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New England Walkers Newsletter
December 1998


NEW year's resolutions

Now for our big final year of the '90s.

The 1999 schedule will have something for everyone, from the national-level competitor to the beginner to anyone in between. The calendar includes two national championships in Massachusetts, a Grand Prix, plus the familiar, friendly local races. We also hope to add monthly 5-kilometer races, with the emphasis on coaching.

Our site and scheduling committees are working on final details now. If you'd like to recommend an event or a location, please pass your suggestion along to Justin Kuo at (617) 731-9889.

And as one member pointed out at our club meeting last fall, NEW events are as rich in camaraderie as they are in competition. From our post-race restaurant pilgrimage on Presidents Day to the noncompetitive Rhode Island hash in August to our Concord, MA race and potluck dinner in November, there is plenty of good company (and good food) on our agenda. We hope everyone will join in often.

Indoor workouts

Ken Mattsson is conducting training sessions on Wednesday evenings at the MIT indoor track in Cambridge, MA. Cost is $40 per person (to cover insurance and use of the facility) for the winter season. Those interested should contact Ken at 617-576-9331.

Grand Prix, 1999

This series of events lets us see how our performances stack up against the world age-graded standards _ and shows how we compare against one another when age levels are taken into consideration.

Each walker's final score will be based upon his or her four best races out of seven designated events. The proposed schedule:

Grand Prix, 1998

In a nice and much-appreciated touch, Meg and Brian Savilonis produced and presented T-shirts to all walkers who completed four of the seven designated races for 1998. Thanks also to Brian for doing the compilations all season. Familar names topped the lists, with Jeanne Shepardson winning for the fourth straight year and Bob Keating coming out on top for the second year in a row. The final results:

Women

Jeanne Shepardson    331.6
Marcia Gutsche       310.5
Lee Chase            309.2
Rachel Beaudet       284.8
Sheila Danahy        279
Heidi Duskey         272.4
Catherine Marsh      226.5

Men

Bob Keating          339.7
Brian Savilonis      323
Stan Sosnowski       320.5
Joe Light            317
Tom Knatt            316.4
Bob Beaudet          302.1
Bill McCann          300.6
Louis Free           299.8
Bill Harriman        293.3
John Jurewicz        280.6
Richard Huie         274
Ken Mattsson         252.7
Yuri Kuo             246.8

Race results

Connecticut 5-kilometer championships, Nov. 15, Hammonassett State Park, Madison, CT Warm day with a strong headwind on each 1K loop.

Men

 1. Stan Sosnowski   26:01
 2. Joe Light        26:08
 3. Nick Manuzzi     28:42
 4. Bob Beaudet      31:59
 5. Bill McCann      33:10
 6. Goeff Bye        34:46
 7. Chuck Dulecki    35:39
 8. Richard Huie     35:49

Women

1. Lee Chase         28:58
2. Amanda Bergeron   29:39
3. Ann Percival      32:05
4. Jean Tenan        32:22
5. Sheila Danahey    33:05
6. Sue Brown         36:59
7. Barbara Frasca    37:02
8. Rachel Beaudet    37:23
9. Gail Larkin       38:48
10. Florence Degata  39:07
11. Barbara Shenley  39:53

Judges: Tom Eastler, Dianna Gladden, Maryanne Torellas and Bill Banks.

New England Walkers 10K, Nov. 8, Concord, MA Nice weather, good turnout, strong performances and a grand end to our outdoor season. The race was followed by our traditionally lavish potluck meal and a productive club meeting in club president Tom Knatt's house.

Hero of the day was Richard Yanopoulos-Ruquist, who celebrated his 61st birthday the night before and brought in the remaining 80 percent of his giant chocolate cake to top off our lunch. Not incidentally, Richard also posted a 10K time that was lower than his age. "Think about it," Tom said. "Not many people can do that."

