Thursday, August 9, 2012

US Army World Class Athlete - Race Walker John Nunn

John Nunn is a sergeant in the US Army and member of Team USA Track and Field.

John is competing in the 2012 London Olympics in the 50 km Race Walk.  50 km = 31.1 miles.  The Race Walk has been an Olympic event since 1904.  And the rules of Race Walking are this...

  • One foot must be on the ground at all times
  • As one foot hits the ground, the knee above it must be straight

At first it sounds simple enough... walk 31 miles.  But remember, that's 5 miles longer than a marathon and "fast walking" is often considered as much (or more) of a challenge than running.  Try it sometime and you'll see what we mean!!

When he was a kid, back home in Indiana, John was first introduced to Race Walking by family members.  This led him to compete on a full ride scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  Like many others, John is now part of the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) in Colorado Springs.

This is John's 2nd Olympics (1st was the 2004 Athens Olympics).  And this Olympic trip follows a long list of accomplishments:

  • 2003 USATF Indoor National Championships - Silver medal
  • 2003 USATF Outdoor National Championships - Bronze medal
  • 2004 USATF Indoor National Championships - Silver medal
  • 2004 US Olympic Trials - Silver medal
  • 2006 USATF Outdoor National Championships - Silver medal
  • 2010 USATF National 20 km - Champion
  • 2011 USATF Outdoor National 20 km - Champion
  • 2011 Pan Am Cup 20 km Team - Silver medal
  • 2011 Pam Am Cup 20 km Trials - Bronze medal
  • 2012 US 50 km Olympic Trials - Champion

John's personal best in the 20 km (12.4 mile) Race Walk is 1:22:31.  Those are 6 minute 36 second miles.  Pretty fast for walking!!

John has said his training in the Army (from basic training onward) has taught him the skill of discipline and helped him focus on benchmarks.  He plans to continue his service in the Army after these Olympics!

The 50 km Race Walk event takes place on Saturday, Aug 11th

Check out this video of John talking about his training and preparation...

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