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New England Walkers Newsletter
July 1998

Volunteers needed

The New England Walkers are seeking volunteers to serve as course marshals at the Chase Corporate Challenge road race on Thursday, July 30, beginning at 7 p.m. at Boston Common.

Now in its 15th year, the 3.5-mile race attracts about 12,000 runners representing more than 500 companies from the Greater Boston area.

New England Walker volunteers will earn revenue for our club and will have their memberships extended through 1999. If you can lend a hand, please call Justin Kuo at 617-731-9889.

Workouts, clinics continue

Racewalker and coach Ken Mattsson is conducting training sessions on the MIT track in Cambridge, MA at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Ken's latest clinic, a four-week introduction to racewalk- ing, began July 2 at the MIT track. For further information about the group workouts or the remaining sessions of the clinic, contact Ken at 617-576-9331.

The hash tradition trods on

Brian and Meg Savilonis will hold their third annual hash at Broadwall Farm, 811 Sisson Road, Greene, RI at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16. The hash is a noncompetitive event in which participants follow clues, real and false, along a course featuring dirt and paved roads, trails, mud, bugs and those dreaded cow-pies. A pool party and cookout will follow. All racewalkers, runners, joggers and poolside potatoes are welcome. Call Brian and Meg for details and directions: tel/fax 508-867-6748, e-mail

Greene is located in the wilds of mid-western Rhode Is- land, near the Connecticut border. Sisson Road runs between Routes 14 and 102. Exact directions depend on where you're coming from.

Dow does it again

On the heels of her record-setting victory in May in the national 20-kilometer championships, Joanne Dow won the women's 10-kilometer racewalk June 19 at the USA Track & Field Championships in New Orleans. Conditions were hot and humid, and "anything else this year will seem easier," Joanne said. The results:

1. Joanne Dow 47:06.50
2. Michelle Rohl 47:32.70
3 Debbi Lawrence 48:34.40
4. Victoria Herazo 50:04.50
5. Susan Armenta 50:21.20
6. Gretchen Eastler-Fishman 52:19.60
7. Cheryl Rellinger 52:44.10
8. Jill Zenner 52:57.50
9. Danielle Kirk 53:30.80
10. Margaret Ditchburn 53:38.90
11. Deborah Iden 56:08.80
  Teresa Vaill DNF
  Molly Lavacek DQ

Other race results

USATF-New England 5-kilometer championships - May 31, Downes Field track, Brookline, MA. Good performances, good support, and as usual, our best turnout of the season. Five kilometers must be a distance that appeals to everyone.

1. Joanne Dow 34 Bedford, NH 22:03.1
2. Maryanne Torrellas 39 Clinton, CT 25:29.4
3. Lynda Dewitt 35 Stowe, VT 26:48.2
4. Chris Anderson 44 Shrewsbury, MA 29:12.0
5. Elton Richardson 59 New York, NY 29:36.9
6. Anni Mongomery 51 Concord, MA 32:41.4
7. Sheila Danahy 47 Mystic, CT 32:41.9
8. Heidi Duskey 45 Medford, MA 32:46.4
9. Lisa White 35 Jamaia Plain, MA 33:05.4
10. Holly Wenninger 33 Malden, MA 33:14.8
11. Carol Kuo 50 Brookline, MA 34:36.5
12. Rachael Beaudet 62 Longmeadow, MA 37:08.1
13. Elena Alessandro 50 Melrose, MA 37:16.2
14. Florence Dagata 71 Pawtucket, RI 39:28.7
1. Bob Keating 51 Nashua, NH 23:59.0
2. Steve Vaitones 41 Waltham, MA 24:56.0
3. Brian Savilonis 48 Brookfield, MA 25:03.0
4. Stan Sosnowski 48 West Kingston, RI 25:13.0
5. Joe Light 50 Westerly, RI 25:37.0
6. Bob Ullman 49 Merrimack, NH 27:40.3
7. Thomas Knatt 58 Concord, MA 28:05.9
8. Bill Harriman 51 Tewksbury, MA 28:09.8
9. Ken Mattsson 34 Cambridge, MA 28:15.6
10. John Jurewicz 48 Boston, MA 28:16.9
11. Richard Ruquist 60 Lexington, MA 29:12.6
12. John Costello 42 Needham, MA 29:44.6
13. Charles Mansbach 53 Newton, MA 30:30.9
14. Justin Kuo 43 Brookline, MA 31:30.9
15. Bob Beaudet 65 Longmeadow, MA 31:48.5
16. Sal Yerardi 59 Lynnfield, MA 32:29.2
17. Yuri Kuo 12 Brookline, MA 32:58.1
18. Bill McCann 68 Longmeadow, MA 33:25.6

Judges: James Fields, Thomas Knatt, Justin Kuo, Ken Mattsson, Steve Vaitones, Meg Savilonis, and Mayranne Torrellas.

