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New England Walkers Newsletter
March 1999


Race series begins March 7

The New England Walkers will begin a series of monthly five-kilometer races at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 7, at Danahy Park in Cambridge, MA. These will be low-key events with no entry fee. Coaching will be available. There will be judging but no one will be disqualified. Newcomers to racewalking are most welcome; plenty of veterans will be on hand to offer individual instruction. Water will be available during the race, and we may adjourn to a nearby restaurant for refreshment afterward.

To get to Danahey Park:

From Route 128 take Route 2 east to the end. Bear right and continue past Alewife Station over the bridge and past the Fresh Pond Mall to the rotary. Go all the way around the rotary to the entrance to the Fresh Pond Mall. Enter the mall parking lot and go left to Staples at the far left end of mall. Loew's Cinema will be in front of you. Danehy Park is directly behind Staples, with a big parking lot. From Boston take Storrow or Memorial Drive to Fresh Pond Parkway to the rotary and into the mall. For further information, call Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (but please no calls after 9:30 p.m.; Bill is an early bird).

Noncompetitive walk May 1

Bob and Hilary Keating will host a "go as you please" walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 1, at their home at 5 Coburn Woods, Nashua, N.H. Participants can choose their walk — ranging from two miles to two hours — and go at any pace they wish. Before we start, will we take orders for pizza, which will be waiting for us afterward.

To get to the Keating home in Nashua, take Exit 6 off the Everett Turnpike (Rte. 3) and go left onto Broad Street (Rte. 130). After about two miles, turn right onto Coburn Avenue. Go 1.3 miles to the Coburn Woods condo development on the right. Pull in and take the first right to a cluster of houses. Number 5 will be on the right.

Those planning to take part should contact Bob or Hilary at 603-883-6903 so our hosts will have an approximate headcount and will be able to set out an appropriate amount of juice and bagels beforehand.

Race results

Kathy and Ken Hayden 3.7ish-mile Presidents' Day Racewalk — Feb. 15, D.W. Field Park, Brockton, MA. This was the 24th consecutive year we've held this race, and never before did we find the gates locked when we tried to drive to our starting point. But it takes more than wrought-iron barriers to stop a resolute gang of racewalkers. We parked at the nearby art museum, trekked around a duck pond and up the hill to the familiar tower, and raced around the premises as usual. Our only concession to the unexpected roadblocks was to move the finish line slightly forward (about 20-25 seconds' worth, Tom Knatt estimates) so we could keep our coats and other gear in sight. And while were were in mid-race, the gates were suddenly opened, as mysteriously as they had been shut.

Men

 1. Stan Sosnowski   48  West Kingston RI    31:36
 2. Joe Light        51  Westerly RI         31:42
 3. Steve Vaitones   43  Waltham MA          32:01
 4. Bob Ullman       50  Manchester NH       33:02
 5. Tom Knatt        58  Concord MA          34:55
 6. Paul Schell      61  Malden MA           35:40
 7. Charlie Mansbach 54  Newton MA           36:13
 8. Justin Kuo       44  Brookline MA        37:28
 9. Tolya Kuo        11  Brookline MA        38:17
10. John Gray        74  Wakefield MA        38:28
11. Rich Herdegen    58  Rockland MA         39:31
12. Steve McAvoy     48  Everett MA          42:02
13. Tom McDonough    74  Nahant MA           44:54
14. Bill Harriman*   51  Tewskbury MA        52:16
15. Scott Glick      11  Chelmsford MA       56:07

*Slower than usual only because he was pacing his wife

Women

 1. Mary Flanagan    39  Mashfield MA        36:49
 2. Annie Montgomery 51  Concord MA          38:30
 3. Evelyn Bandlow   45  Bridgewater MA      39:30
 4. Sheila Danahey   47  Mystic CT           40:43
 5. Carol Kuo        51  Brookline MA        41:51
 6. Catherine Marsh  38  Pawcatuck CT        42:25
 7. Andrea McDonough 36  Boston              44:52
 8. Lisa Devito      35  Boston              44:54
 9.Joanne Harriman   56  Tewksbury MA        52:16
10.Wendy Glick       39  Chelmsford          55:41

Connecticut Racewalkers 3 kilometer indoor mall race — Westfield Shoppingtowns Connecticut Post Mall, Milford CT, Feb. 14. "You'll never find another racewalking event like it, and every record is a world record because they know of no other mall race," says Sheila Danahey.