Men

 1. Brian Savilonis       48  Brookfield, MA    54:01
 2. Joe Light             51  Westerly, RI      55:04
 3. John Costello         43  Needham, MA       59:01
 4. Bob Ullman            50  Manchester, NH    59:22
 5. John  Jurewicz        48  Boston            60:03
 6. R. Yanopoulos-Ruquist 61  Lexington, MA     60:47
 7. Tom Knatt             58  Concord, MA       60:55
 8. Rich McElevery        41  Hollis, NH        63:51
 9. Yuri Kuo              13  Brookline, MA     67:11
10. Justin Kuo            44  Brookline, MA     67:41
11. Dick Shepardson       66  Sherburn, MA      82:39

In a category of his own was Stan Sosnowski, who was near the front of the pack when he mistakenly followed a sign directing him off the course and into a neighborhood yard sale. "I didn't have any money with me," Stan said, so he scrambled back onto the road somewhere and resumed racewalking. He elected not to cross the final line, so his adventure goes into the records as a "Did Not Finish."

Women

 1. Jeanne Shepardson     65  Sherburn, MA      66:55
 2. Annie Montgomery      51  Concord, MA       67:50
 3. Carol McDonald        47  Boston            68:22
 4. Heidi Duskey          46  Medford, MA       68:33
 5. Sheila Danahey        47  Mystic, CT        70:37
 6. Maria Saiz            45  Boston            73:30

National One- and Two-Hour Championships, Oct. 4, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA For the 10th consecutive year, our New England association did itself proud as host of this national event. The three races went off flawlessly and the festivities were capped by a bountiful buffet and an awards ceremony. Thanks go to many, notably Justin and Carol Kuo and family, Steve Vaitones, and Meg and Brian Savilonis.

Men's two hour

 1. Herman Nelson         37  La Mesa, CA       23694
 2. John Soucheck         33  Little Silver, NJ 23501
 3. Bob Keating           51  Nashua, NH        21901
 4. Brian Savilonis       48  Brookfield, MA    20434
 5. Bill Harriman         51  Tewksbury, MA     19527
 6. Charlie Mansbach      54  Newton, MA        18301
 7. Ken Mattsson          34  Cambridge, MA     17444
 8. Benno Stein           60  Brooklyn, NY      17437
 9. John  Harms           37  Fitchburg, MA     13520

A great duel between Soucheck and two-time Olympian Nelson. The New England Walkers were out in force to capture the team title.

Women's one hour

 1. Gretchen Eastler-Fishman
                          26  Chelmsford, MA    11656
 2. Marcia Gutshe         37  Newton, MA        10771
 3. Elton Richardson      59  New York          10103
 4. Sherry Brosnahan      46  Bridgewater, NJ   10068
 5. Lee Chase             44  Glastonbury, CT   10059
 6. Caitlin  Bonney       15  New Sharon, ME    10039
 7. Amanda  Bergeron      15  Poland, ME        9264
 8. Jeanne Bocci          55  Grosse Point, MI  9190
 9. Wendy  Dudas          42  Woodstock, CT     8922
10. Ann  Percival         40  Cromwell, CT      8865
11. Joan  Bermann         61  Ann Arbor, MI     8856
12. Annie Montgomery      51  Concord, MA       8822
13. Jeanne  Shepardson    64  Sherborn, MA      8810
14. Sheila  Danahey       47  Mystic, CT        8746
15. Jenny Woodbury        16  Morrill, ME       8704
16. Barbara Currier       48  Cambridge, MA     8494
17. Rachel  Beaudet       62  Longmeadow        8076
18. Frances  O'Brien      63  Longmeadow        7878
19. Catherine  Marsh      38  Pawtucket, CT     7842
20. Lorelei  Ruben        66  Rockport, MA      7677
21. Kelly  Afton          15  Westbrook, ME     7435
22. Sally  McMillian      42  Natick, MA        7318

A second stright title for Eastler-Fishman, and another strong performance by Gutshe in her first season of competi- tion.