Cape Cod Canal 10-kilometer walk, June 21 - A "monitored" walk held in conjunction with a running race. The court is flat, and it can be fast if there isn't a headwind up the canal, says Brian Savilonis. Thirty-five walkers turned out; following are partial results.

1. Brian Savilonis 48 50:10
2. Stan Sosnowski 48 54:21
3. Jeanne Shepardson 64 64:51
4. Sheila Danahey 47 68:22

Other NEW members finishing included Catherine Marsh in 74:41 and Barbara Zielinski in 75:48.

Massachusetts Senior Games, June 12-13, Springfield, MA - A good turnout for the annual athletic festival for athletes ages 50 and over.

1500-Meter Racewalk
Age 50-54
Annie Montgomery 9:34
Kwabena Boateng 10:09
Rosalind Clark 12:34
Age 55-59
Thomas Knatt 7:58
Vivian Hopkins 10:41
Sandra Shaw 10:42
Christine Mucha 12:15
Age 60-64
Raimo Ahti 8:57
Dean Kavanagh 9:02
Jeanne Shepardson 9:14
Karl Tuomivaara 9:39
Rachel Beaudet 10:17
Fran O'Brien 10:42
Monica Donegan 11:49
Age 65-69
Bob Beaudet 8:23
Bill McCann 9:31
Valio Liedes 9:31
Chuck Dolecki 9:42
George Freeman 10:11
Dick Shepardson 10:44
Bob Donegan 10:58
Helen Lavelle 11:17
Arthur Sotak 11:30
Pauline Wojtowicz 11:54
Virginia Bell 12:21
Verna Engstrom-Heg 13:36
Age 70-74
Horst Langer 10:23
Ray Lussier 10:32
Stuart Corning 10:57
Bill O'Leary 10:58
Florence Dagata 11:21
Leo Simard 11:24
Mary Gray 12:07
Ester Hafey 12:55
Minna Charles 12:56
Age 75-79
Eunice Kavanagh 12:27
Jean Marra 16:07
Age 80-84
Irving White 14:29
Age 85-89
Frank Rubin 12:07
Age 95-99
George Conway 14:41
5000-Meter Racewalk
Age 50-54
Annie Montgomery 33:21
Rosalind Clark 43:42
Age 55-59
Thomas Knatt 29:07
Sal Yeradi 31:58
Age 60-64
Jeanne Shepardson 32:20
Rachel Beaudet 35:19
Fran O'Brien 36:58
Karl Makela 40:03
Monica Donegan 42:17
Marryann Lord 44:54
Age 65-69
Bob Beaudet 31:17
Bill McCann 32:45
Chuck Dolecki 33:43
Valio Liedes 33:54
Dick Shepardson 36:58
Helen Lavelle 38:14
Bob Donegan 38:15
Virginia Bell 43:40
Verna Engtrom-Heg 52:10
Age 70-74
Bill O'Leary 36:53
Stuart Corning 38:28
Leo Simard 38:59
Florence Dagata 40:08
Minna Charles 43:14

Greater Boston Track Club one-mile walk - Part of the '98 GBTC Relays, held on the MIT track in Cambridge, MA, June 3.

1. Steve Vaitones 7:36.5
2. John Jurewicz 8:21.5
3. Ken Mattsson 8:37.2
4. Justin Kuo 9:32.3
5. Jean Shepardson 10:04.7
6. Holly Wenninger 10:07.3
7. Dick Shepardson 11:39.7

One-mile racewalks, mini-development series, MIT track, Cambridge - A good range of competitors for this three-part program of walks hosted by the USATF-New England association.

May 27
Bill Harriman 8:24.3
John Jurewicz 8:27.6
Tish Beach 9:39.3
Tolya Kuo (10) 9:36.5
Justin Kuo 9:46.7
Margaret Carlton-Foss (10) 9:57.8
Natalie Johnson (12) 9:58.3
Holly Wenninger 9:59.0
Jean Shepardson 10:02.9
Linda Bronson 11:41.7
Sally McMillian 11:51.9

Judges: James Fields and Steve Vaitones.

May 20
1. Kevin Eastler 6:27.1
2. John Jurewicz 8:45.5
3. Justin Kuo 9:44.7
4. Heidi Duskey 10:10.0
5. Holly Wenninger 10:15.1
6. Jean Shepardson 10:20.1
7. Carol Kuo 10:59.0
8. Sally McMillian 12:18.3

Judges: James Fields, Ken Mattsson and Steve Vaitones.

