U.S. Olympian Jim Heiring was the first person to finish the 1985 National Racewalk Championships yesterday, but he didn't win the race.
Heiring was disqualified for form violations almost 30 minutes after racewalking 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) through Constitution Gardens on a warm, humid morning.
Tim Lewis, the 22-year-old defending champion from Boulder, Colo., was declared the winner in a field of 57 with a time of 1 hour 52 minutes 55 seconds.
Theresa Vaill of Pine Plains, N.Y., won the women's 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) race in a U.S. record of 1:44:28, bettering the 1:45:20 she set in Seattle in last year's championships.
Susan Liers, 26, of Smithtown, N.Y., and Carol Brown, 30, of New York City were next in 1:50:53 and 1:55:08, respectively.
Of Heiring's form, Lewis said, "I was behind him and I couldn't tell. He looked good to me."
"You go out and walk a great time in the heat and then this happens," said Heiring, who finished more than a minute ahead of Lewis. Lewis won last year's championship in Seattle in a U.S. record 1:49:36.
Norman Brand, chief racewalk judge and The Athletics Congress official, said Heiring received three calls for illegal form -- two for not keeping his leg straight and one for not keeping one foot on the ground.
Heiring, 29, of Colorado Springs, did not disagree with the ruling, but was upset that he had not been given a warning during the race.
"By international rules, the judges don't have to say anything to the athlete for a violation," Brand said. "This has always been a controversial issue when we follow international rules. You can give a verbal warning if the violation is a borderline case. But none of these were borderline."
Lewis and runner-up David Cummings of Alamosa, Colo., stayed with Heiring until he surged between the sixth and seventh loop and opened a 46-second margin by the 17.5-kilometer mark.
At that point, Lewis started pulling away from Cummings, 24, who finished in 1:59:20. Gary Morgan of Detroit was third in 2:01:30.
After five kilometers, Vaill, 22, was 3:32 ahead of Liers, and 5:08 ahead at midrace. Liers had pulled away from Brown by then, and Vaill easily defended her title.
In 1983, Liers and Vaill tied for first in this race in 1:50:28.
Alan Price, 31, the 1984 100-mile and 100-kilometer champion from Washington, finished 13th in 2:19:20.
The first masters were 40-year-old Leon Jasionowski (2:14:01) of Utica, Mich., and 42-year-old Marsha Hartz (2:28:24) of Columbia.