BRIGHTON’S 16-year-old Alice Randall has literally walked her way into race walking history. After coming third in the national race walking championships in Canberra recently, Alice has returned to discover she is now ranked fourth in the world in her age group over three kilometres.
“It is so crazy, I’m really happy and surprised,” Alice said on her return.Alice who is a member of the Tasmanian Race Walking Club, has been competing since she was eight. Her first title was in the Australian Federation of Race Walking Championships, achieving a third placing and passing a number of other girls at national level who beat her this year.
Alice came third in the under 16 3km distance in a new personal best of 14min 15 seconds.
The Institute of Sport now has her world ranking at fourth over 3k for her age group.
Alice says she got into race walking through Little Athletics.
Her coach, Rosemary Coleman, who discovered her, can take a lot of credit for Alice’s sporting career in race walking.
“You can pick a race walker a mile away. While it’s not a known sport you know as a coach what special talent race walkers possess. It’s their way of moving and the way they walk. With Alice especially it’s a lot to do with her height which is ideal for the sport of race walking,” Rosemary said.
Rosemary took on the role of coaching after being involved in the sport itself and now coaches a squad of more than 40 athletes.
The appeal or race walking for Alice is that it keeps her fit and helps her with her cross country.
“It’s quite different to go from race walking to running,” Alice said.
“The main rule is that race walking is very technical. You have to keep one foot on the ground at all times and that’s not easy. But I love it so much even though it is difficult. I really enjoy race walking and can’t wait to get out and train.
“I would really like to make it to the Olympics but my first goal is World Youth championships which is over five kilometres.
Rosemary is obviously proud of her young protégé and believes Alice can make it all the way.
“I hope she can maintain what she is doing because I really believe she can go far,” Rosemary said.