Tom Bosworth has talked the talk and he is now ready to walk the walk in today’s Great South Run 5k race.
Olympian Bosworth came to national attention with an impressive sixth-placed finish at the 20,000m race walk in Rio this summer.
And having recently returned to training, the 26-year-old was happy to accept the challenge put to him by event organiser David Hart to take on the runners.
Anyone competing in today’s 5k race (10.30am) who can beat Bosworth will be permitted free entrance to next year’s event.
That’s easier said than done, though, with the Team GB athlete boasting a personal best over the distance of 19min16sec.
Bosworth said: ‘I compete internationally at 20k so 5k is a bit shorter for me – it’s basically a sprint!
‘I will be walking the race, hopefully faster than most of the runners out there.
‘But anybody who does beat me gets free entry to next year’s event, although I am going to be ultra competitive.
‘I am not in the shape that I was when I competed at the Olympics – I had a break and have just got back into training these last few weeks,
‘But I am still looking to walk a 21-minute 5k and I know some people cannot run that.
‘So when they here I am walking it they say “whoa” how are you going that fast?’
Bosworth had a summer to savour in South America, emerging as a surprise podium contender in Brazil.
Entering the 20,000m race walk ranked 37th in the world, he led the field at the 14k mark, before finishing in sixth place.
He said: ‘To come sixth and break the British record was absolutely unbelievable.
‘It still hasn’t sunk in – it doesn’t feel real.
‘I led the race from 6k to 14k but I knew the Chinese would be stronger.
‘Top eight was my dream!
‘At my fastest I do six-minute miling so using my maths that means I go at 10 miles an hour, flat out.
‘It’s not slow, that is for sure!
‘And hopefully by doing this challenge I can help to raise race-walking’s profile.’