 1. Maryanne Torrellas 40       14:36
 2. Nick Manuzzi       37       14:37
 3. David Baldwin      54       14:38
 4. Joe Light          51       15:07
 5. Stan Sosnowski     48       15:19
 6. Larry Titus        49       15:39
 7. Gerry Patrick      59       17:53
 8. Jean Tenan         35       18:20
 9. Benno Stein        60       18:38
10. Robin Kerwin       43       18:48
11. Bob Beaudet        66       18:51
12. Dean Kavanaugh     67       18:52
13. George Scott       64       18:52
14. Louis Free         68       19:20
15. Geoff Bye          68       19:25
16. Bill McCann        69       19:34
17. Sheila Danahy      47       19:37
18. Richard Huie       63       19:51
19. Abdy Cable         32       19:55
20. Gus Davis          61       20:22
21. Norma Bloeser      50       20:47
22. Michell Irizzary   14       20:54
23. Chuck Dolecki      68       21:05
24. Glen Irizzary      37       21:19
25. Victoria Irizzary  12       21:25
26. Len Scheer         74       21:40
27. Carol Case         56       22:02
28. Darlene Hall       41       22:03
29. Rachel Beaudet     63       22:31
30. Florence Dagata    72       23:04
31. Michael Gannon     30ish    23:18
32. Eunice Kavanaugh   70       24:10
33. Minna Charles      74       27:13
34. Jay Charles        76       27:15
35. Catherine Irizzary 29       29:50
36. Luke Torrellas     14       32:11
37. Margie Timmons     70       32:12

Alden Invitational/USATF-NE Championship 3K — Brown University, Providence, Feb. 7. "Far and away the largest field ever" for this meet, says director Steve Vaitones. And lots of good performances in our first Grand Prix event of 1999.

 1. Maryanne Torrellas  Conn RW             14:24.98
 2. Nick Manuzzi        Conn RW             14:46.15
 3. Brian Savilonis     NEW                 14:49:00
 4. David Baldwin       Sub  5 TC           14:56.38
 5. Marcia Gutsche      NEW                 14:57.52
 6. Joe Light           NEW                 15:23.77
 7. Stan Sosnowski      NEW                 15:46.75
 8. Bill Harriman       NEW                 15:52.72
 9. Caitlin Bonney      Western Maine RW    16:02.12
10. Amanda Bergeron     NEW                 16:10.13
11. Tom Knatt           NEW                 16:27.92
12. Lee Chase           Conn RW             17:08.10
13. Fred Anderson       NEW                 17:56.23
14. Charles Mansbach    NEW                 18:00.96
15. Justin Kuo          NEW                 18:26.92
16. Anne Percival       Conn RW             18:42.38
17. Jean Tenan          Conn RW             18:43.83
18. Bob Beaudet         NEW                 19:01.74
19. Richard Huie        Conn RW             20:23.00
20. Luanne Centrella    Sacred Heart U.     21:11.35
21. Jessica Compton     Western Maine RW    21:24.72

   DNF:  Bill McCann,  Florence Dagata

Greater Boston Track Club Invitational 3K — Boston, Jan. 24. A small field, but certainly a fast one.

1. Joanne Dow           Bedford NH          12:56.45
2. Justin Easter        Maine               13:13.99
3. Samantha Cohen       NY                  14:20.91
4. David Baldwin        Maine               15:22.90
5. Amanda Bergeron      Maine               16:48.80

Disney Marathon — Orlando, Fla., Dec. ??

Stan Sosnowski  4:55 (second, ages 40-49)
Sheila Danahey  5:15 (third, women 40-49)

Half marathon

Lee Chase       2:15  (first, women 40-49)
Cathy Marsh     2:38  (second, women 30-39)

For a much more extensive report, see "When you wish upon a star."

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.

March

21 — Connecticut USATF meet, New Haven, CT.