Men's one hour

 1. Reynaldo  Carrazana   40  Glenmont, NY      11501
 2. Dave  Romansky        60  Pennsuicke, NJ    11494
 3. Justin Easter         17  Jay, ME           11144
 4. Joe Light             51  Westerly, RI      11069
 5. Stanley  Sosnowski    48  West Kingston, RI 10941
 6. Larry  Titus          49  Glastonbury, CT   10521
 7. Bob Barrett           64  Smallwood, NY     10504
 8. Thomas Knatt          58  Concord, MA       10349
 9. Robert Ullman         49  Merrimack, NH     10322
10. Jack Starr            70  Newark, DE        10199
11. John  Costello        43  Needham, MA       10051
12. Fred Anderson         46  Plymouth, NH      9150
13. Sal  Yerardi          59  Lynnfield, MA     9025
14. Louis Free            68  Uncasville, CT    9021
15. Bill McCann           69  Longmeadow, MA    8949
16. Robert Beaudet        65  Longmeadow, MA    8604
17. Yuri Kuo              13  Brookline, MA     8442
18. Richard Huie          63  Bradford, CT      8338
19. Geoffrey  Bye         68  Guilford, CT      8257
20. Richard Shepardson    66  Sherborn, MA      7924
21. Bill Hogan            69  Rensselaer, NY    6686
    John Jurewicz         48  Boston            DNF
    Bob Young             53  Leominster, MA    DNF

Truly the people's race, with a Cuban national, a grandfather and a teenager battling it out in front. Also the deepest field in years, with the first 11 walkers exceeding 10 kilometers.

Judges: Randy Easter, Tom Eastler, James Fields, Tom Knatt, Justin Kuo, Ken Mattsson, Mike Woodbury.

Ohio 50K and 100K Championships, Oct. 31 Bob and Hilary Keating made a vacation excursion from Nashua, NH, to Yellow Springs, Ohio for this event, and Bob captured the 62-mile title in 12:15:16 in a 13-man field. "It was a nice relaxing time," Bob says of his 250 laps around the high school track.

National 40K Championships, Fort Monmouth, NJ, Sept. 13 The 60th annual event drew 87 starters a hefty number of whom wanted to be in on the festivities and planned to go only part of the distance and 46 finishers. Afterward, race director Eliott Denman presented inscribed books to about 10 people for their contributions to racewalking. "I was rather taken aback to be included," confessed Brian Savilonis, a true veteran of this race. "Of course, no other nut would go to New Jersey 21 times for death marches."

Brian, Bob Keating and Bill Harriman teamed up to give the New England Walkers second place in the men's open category. Bill offers this diary of his first-ever attempt to racewalk 24.8 miles:

"Nice and steady first 3 loops at slightly slower than target pace . . . flat course with lots of turns . . . quicker next 7 loops to 2:19 at 20K . . . feeling good . . . great support from wife Joanne and Meg and Stan & Sheila . . . sunshine hotter now by the minute . . . somewhat fatigued after 11 loops and really tired after 12; gotta slow down just to finish . . . water and Gatorade every loop and a hatful of ice . . . cooked after 14 . . .3:32 at 30K . . . Bataan Death March through 19 then a little better on 20 with the end in sight . . . a disappointing 4:54 but at least I made it . . . yeah, I'll probably do it again.

New England Finishers

Men

 5. Bob Keating           51   NEW              4:04:34
 7. Brian Savilonis       46   NEW              4:09:10
22. Bill Harriman         51   NEW              4:53:59

Women

 4. Lee Chase             44  Connecticut RW    4:24
4A. Maryanne Torrellas    40  Connecticut RW    4:24

Volunteers thanked

The following New England Walkers and friends volunteered their services at the Tufts 10K for Women on Oct. 12, benefitting not only the thousands of runners but our club treasury as well.

