I certainly gained a lot of respect for this event. They may not get the impact that marathon runners do, but clearly they struggle with overcoming plenty other limitations.
Here are a few pictures and some brief commentary.
Early in the race, we weren’t sure if the sky would clear completely, but, unfortunately, it did. It got very clear and very hot. The temperature climbed to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (about 43 Celsius) and these strong and tough men struggled.... Some pulled out, others DQ-ed, and many others went down with injuries. Yet, the Italian was able to walk the Olympic Record. AMAZING.
I like the story of this guy. He is called Roman and is from the Czech Republic. His dad represented Czechoslovakia in the Olympics in 1968 in 50k walk. At the age of 40, Roman got a chance to walk his own Olympics for the first time. He only had one person behind him and, though he looked awfully uncomfortable at times, he had a huge smile on his last lap.
Kazo Verkin walking into the stadium... He had his moment and enjoyed every second of it, blowing kisses into the camera.
"The small world" saying came true again as the guy at the station next to ours knew my father-in-law (he was there helping/coaching a Serbian guy).