May 13
1. Ken Mattsson 8:33.0
2. John Jurewicz 8:44.5
3. Polly Wenminger 10:32.2
4. Barbara Currier 10:43.3
5. Maria Saiz 11:47.1
6. Elena Allessandaro 11:55.8
7. Kate Moran 12:35.1
8. Christin Wilbert 13:02.5
9. Patel De Pa 13:27.6
10. Liz Sharp 13:29.7
11. Margaret Noriegna 13:30.7

Grand Prix standings

The following totals are based on walkers' performances in the USATF-NE 5K, the 30K/20K national championships in Albany, the Clamdigger 8K and in either the Alden Invitational 3K or the National Masters 3K, the first events in our 1998 Grand Prix.

Points are calculated by comparing walkers' times with aged-graded international standards for the event. Final Grand Prix scores will be based on competitors' performances in their top four out of seven designated races. Brian and Meg Savilonis are graciously promising Grand Prix T-shirts to the top 25 finishers at the end of the season.

Thanks also to Brian, self-described as "score-keeper, and perennially injured," for the calculations.

John Jurewicz 278.6
Bob Keating 255.2
Brian Savilonis 240.5
Joe Light 235.6
Stan Sosnowski 234.9
Bob Beaudet 225.4
Bill McCann 221.7
Bill Harriman 221.3
Many others with 1 or 2 races.
Lee Chase 231.5
Rachel Beaudet 212.2
Sheila Danahey 207.4
Heidi Duskey 204.8
Many others with 1 or 2 races.

1998 race calendar

As always, our listing of racewalking events is not en- graved in stone. Some races are added during the season, others are changed or cancelled. It's always best to verify the time, date and location with the race director before setting out.

4 - Dedham 10K. An unjudged walk as part of the tradi- tional holiday road race.
11 - USATF 10K Championships, Niagara Falls, NY. Dave Lawrence, 94 Harding Ave., Kenmore, NY 14217. 716- 875-6361
25 - Bay State Games 3K, Shrewsbury High School track, reportedly. An event open to all as part of the track and field championships. 781-932-6555.
31 - US Master Outdoor Championships, Orono, ME. Men's and women's 5K. University of Maine, 5747 Memorial Gym, Orono, ME 04469. 207-581-1077. Late registration dead- line, July 20.
2 - US Master Outdoor Championships, Orono, ME. Men's 20K and women's 10K. University of Maine, 5747 Me- morial Gym, Orono, ME 04469. 207-581-1077. Late registra- tion deadline, July 20.
13 - US 40K Championships, Ft. Monmouth, NJ. Elliott Denman, 28 North Locust Ave., West Long Branch, NJ 07764. 732-222-9080.
??? - New England 10K. Or maybe very late August or not until November. Site and date undetermined; suggestions welcome. Call Justin Kuo at 617-731-9889 with your thoughts.
4 - US one-hour and two-hour championships, Worcester Polytechnic Institute track, Worcester MA. USATF office, 617-566-7600.
17 - 5K and 10K racewalks (still very tentative), Manches- ter, NH.

Racewalking down memory lane

July 1986 - Steve Vaitones wins the Bay State Games 5K in 23:16 in a small field at MIT. "I think Steve is going to be racing by himself today," Brain Savilonis predicted beforehand. "I'm going to be racing by myself, too," I piped in. Both forecasts proved to be on the money.

August 1988 - The annual Taunton, MA., 11.7-miler gets 18 finishers on an oppressively humid and airless 97-degree Sunday afternoon. Conditions become so unpleasant that Phil McGaw briefly leaves the course at the halfway mark and sticks his head into Lake Sabbatia for relief. Dick Ruquist wins the race in 1:50:41 and explains his victory this way: "Everyone went out faster, and then they all came back to me."

July 1993 - Brian Savilonis captures the New England 15K in 1:19:02 on an oft-remeasured and reconfigured road course in Sterling, MA. Brian earns additional plaudits for scheduling the race for late afternoon, after the summer sun had lost some of its oomph.

Rewards of the racewalking workout

The following article appeared in the June 22 Boston Globe Health/Science section. NEW's Ken Mattsson reports that the story has generated about 50 phone calls to him from people wanting to know more about our sport.

By Barbara Huebner
Boston Globe

The next time you're tempted to smirk at the waddling hips and exaggerated elbows of your neighborhood racewalker, consider this: He's burning more calories than a runner going the same pace, and is less likely to get hurt doing it.

