01/12/2019   Melbourne (AUS): Rhydian Cowley wins the 50km Australian Championships


The Australian 50km race walk championships took place today in Melbourne in Fawner Park with some other events.
50km men
The early pace of the race was dictated by Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) who led the race up to 40km and then gave way conspicuously and finally DNF. The same athlete also competed with the other European athlete: Christopher Linke.
Jared Tallent (AUS) left because of the after-effects of an illness, but preferred to stop shortly after 10km.
The victory went to Rhydian Cowley (AUS) in 3:52:58 good time for his long-distance debut race.
The athlete from Australia crowns this way with the victory of the Australian Champion title of the 50km a season finale that had already seen him on the shields in China where he had obtained an excellent third place in the final classification of Around Taihu 2019.
Second place went to Dylan Richardson (AUS) in 4:22:24
Third place in Brendon Reading (AUS) in 4:28:42
Split times of some athletes


Athlete 10km 20km 30km 40km 50km
Rhydian Cowley 46:32 1:32:11 2:18:10 3:03:03 3:52:58
Dylan Richardson 49:20 1:39:20 2:29:20 3:23:27 4:22:44
Brendon Reading 48:24 1:36:53 2:28:08 3:28:08 4:28:42
Perseus Karlstrom 44:56 1:29:24 2:13:51 2:59:07 DNF
Christophewr Linke 47:18 1:33:09 2:16:54 - DNF
Jared Tallent 50:25 - - - DNF




50km women
The only woman at the start Tracey Feiner (AUS) fought a long time with the time trial and in the end she managed to be crowned Australia champion in 4:59:32 well below the maximum limit set by Athletics Australia for the title (5:30: 00).




20km men


Tom Bosworth (GBR) and Kyke Swan (AUS) staged a great battle early on in the men’s 20km, before Tom surged clear in the second half to win with 1:22:50.


Victory to Tom Bosworth (GBR) in 1:22:54

Second palce to Kyle Swan (AUS) in 1:23:54 (personal best)

Third palce to Tyler Jones (AUS) in 1:25:42 (personal best)


Split times



Athlete 10km 20km
Tom Bosworth 41:43 1:22:50
Kyle Swan 41:57 1:23:53
Tyler Jones 42:42 1:25:42








20km women



Exciting from the start the 20km women, with the three Australians in particular in the early stages of the race, then finishing them in less than a minute.


Victory to Beki Smith (AUS) in 1:37:07

Second palce to Jemima Montag (AUS) in 1:37:22

Third palce to Rachel Tallent (AUS) in 1:37:44


Split times



Athlete 10km 20km
Beki Smith 48:03 1:37:07
Jemima Montag 48:25 1:37:22
Rachel Tallent 47:48 1:37:44






(The report of Tim Erickson - AUS)


Conditions were picture perfect for the Australian 50km Championship meet in Melbourne on the morning of Sunday 1st December 2019. 

The fast 2km loop in Fawkner Park, South Yarra, has been used since 2008, so this was the 12th occasion on which our 50km walkers have raced in this inner city venue. It was a cool and overcast 12°C when the gun sounded for the 7AM start and, apart from a few windy gusts, conditions stayed good throuhout the race, with a weak sun forcing its way through to clouds in the late morning.

International Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) led the race through 10km in 44:56, ahead of Rhydian Cowley (VIC), Christopher Linke (GER) and Brendon Reading (ACT), with Jared Tallent retiring soon after this point while back in 6th place. Positions remained unchanged through 20km, with Karlstrom leading them through with 1:29:24. The Swedish walker continued to stretch his lead as the race progressed, passing 30km in 2:13:51, just over 3 minutes ahead of Linke who then retired (he had set himself a 30km timetrial, reached in 2:16:54). Karlstrom continued to storm through the laps, passing 40km with 2:59:07, but with a grimace on his face. With a leg that was obviously hurting, he retired just after 41km, deciding to take the sensible path rather than risk injury. That propelled Cowley into the lead and he made the most of it, coming home strongly to win with a debut time of 3:52:58.

It was a long wait for the next finisher, 19 year old debutante Dylan Richardson. Walking the race of his life, he passed through 30km in a PB 2:29:20 before slowing in the final 20km to cross the finish line with 4:22:44. He had passed 2016 Rio Olympian Brendon Reading soon after the 30km mark and was never threatened from then on. Brendon came in next with 4:28:42. Jason Kozica (4:38:07), Carl Gibbons (4:44:19) and Colin Heywood (5:05:34) rounded out the field with inaugural 50km finishes. Colin also bettered the existing M65 World Record mark of 5:11:22, set by USA walker Leon Jasionowski in 2010.

Tracy Feiner was the sole starter in the women’s 50km championship and did she walk well! Her 30km split of 2:49:44 was only 32 seconds outside her 30km PB, set earlier this year in Melbourne. From then on, her finish was never in doubt, just the time. She did slow before rallying in the final 2km lap to record 4:59:32. It was not as fast as she had perhaps hoped but it was still a great walk for a first timer over that distance. Fittingly, USA Attornry at Law, Mr P. F. DeMeester, who has done so much to further the cause of the women’s 50km walk, made the presentation on behalf of Athletics Australia.

Tom Bosworth (GBR) and Kyle Swan (VIC) staged a great battle early on in the men’s 20km, before Tom surged clear in the second half to win with 1:22:50. 20 year old Kyle was rewarded with a huge PB of 1:23:53, nearly 8 minutes under his previous best, while third placed Tyler Jones (NSW) also PB’d with 1:25:42. Australian internationals Beki Smith (1:37:07), Jemima Montag (1:37:22) and Rachel Tallent (1:37:44) ensured an exciting women’s 20km race, all at the early stages of fitness, but all showing glimpes of their true worth.

The U20 10km races were won by Rebecca Henderson (VIC) and Gwyllym Young (ACT). There were lots of PBs, with the first 6 men under the 2019 World Racewalking Team Championship qualifying standard of 46:30 and the first 2 girls under the qualifying standard of 50:00. Note that the official Athletics Australia results show Gwyllym Young and Tristan Camilleri dead heating in the 10km. This is incorrect – I know for a fact that Gwyllym won.

Finally, the U18 5km walks provided an opportunity for our youngest walkers – and everyone PB’d. You can’t do better than that. The two winners, Will Thompson (21:58) and Darcey Roberts (24:58) gave brilliant displays.

Overall, it was a wonderful day of racing, with lots of PBs and a lot of qualifiers for the 2020 IAAF World Team Championships. The next big meet on the local front will be the Australian Summer 20km Roadwalk Championships in Adelaide on Sunday 9th February 2020.


Tim Erickson
Sunday 1st December 2019