what is race walking?
Race walking is a technical sport - which means athletes must follow the rules as determined by the sport's governing bodies ie IAAF (International Amateur Athletics Association) and by the individual country athletic bodies.
Basically, the general definition is:
Race walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs
The IAAF Rules of Competition cover the whole spectrum of athletics- much of which is devoted to the "high end" of international competition - track & field, road races, etc. But we need to be sure that we all comply with the rules - whether we are racing or organisng a race. See the IAAF Rules of Competiton. [note: Section V!!, Rule 230 relates to Race Walking].
Most countries operate under the international definition and adhere to the IAAF rules. Plus their national athletic/race walking rules.
The UK operates under the rules of the race walking governing body- the Race Walking Association (RWA) in conjunction with England Athletics which in turn operates under the IAAF rules and regulations.
Most other countries operate a similar governing structure. But it is always best to check the rules before you compete!