Yesterday was a bit of a red letter day for us Nordic walkers. It saw the first ever UK Nordic walking race and, what's more, it was held here in Bristol in our very own Ashton Court.
Nordic walking racing is a well-known competitive sport across Europe and in Japan. Poland has one of the most active Nordic walking race series. They run a Polish Nordic Walking Cup competition which comprises 7 races over the summer months. Like ours, they compete over three distances - 5km, 10km and 20km - but they have 8 different age categories.
The UK hasn't quite yet reached those dizzy heights but the inaugural race in Bristol attracted over 80 entrants for the 5km, 10km and 20km distances. Those of you who are sitting on the fence about the extra power and speed you can achieve with Nordic walking will do well to sit up and take notice of the results. The average walking pace is 5km per hour (just over 3mph). A brisk walking pace is around 6.5km per hour (4mph). The fastest 20km Nordic walkers averaged 7.45 km per hour (4.6mph) and the fastest 10km Nordic walker averaged 8.37 km per hour - that's over 5mph. It wasn't a flat race either. We went from the Mansion House to the golf course and back down again. So it's fair to say it was hilly!
Bristol Nordic walkers turned out in force, both as participators and as helpers and Ros and I want to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to you all for supporting us and this event. I think we all enjoyed it and we even had some winners too - Lucy and Jim for the 5km race and myself as joint winner of the 20km race. I'm still recovering!