27 — 3000 meters, National Masters Championships, Reggie Lewis Track, Boston. 3:30 p.m. Ages 30 and up; scoring in 5- year age groups. Grand Prix event. Entry deadline March 1; late entry deadline March 19. Call TRACS, (617) 332-3919, or USA Track & Field office, (617) 566-7600 for entry information.

April

25 — 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. Entry form enclosed.

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.

late in month — Possibly a 50K race, the only one to be held in the east this year. Stay tuned.

When you wish upon a star


By Sheila Danahey


What's that noise? Oh, it's the phone ringing. In my groggy mind as I reach to answer it I look at the clock — it's 3:15 a.m. This can't be good news at this hour. The voice at the other end is that of a familiar mouse telling me, "It's time to get up; we have a lot to do today." Then I remember where I am and why. I'm at Disney World and today is the sixth annual Disney Marathon. Suddenly the body begins to respond and wake up, but then the nervousness and uncertainty start to set in. Last year, Stan and I made a pact to stay together for the entire distance, not knowing if either of us could finish the 26.2 miles. We did finish, but I could not have done it without him — I got injured about halfway and, rather than let me quit he stayed with me, giving up his chance for an award. It was the most unselfish gesture anyone could make. However, this year was to be different — we would each do our own race, and we had one more person with us who was going for the half marathon. My boss, Cathy Marsh, had trained with us for the last few months and had her sights set on finishing the half. The homework was done and now it was time for the test.

The scheduled start was at 6 a.m., but we were supposed to be in the staging area by 5. The Three Caballeros, as we called ourselves (this was the third race for the three of us together - Orono, Lake Tahoe and now Disney) hopped on our resort bus and arrived at the staging area about 4:45. As we were waiting for the mass of 13,000 racers, we saw a couple of racewalkers whom we had seen at Disney last year and met for a second time at Lake Tahoe in October, when we did the 10K racewalk in conjunction with the marathon. We chatted briefly and then headed for the staging area. On Saturday at the Expo we happened to meet up with Gary Morgan and Cheryl Rellinger, who were both racewalking the full marathon, but we never saw them in the crowd Sunday morning. However, when we got into the corrals we happened to be standing next to John Fredricks, one of those "40K people we hear about," who is also a Disney employee. John was the marathon winner last year but opted to do the half this year. Sandy DeNoon suddenly appeared in the crowd next to us also — it was nice to see some quality racewalkers here this year. The hour passed quickly as we were entertained by music from "The Lion King." As 6 a.m. approached, Rafiki, the wise baboon from "The Lion King," called the "animals" to the start line to begin their journey through the "Circle of Life." The fireworks went off — the 6th annual Walt Disney World Marathon had begun.

The early going
The atmosphere is festive for the first mile with the throngs of racers cheering and also being cheered by the many spectators lining the course. At the one-mile mark, I glance back looking for Cathy. She was next to me at the start, but I can't pick her out in the sea of faces. I already being to worry about her, but I know in my heart she will finish. Stan looks at me apprehensively. I tell him "GO" — it's now time to do this on my own. I listen to the sounds around me — it is beginning to quiet down, everyone seems to be settling in, all one can hear is the pounding of 26,000 feet in the Florida darkness. Some will not reach their goals today of completing this marathon; I also have an inner doubt whether I will be one of those who will not finish.

As mile 3 approaches, you can see the silver globe of Spaceship Earth at Epcot. Everyone is picking up the pace. There are plenty of spectators as we enter Epcot, along with the many Disney cast members to cheer on the racers. I spot the racewalk judges calling out numbers of those with bent knees. Phew; I'm not one of them. I see a familiar racewalker, Jean Bocci, in front of me. I pick up the pace and we chat for a while. We are both busy taking pictures; there are many Kodak moments during this race. I let Jean go. I know I still have 22 miles left. One park down, three to go. Next stop, Magic Kingdom. The crowd is wild as we enter — Mickey and Minnie are there to greet us as we we race up Main Street toward Cinderella's castle to the tune of "Zip A Dee Do Dah." The course winds its way through Tomorrowland — Pluto, Goofy, Alice are all out here. Almost everyone has a disposable camera for these moments. As we go through the middle of the castle, everyone is cheering. What a great place to be racing. It's out the back door of the Magic Kingdom, past the parade floats playing "Remember the Magic" — now we know where those spectacular parades appear from. We are now approaching the half-marathon mark. Along the course stands a justice of the peace waiting for the two runners he is about to marry. Later, the two runners go by me sporting their veil and top hat, complete with Mickey ears.