Tolya, Justin, Genya, Yuri, Masha and Anna Kuo, Jack Harrington, Richard Yanopoulos-Ruquist, Stacy King, Sam Pingree, Betsy Shearer, Bob Falciola, Nathaniel Falciola, Bill Rowan, Ken Mattsson, Harold Thornley, John Robertson, Michael Larocca, Chris Murphy, Rick Doubleday.

Honor roll

The New England Walkers' Joanne Dow received the Captain Ron Zinn Memorial Award last month as the nation's outstanding female racewalker of 1998. The honor came on the heals of a record-setting victory in the national 20K, a victory in the national 10K, a bronze medal in the Goodwill Games and a gold medal in the Pan Am Cup.

Tom Eastler of Maine was honored at the same USA Track & Field ceremony for his contributions to racewalking. A familiar official at our championship races, Tom has been the driving force in making racewalking an official part of high school track and field in his home state.

New England Walker Brian Savilonis was recognized as the nation's outstanding male racewalker in the 45-49 age bracket. The judges apparently didn't realize that Brian spent most of the season bemoaning what sorry shape he was in.

Dow walking on the fast track
(The following profile appeared in the Dec. 2 Boston Globe.)


By Barbara Huebner Globe Staff


It was the summer of 1994. Joanne Dow and her husband, Tim, were on their way home from Niagara Falls, where the novice had done well in her first major racewalking competition. There she caught the eye of one of the sport's top coaches, who told her she had the potential to be among the best in the coun- try.

All she had to do was commit.

From the time she mentioned the topic at a rest area outside Buffalo "Do you think we can do this?" their conversation carried them past the Finger Lakes and Oneida In- dian Reservation, along the peaceful Mohawk River to the billboards of Albany, be- fore taking them home to the Granite State. How can I find more time to train? How will it affect the children? Can we really make this work?

"I'll never forget driving down that highway," said Dow last week, down from her Bedford, N.H., home to do a photo shoot for Adidas. "When we come to a decision like that, we take it very seriously."

So seriously that Dow's outstanding 1998 campaign earned her a nomination for this year's Jesse Owens Award, given by USA Track & Field to the sport's outstanding male and female athletes.

"I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes," said Dow, 34, of being nominated. "I was shocked. I'm still shocked. This has been their career, for most of them, their whole lives. It's just me doing my thing."

In 1998, her thing has included:

  • Setting a US record for 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of 1 hour 34 minutes 46 seconds.
  • A victory in the 10K at the US outdoor nationals.
  • A bronze medal at the Goodwill Games, the first medal by a US racewalker at the event.
  • Becoming the first American woman to win the Pan Am Cup.
  • Seeing her photo in Sports Illustrated last month as one of the "Faces in the Crowd."

"It didn't totally surprise me," said Tim of his wife's rapid rise. "I don't think it's peaked yet."

Since the Owens Award was first given in 1981, winners have included Joan Benoit Samuelson, Florence Griffith Joyner, and Lynn Jennings. This year Dow the first racewalker ever nominated was up against Regina Jacobs, the new American record- holder at 5,000 meters; Jearl Miles-Clark, 400- and 800-meter runner; Connie Price-Smith, discus and shot putter; Tisha Waller, high jumper; and Marion Jones, who was un- defeated this year at 100 and 200 meters and nearly so in the long jump.

Dow didn't think for a moment that she would win, and she didn't: Jones was announced yesterday as the female honoree for the second straight year. (Those sentiments were expressed more directly by Dow's daughter Hannah. When the 8-year-old heard her idol, Jones, was among the nomi- nees, she declared, "Well, I guess we know who's going to win that!")

But the mere fact of Dow's nomination is a victory of sorts, especially for the sport. "It's really a big breakthrough for racewalk- ing," said Mark Fenton, Dow's coach and editor-at-large of Walking magazine. "It moves a racewalker into the category of quote, unquote, real athletes."