It's a rare instance where inefficiency is a plus.

"It's certainly counterintuitive to most people when I tell them I'm going to teach them an inefficient activity that is the best workout they could ever imagine," acknowledges Mark Fenton, editor-at-large of Walking magazine who studied biomechanics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to a recent survey by the Sporting Goods Manu- facturers Association, 33.2 million Americans walk recreationally or informally for exercise, while 32.3 million run or jog. Yet, although untold thousands use at least some racewalking techniques in their fitness walking, only about 5,000 people actually compete in racewalking events.

If all those runners want to spend less time on the disabled list while staying in shape, they might want to rethink their strategy.

"Very commonly with my runners I see with injuries, I tell them to racewalk," says Dr. Gary N. Guten, an orthopedic surgeon and director of the Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Milwaukee. "You get the most rewards with the least risks."

So why don't more people do it? In part, says Guten - also the author of "Play Healthy, Stay Healthy" - because it takes time to learn the technique, in which one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times, the knee of the back leg must be straightened with each step and the arms swing like a short pendulum at a 90-degree angle.

There's also the sociability factor: Because so many more people run than racewalk, you can always find plenty of companions.

Jay T. Kearney, senior sports physiologist for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, has another thought: "Because it looks goofy."

But let's get back to the rewards.

In a study at the University of Colorado in Boulder, 82 people were randomly assigned to 28-week programs of step aerobics, running or racewalking. Each exercised for 40 minutes, four days a week, at 80 percent of their maximum heart rate. After 28 weeks, although each group showed similar improvements in cardiovascular fitness, 16.7 percent of the runners had dropped out because of injury, while no racewalkers had to quit. Overall, runners missed an average of 11 days because of injury, while racewalkers missed 11/2 days. Other studies have echoed that finding.

Morever, says William Byrnes, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and author of the study, "People seem to get injured in running, then go to racewalking and don't experience injury."

That's mostly because of the lessened impact. "You don't leave the ground, ever," says Fenton, who has coached the US national racewalking team. "The runner leaves the ground with every step."

In racewalking, because at least one foot is always on the ground, the force of impact is only about 11/2 times the per- son's body weight, and as technique improves, that becomes even less. In running, the impact is three times body weight, if not more. In other words, a 140-pound racewalker hits the ground with no more than 210 pounds of force on each step, while a 140-pound runner slams it with 423 pounds. With the higher impact come more acute injuries, especially to the knee.

Although appearances would hint otherwise, racewalkers don't seem to sustain many hip injuries, despite the emphatic, rolling motion. "There's more movement, but it's not jarring," says Kearney. "The hip is designed to do the motions."

If the lower risk of injury isn't persuasive, perhaps the higher burn of calories will be.

At a certain point - called the crossover speed, at just above 5 miles per hour - it takes more energy to walk than to run. Picture yourself dashing to catch a bus, picking up the pace more and more until you break into a jog because you feel as if you can't walk any faster. If at that point you instead continued to walk, it would take so much more effort than running that you actually burn more calories at the same speed.

According to a 1979 study at Columbia University, at 5 m.p.h., a 12-minutes-per-mile pace, a runner burns 480 calories an hour, while a racewalker expends 530 calories. As both the runner and racewalker pick up speed, the gap widens: for instance, at 7 m.p.h., the tally becomes 690 to 960 - a difference of 270 calories per hour.

"You're getting a lot of movement of your limbs relative to the distance you're moving across the ground," says Kearney of racewalking. "There's a lot of ancillary muscle contraction to use those limbs." Then, too, because racewalkers are taking shorter strides - remember, they don't have the flight phase enjoyed by a runner - they need more steps to cover every mile, and that means even more contractions.

And as they increase speed, they don't increase stride length, as runners do, but instead boost stride frequency. More steps, more muscle contractions, higher oxygen con- sumption, more calories burned.

So will runners - especially the slower ones, who aren't going any faster than a good racewalker - be inclined to switch? Theresa Taylor-Dusharm, an exercise physiologist for Advocate Health Care in Chicago, doubts it.

"With less chance of injury it's definitely the way to go," she says. "But you know those diehard runners won't give it up."

The New England Walkers Newsletter is published six times a year as a service to club members.

Please send letters, articles, queries, comments, results and exhortations to:

Charlie Mansbach
25 Larkspur Road
Newton, MA 02468

E-mail address:

All submissions are welcome.

New England Walkers
39 Oakland Road
Brookline, MA 02146-6700
United States

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This page was last updated July 9, 1998.
Corrections? Contact
Justin Kuo (617-731-9889)