By Mike Allen
Photo: Race-walk winners Claire Tallent, Australia, and David Velasquez, Ecuador
January 26, 2019 (Santee) – The U.S.A. Track and Field 50 kilometer (31 mile) Race Walk Championship was held today in Santee, which has hosted the national championships eight times in the past 11 years. This year’s race determined the make-up of the U.S. team that will compete at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in July. The race was also a qualifier for the IAFF World Track & Field Championships in Quatar in September.
Held concurrent with the national championship was the Waterbridge Capital International 50K Challenge, on the same Santee course that started and finished at Santee Trolley Square. Winners were David Velasquez, 24 of Ecuador and Claire Tallent, 37 of Australia. The international competition included race walkers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico. Among the top US walkers was Nick Christie from El Cajon.
The race walking event was combined with the Active Living Expo, a free fair showcasing healthy lifestyle businesses and activities also held at Santee's Trolley Square which drew hundreds of residents.