Ironically, it's at least partly because Dow was a real athlete before she took up racewalking that her progress has been so phenomenal. A serious swimmer since age 9, Dow twice went to the NCAA Championships on her University of New Hampshire relay team and had worked for years as a fitness instructor. She had the genetic gifts, the endurance, and the willingness to push herself to her limits after discovering what they might be. Always a walker, Dow discovered racewalking while she was teaching fit- ness walking classes at a Manchester health club. It didn't take long to feel the potential.

After she and her husband committed themselves, Dow buckled down. "She became a student of the sport," said Fenton. "She was willing to read and learn, go to clinics. She took off like a rocket in the first year of her career."

But the rocket soon crashed. Barely a year after getting into the sport, Dow was out of it, felled by a torn hamstring.

"She may have overtaxed herself," said Fenton, explaining that Dow's superb aerobic conditioning allowed her to push herself faster than her muscles were ready to carry her.

Dow was crushed. "I was getting faster and faster and faster," she said, her eyes dancing at the joy of it. "I was just pounding myself. A day off for me was teaching a class."

It was a year before Dow was back on track, during which she gave the 1996 Olympic trials a go despite the injury and hooked up with Fenton to help ensure that the 2000 trials would be more meaningful. The only thing he has to drive her to do, he said, is stop.

"When I tell you to knock it off, she has to knock it off," he said. Rest means rest. Take a day off means take a day off, not it's OK to do an easy 6 miles to stay loose.

"I reaped the rewards this year of having someone like him who knows what he's doing," said Dow.

All along, it seems, the timing has been right. Her children Hannah and 6-year-old Tim always seemed to be at the right age for her next step in racewalking, and this year both are in school full-time, which al- lows for training after dawn. The main event in women's racewalking has just grown from 10K to 20K, which suits her endurance and levels the playing field in that everyone, even the most experienced racewalkers in the world, have to cope with the new distance. She's been healthy long enough to really test herself in 1999, leading up to an Olympic year.

"It absolutely came at the right time: agewise, lifewise, what I could give to it," Dow said. "I don't feel like I've reached my potential yet."

If that's true, the journey that began at a rest stop outside of Buffalo could end up on the medal stand in Sydney.

1999 race calendar

As always, our listing of racewalking events is not engraved 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.

January
3 1 mile, Wheaton College, Norton MA, 4:30 p.m. Tentative we will have a race if we can get 6 or more competitors. $5 entry fee. Contact USA Track & Field office, (617) 566-7600.
8 1500 meters, late afternoon, Dartmouth Relays masters meet, Hanover, NH.
10 Women's 1 mile, men's 2 mile, 9:30 a.m., Dartmouth Relays, Hanover, N.H.
24 3000 meters, 9 a.m., Greater Boston TC Invitational, Harvard University. 20-minute time limit. Jim O'Brien, (617) 282-5537.
February
7 3000 meters, 10 a.m. Alden Invitational/USATF-NE Championships, Brown University, Providence, RI. Grand Prix event. 20-minute time limit requested. USA Track & Field office, (617) 566-7600.
27 (?) 1500 meters or one mile, Maine USATF meet, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME.
14 (?) Connecticut Post Mall 3K, Boston Post Road, Milford, CT. A local favorite and a race unique in the world. Gus Davis, (203) 795-6441
15 Presidents Day 3.7-miler, 2 p.m., D.W. Field Park, Brockton, MA. Our traditional start to the outdoor season, usually followed by a group meal at a nearby restaurant. Justin Kuo, (617) 731-9889.
March
21 Connecticut USATF meet, New Haven, CT.
27 3000 meters, National Masters Championships, Reggie Lewis Track, Boston. Ages 30 and up; scoring in 5-year age groups. Grand Prix event. The third straight year that this major USATF event has been held in Boston. TRACS, (617) 332-3919; USA Track & Field office, (617) 566-7600.
April
25, probably Clamdigger 5-miler, Town Beach, Westerly, RI. Grand Prix event. Another traditional favorite for New England Walkers. Well-organized, good food afterward. Joe Light, (401) 596-3173.
May
? New England 20K. Grand Prix event. Date and site to be determined. We are hoping to make this a major regional event, widely announced and well-attended.
late in month Great Bear 5K, Pollard School, Needham, MA. A separate unjudged walk as part of a day-long series of races.
June
? New England 5K, date and site to be determined. Grand Prix event.
July
? Bay State Games 3K. Part of the track and field portion of the statewide athletics festival.
August
1 10K National Championships, Wilkes Barre, PA.
1 XIII World Association of Veteran Athletes Championships, Gateshead, England. (Well, some of us are thinking of it.) Men's 20K, women's 10K. 5K on the track, Aug. 6-7. Sandy Pashkin, 301 Cathedral Parkway, No. 6U, NY NY 10026
September
19 40K National Championships, Ft. Monmouth, NJ. Year 61 of the tradition, and a longtime favorite for the hardiest among us.
October
3 National One and Two Hour Championships, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA. Grand Prix. Our 11th consecutive year as host of this major event.