I now see the split in the road for the half-marathon finish. Do I stop while I still feel good and get that Donald Duck medal or do I keep going and hope for a Mickey? Once I go by the split the decision is made — do it for the Mouse.

The second half
The next park we go through is Disney's newest, Animal Kingdom. We enter the continent of Asia and pass through Africa past the Tree of Life, the most awesome sight in the park. You never get bored on this course — when you are not in a theme park there is always entertainment to keep you motivated. It might be Springsteen blaring "Born to Run" or the music of Africa. As we are leaving Animal Kingdom, visitors are starting to enter the park for their day of fun. They are very supportive and it sure helps at this point. By now the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees from the 60-degree start we had at 6 a.m. — isn't the mercury supposed to go up in Florida as the day goes on?

As we approach the 18-mile mark, a sign tells us the water table is run by the Hash House Harriers and hashers should ask for a red cup. Last year, when Stan and I raced together, we asked if they really had beer at the Disney marathon. Well, the answer is yes. Last year I took one just to get my mind off the pain of my blistered feet. This year I was alcohol-free, but I later learned that Stan had a beer in my honor with the hashers. Two miles later is the turnaround at the Wide World of Sports. A high school band is playing the theme from "Rocky," which helps my tired legs pick up the pace for at least a litle while. There is only a 10K to go; I think I can finish this marathon.

As we head toward MGM Studios, a marathon finisher has come back on the course holding his medal for all to see, shouting encouragement and telling us we can finish. Going through MGM is a big high — the park is now full of visitors but the marathon course is open only to racers. Everyone is wonderful, yelling and clapping for us. I was finally able to pick my pace back up and catch the racewalker I had been trailing since the half. I thought we would finish together, but he told me to keep going and I never saw him again.

After MGM, it's on to Disney's Boardwalk Resorts. The end is finally coming: only two miles to go. I had lots of encouragement and compliments from spectators at Boardwalk about being a racewalker. Even the judges were yelling to me that my form was still good and I was almost done.

It's into Epcot again for one last loop around the World Showcase. I can see Spaceship Earth again (it was only 41/2 hours ago that I saw it before). I know the finish line is just past it. I hit the last Mouse marker and I knew I would make it.

Final glory
Past Spaceship Earth, around a corner with no spectators, only more judges,, past the fence, I can now see the finish line. The crowd of spectators is huge. I see my friends from Connecticut who had walked the half. Then I can hear one person screaming for me. It's Cathy; I can tell by her happy face that she had passed her test — she had racewalked her first half-marathon. She was yelling to me that I was the 6th female racewalker across the finish line. I was so happy, but then I thought, Where was Stan? Why wasn't he with Cathy? Is he still out there on the course? I crossed the finish line, got my medal and then turned to find Stan waiting for me with open arms. We had both raced our own race and finished. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. The Three Caballeros had all done what we set out to do.

There is one more part to the story. The next day we went to pick up our certificates during the awards ceremony. All three New England Walkers were to receive an age award _ Cathy, second female age 30-39 for the half; Stan, second male age 40-49 for the marathon; and yours truly, third female, age 40-49 for 26.2 MILES! This was beyond anything I had ever imagined. I can only quote Jiminy Cricket, who says, "When you wish upon a star your dreams come true."

As a side note, I would strongly recommend the Disney Marathon. It is walker-friendly. You don't have to be a competitive racewalker — they give you seven hours to finish and there is so much support from volunteers and Disney cast members. It is a most memorable experience for anyone.

Team in Training

Club member Michael Hoffer offers this report:

As we have just completed 1998, I look back at another rewarding year in which I have continued to coach and compete with the Rhode Island Leukemia Society Team in Training program. We have had another year with 100 percent completion rate, and again we increased our fund-raising over the previous year.

