On October 30-31, the Mountain Brook High School track was host to Birmingham's first-ever racewalk clinic. Dave McGovern, national racewalk team member, roving racewalk coach, and raconteur, taught 13 students from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and Utah. Nine of the participants were runners or fitness walkers who were novices at racewalking.

About half the clinic was on the track, where Dave taught the basic racewalk technique, videotaped each walker to identify areas for improvements, and did drills and short races to lock in the technique. The highlight of Sunday was a grueling lactate threshold test - 3 x 8 minute intervals almost all out. Using heart rate data from the test, Dave estimated the max HR for each participant. With that information, it will be much easier to plan various types of workouts. (In other words, these racewalkers are serious about their training)

If you were out on the Lakeshore trail on Sunday morning and saw a guy with a strange gait who left you in his wobbly wake, that was Dave. Don't feel bad if you couldn't keep up. His best 10K time is under 42 min.

Dave made 3 minor changes to my technique that Dave claims will shave at least a minute per mile off my 10K times. (Has Dave written a check that my legs can't cash?).

Several of the local participants are fired up and plan to racewalk in some local races.

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