The American race walker made history at the recent IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships

History-maker Erin Taylor-Talcott, the first ever female to compete in an IAAF 50km walk, has described the occasion as akin to competing at an Olympic Games.

Taylor-Talcott was the only female participant in the 50km at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome earlier this month, and finished in 40th in a time of 4:51:08.

“I was telling my friend that for me this race was my Olympics,” the 37-year-old told AW. “It was the highest I could attain and feels amazing.

“When the gun went off and we were starting down the road I got very emotional thinking, holy cow, look where I am. Look what I’m doing. It was an amazing feeling.”

“When the gun went off and we were starting down the road I got very emotional thinking, holy cow, look where I am. Look what I’m doing. It was an amazing feeling”

With the assistance of law firm Winston and Strawn, the American canvassed the IAAF into change, and it announced last month that it had made an amendment to its competition rules, enabling female walkers to compete alongside their male counterparts in all IAAF 50km events until separate events are created for women.

Taylor-Talcott added: “People keep telling me that and to me it’s really strange to think that. To me it’s just me. It seems weird that I could do that.

“I guess it really is true that one person can change the world, but I could not have done it without the help of Winston and Strawn. They were amazing in helping me and believing in the cause of women’s equality.”

» See the May 12 edition of AW magazine, which is available to order here or read digitally here, for more from an interview with Erin Taylor-Talcott