it but some years later I made it in other years. The fact that I was able to get that early success…I thought I should keep at this, this might be good. I really liked when I would get to Nationals and have that competition but unfortunately I was the only walker usually in my age group or at all at our local races so that wasn’t as much fun. It’s never as much fun to be the only race.” Katie Burnett.
Podcast length: 30’58”
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