Membership renewal time

Our one-year USA Track & Field membership cards expire as of Dec. 31. A form for 1999 is on the back page.

USA Track & Field membership gives walkers eligibility for local, regional and national USATF events and helps support a wide range of programs. The New England office also has a full-time staff, one of the few in the country, available to assist all of us.

When filling out your form, use Club Number 137 to designate the New England Walkers.

If the date atop your mailing label on this issue does not say "1999" or later, your New England Walkers dues are due. The payments support races, clinics, mailings and other NEW activities throughout the region. At $6 a year, it's still the best bargain in the athletic world. Please send your check to

Justin Kuo, 39 Oakland Road, Brookline, MA 02445

Racewalking down memory lane

November 1973: Paul Schell beats Tom Knatt, 2:05:49 to 2:08:59, in the New England AAU 25-kilometer championship in Attleboro, MA. One week later, Paul prevails over Tom more narrowly, 3:07:57 to 3:08:08, for the New England 30K title in Eastham, MA.

November 1983: Urged by the race director to "Stay in! Stay in!", Brian Savilonis abandons his plan to drop out after 31 miles and goes on to win the National 100-Kilometer Championship in Arlington, VA. Brian finishes in 10:33:12, comfortably ahead of defending champ Bob Keating.

November 1988: Steve Vaitones, with 7.8 miles, tops Phil McGaw, with 7.35 miles, in a season-ending one-hour race in Milton, MA. The North Medford Club's Fred Brown cleans out his backlog of medals by distributing 54 prizes in assorted open, masters and team categories to the 24 finishers. Fred even paints some of the bronze medals gold the night before to make certain that no one is shortchanged.

We're on-line

Justin Kuo has established a web page for the benefit of New England Walkers and all others who may be interested.

In their browser, users should type the following command:

http://members.tripod.com/NEWALKERS

The NEWALKERS part must be capitalized or the command won't work. The rest of the command is case-insensitive.

"The NEW site is still developing," says Justin. "Right now, visitors can learn about the NEW club, see results of past races, read the newsletters, and learn about the 1999 racewalk Grand Prix series. There is a place for guests to leave comments,which may be viewed by future visitors.

"Near the bottom of our page, visitors are encouraged to sign up for the New England Walkers discussion list. That list is similar to the racewalk@reed.edu network _ subscribers may discuss, via e-mail, issues that affect the New England Walkers. Messages from the unmoderated list are archived at www.listbot.com and may be viewed."

The list is new and has just seven subscribers so far. We hope that all New England Walkers will sign up.

Call us anytime

Your faithful newsletter staff also regularly takes to the phone lines to bring you up-to-the-minute information on race schedules, clinics and other events. Call the New England Walkers hot line at:

781-433-7142


New England Walkers
newenglandwalkers@usa.net
39 Oakland Road
Brookline, MA 02245-6700
United States


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This page was last updated January 11, 1999.
Corrections? Contact
Justin Kuo (617-731-9889)