Army Reservist to Walk 50K at World Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Army Reserve Staff Sgt. John Nunn used his runner-up finish in the 20-kilometer race walk at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships as a tuneup for the 50-kilometer race walk at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, scheduled for Aug. 10-18, in Moscow.

Nunn, 35, a two-time Olympian with the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, finished second behind New York Athletic Club's Tim Seaman (1:30:13.06) in the 20K walk with a time of 1 hour, 31 minutes, 1.64 seconds at Drake Stadium, June 23. Patrick Stroupe of the Kansas City Smoke was third in 1:31:08.73.   The 20K race walk at the national championships was delayed more than four hours by thunderstorms in Des Moines.

"I've actually been training all year for the 50K, just trying to get distance," Nunn said. "The last couple weeks, coach was like, 'I want you to start doing speed.'"   Nunn picked up the pace and walked to second place in a race that served, for him, as an upscale training event.  

"I'll always come do the 20K [at national championships], and I've just learned you just never know what's going to happen," Nunn said. "Just get in the race and see. Enough people made dumb choices about going out too hard. We had a four-hour, 15-minute thunderstorm delay, and that affected people differently.   "It was just a situation I jumped on and ended up passing the second-place guy with 150 meters to go in the race -- just blew by him -- and was able to pull out second place, which was great. It was a fun race and it turned out to be a good time for me."   Nunn won the 20-kilometer race walk at the 2010 U.S. National Championships in Des Moines, and finished second in the 20K at the 2011 U.S. National Championships in Eugene, Ore.   At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Nunn finished 26th in the 20-kilometer race walk. In 2012, he finished 43rd in the 50-kilometer race walk with a personal-best time of 4:03:28 at the London Olympic Games.

Nunn will compete Aug. 14, in the 50-kilometer race walk at the World Championships in Moscow.   "I have no clue what will happen in Moscow," he said. "The weather can definitely play some factors with regards to the heat and mugginess that rolls through Moscow in the summer. That can really affect the 50K. We'll just have to wait and see."   Nunn, who serves with the 6252nd Army Reserve Hospital Unit in San Diego, was released Jan. 1, from WCAP for one year. He plans to return and train for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he could become a three-time Olympian.   "WCAP said they will welcome me back, so I should be back next year with the primary focus on 50K," Nunn said. "But I will still do 20Ks because, clearly, I can still place in the shorter, so it's more fun."

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