I participated in marathons in San Diego, Toronto, Rhode Island and Hawaii. Where I went for time I did very well. However, some of our great success stories are where we helped people accomplish goals they thought were out of their reach.

To date, I have been able to raise over $45,000 toward leukemia research. In 20 years, the cure rate in children has improved from 4 percent to almost 80 percent. However, ACL is still the number one disease killer in children ages 1-14. An estimated 600,000 people in the United States are affected by leukemia, and nearly 60,000 of them will die this year. That translates to one every nine minutes.

On the brighter note, we continue to make progress toward eradicating this disease. Racewalking has allowed us to use our experience to help prepare people to complete marathons and help people less fortunate look toward a higher quality of life. We have people of all ages participating in this program.

When we go to the various marathons, it is a great feeling to see so many people from all over the country helping our cause. One weekend in June, between the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon in San Diego and the Mayor's Midnight Marathon in Anchorage, we raised $25 million. The people we meet, the speakers we hear sharing their stories, and the encouragement we get from world-class athletes bring you to a place where you step back and really understand what is important. Racewalking is fun, and I love it, but when you couple it with an extremely worthwhile cause it takes on a very special meaning.

I still do local and regional races and hope to renew friendships when I see some of the gang from the New England Walkers.

For further information on the Team in Training program, contact Michael Hoffer at 685 Congdon Hill Road, Saunderstown, RI 02874.

Our ageless walker

The following profile of New England Walkers member George Conway appeared in the Massachusetts Senior Olympics magazine.

MILTON — George has been the oldest Massachusetts Senior Games participant in our very brief 7-year history. Born in 1902, George has 8 children, 23 grandchildren, and 12 great- grandchildren.

George joined an exercise and swim program at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy at the age of 80 in 1983. George will tell one and all that exercise is beneficial at any age and it adds years to your life and life to your years. In 1984, he entered the Quincy Senior Olympics, competing in the half-mile walk, the 1- mile walk, the 3-mile walk, the javelin throw, the shot put, and bowling. After learning the correct racewalking form, he competed in many national championship events. Between 1987-1993, George set new world records in the masters walk division (85-89) in the 3K (24:40), 10K (82:44), and the one-hour walk (6,947 meters). In the 90-94 age group, he set marks for the 1OK (89:55) and the one-hour walk (6,797 meters).

In the Massachusetts Senior Games, George holds the record for the 90-94 age category in the following events: javelin at 35'7," 1500 racewalk at 13:45.59, 5K racewalk at 45:35, and the shotput at 19'3." In the 95-99 age category, George holds the record in the Shotput at 15'8.5" and the 1500 racewalk at 14.41. George's schedule includes 3 workouts per week.

In 1997, George was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Elder Affairs Fitness Subcommittee.

As you can guess, George is an energetic and personable individual who is willing to share his experiences with others. We are looking forward to having him back at Springfield College in June of 1999. Why not stop at the track or at the banquet and say hello to George?

Racewalking down memory lane

April 1992: Bob Keating captures a 20K on the track in Framingham, MA in 1:41:01, with Steve Vaitones close behind in 1:42:13. Fourteen of us go the distance on a cold, breezy spring morning. In subsequent years, the event is scheduled for later in the season because of complaints that April is too early to race that far, and the turnout drops off sharply.

April 1993: As the oceanside breezes spread the scent of chowder and the P.A. system blares a wakeup call of vintage rock 'n' roll, Joe Light wins the Clamdigger 5-miler in 39:06 in Westerly, RI. The Westerly Track Club event had been solely a running race from its inception in 1981 until Joe spearheaded the addition of a racewalking division 11 years later.

NEW 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.

. . . and on the phone

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

Paying in full

It's nearly tax time. And if you haven't mailed $6 for your 1999 New England Walkers membership, it's now dues time. The payment supports races, clinics, mailings and other NEW activities throughout the region and is still the best deal in the Western Hemisphere. Please send your check to Justin Kuo, 39 Oakland Road, Brookline, MA 02445.


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


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This page was last updated April 15, 1999.
Corrections? Contact
Justin Kuo (617-731-9889)