SANTEE, California -- The nation’s best male race walkers compete Sunday, Feb. 21 at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - 50K Race Walk, where the top-3 finishers, who also have the 4:06:00 Olympic “A” qualifying standard, will be nominated to represent Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.
A prize purse of more than $33,000 will go to the top finishers of the 50 km (31 mile) walk, the longest track and field event in the Olympic Games. First place will take home $10,000, with the top-seven finishers guaranteed prize money. Sunday’s race proceeds along Mast Boulevard between Magnolia Avenue and Jeremy Street, just south of Santana High School.
Two-time Olympian John Nunn
(Bonsall, California) is the weekend’s only athlete to have already met the Olympic qualifying standard, earning it on the same 1.25 km looped course in Santee. Nunn, the most experienced competitor in the field with appearances at both the Athens 2004 and London 2012 Games, raced to a 4:03:42 finish on Nov. 22, 2015, at USATF 50 km Championships to earn the national title and move one step closer to his third Olympic Games.
The next man within reach of the Olympic “A” Standard is 24-year-old Nick Christie
(San Diego), who posted a 4:11:48 finish also on Nov. 22 in Santee. Christie, coached by legendary race walk Olympian Tim Seamon, finished third at the 2012 trials event. He finished fourth at the 2012 NACAC 20K Championships (1:29:47) and was twice ranked among the top-10 Americans in the 20K by Track & Field News.
Fans can follow the event on social media using the hashtag #Santee2016. Results will be posted on USATF.org
View a complete list of entries for U.S. Olympic Trials - 50K Race Walk here.
*Note: The USATF Women's 50 km Race Walk Championships will also be contested at the event. However, women will compete for a chance to represent Team USA at U.S. Olympic Trials - 20K Race Walk on Thursday, June 30 in Salem, Oregon, in conjunction with U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field.
Erin Taylor-Talcott (Owego, New York) made unique history in 2012 as the only woman to walk with the men in trials. She has since been recognized with American and World records set in Santee, after completing the 50 km in 5:03:34 at 9:47 pace in scorching 90-degree conditions in November 2015. She raced her best at the distance at 2012 trials (4:33:23). However, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) adopted new rules to recognize women’s 50 km marks eligible for both World and American records on Nov. 1, 2015. Prior to the rule change, Talcott completed the same course in 4:33:23 at 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials - Race Walk.
The 50 km race walk begins at 7:00 a.m. this Sunday. The start and finish line of the 1.25 km loop course is located near Mast Blvd. and Magnolia Ave. in Santee. The event is free and open to the public.