Next stop, Ninigret
The New England 15-kilometer racewalking
championship, a traditional event but one
that has been missing from our calendar in recent
years, will be held at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, June
8, at Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI. The
course is free of traffic and perfectly flat, and
the 9.3-mile distance offers an ideal challenge
for those who are looking to go beyond the
familiar short races.
For walkers who do prefer something shorter
that morning, a nonchampionship 5-kilometer race
will be held at 9 a.m. The success of both races,
as always, will depend on the help of volunteers
to count laps, hand out water, and otherwise keep
things proceeding smoothly. We're hoping for a
strong turnout of club members to race, to
assist, or both.
From the North (Boston, Providence): I-95
south through Providence. About 10 miles south of
Providence take left lane Exit 9 onto RI Route 4
South toward Narragansett and Newport. This will
eventually merge with US Route 1. Follow US Route
1 approximately 30 miles to Charlestown. Watch
for Ninigret Park signs. You will need to make a
U-turn to get to Ninigret Park. Race course is
just beyond tennis courts near entrance. From the
West (New London, New Haven): Take I-95 north to
Exit 92 onto Connecticut Route 2 South. Go about
2 miles and take RI Route 78 East toward Westerly
beaches. After passing 3 exits, make left at your
first traffic light onto US Route 1 East. Follow
US Route 1 about 8 miles to Ninigret Park. Note:
Don't confuse Ninigret Park with Ninigret
Wildlife Refuge. They're contiguous but Ninigret
Wildlife Refuge is federal property. Ninigret
Park is operated by the Town of Charlestown,
Race fees: $5 for 5K, $10 for 15K; pay on race
day. For further information, call Joe Light,
Clamdigger 8K - Westerly, RI, April 21.
A beautiful day and a good turnout for our first
outdoor Grand Prix race of the year. The
ever-attentive Westerly Sun offered this report
the following day:
"The USATF-sanctioned Grand Prix 5-Mile
Racewalk was held in conjunction with the road
race, and there were 25 finishers in the
professionally-judged race. Entrants came from
Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New
" 'It's a tight community, just about everyone
in this race knows each other,' said coordinator
Joe Light. 'You see the same faces wherever you
"The winner was Brian Savilonis of Princeton,
Mass., an instructor at Worcester Polytechnic
Institute. Savilonis, who crossed in 40:53, held
off Bob Keating by 47 seconds and Marcia Gutsche
by 50 seconds. The result was somewhat of a
" 'I took last year off to do strictly
running,' Savilonis said. 'This is the first race
in a year and a half, more or less. Keats and I
have been going back 25 years, a very good
rivalry, a friendly rivalry.'
"He did have a bit of an advantage over
Keating, who had walked the Boston Marathon on
Monday, and saw it have an effect on his
|Men's 8K racewalk
||Women's 8K racewalk
||* Started 8
Judges: Ross Dagata, Bill Banks, Joe Light
Boston Marathon - April 15. There is no
racewalking division, as we all know. But the
Boston Athletic Association does issue a handful
of official bib numbers to the New England
Walkers in return for our volunteer efforts, and
Justin Kuo distributes the numbers judiciously to
serious walkers. Official status or not, taking
part in the event can have great personal
significance. Here are accounts from two of this
Mike Hoffer: I sincerely want to thank
you for helping me get into the Boston
While I have done 25 previous Marathons for
the Leukemia Society's Team in Training program
[many with better times] this one was very
The little girl who is my patient partner was
there with her entire family at the top of
Heartbreak Hill with posters wishing me good
Approximately 1 mile further along the road
from Caitlin and her family were my wife,
daughter, son-in-law and two of our
granddaughters. When I reached them my two
granddaughters came running out to hand me water
and we stopped and made it a " Photo Op ." The
crowds were great, very supportive, and added a
real festive mood to the event. After the race I
"hobbled" to the train and we all went out for
dinner, then took the train back to Rhode Island.
I have given my medal to Caitlin's brother. T. J.
has a mild form of C. P. and he participates in
athletics; and as he describes himself his hands
and feet don't always do what he wants them to
do. So he is my hero and I felt he deserved the
medal for his young courage. In addition, I used
this as my major fund raising event and so far I
have been able to raise over $4,300.00 for cancer
research. So as you can see this was a very
special day, in so many ways, that I wanted to
express my appreciation for all of your personal
assistance to make this all come together.
Maureen Danahy: What does one say about
their experience in regard to the Boston
I guess the big question to a lot of people is
why? Why do the Boston Marathon when you know
that at approximately 15 miles into the race your
feet are going to start to blister and then at 18
miles those blisters are going to pop and then by
the time you've finished the race it has become
an endurance in pain. Why? Have the blisters in
your feet attacked your brain cells?
When I think about doing the Boston Marathon I
think about the opportunity of coming together
with so many wonderful people who share a common
goal. Let's just finish this thing with some
dignity and a decent time.
To me it's about starting something that you
know will be a challenge, you know it might be
difficult at times, you know it might be painful
at times ( referring to my inevitable blisters)
but accepting the challenge with hope and a
prayer you're ready to meet it.
It's also about family. I have always felt
blessed that I have had the support of my
children to accomplish my few private goals. In
the past few years I have been blessed with the
support of a great partner who recognizes my
needs and encourages them. In September of 2001,
together we adopted a little girl from Russia.
Her name is Tatyana Matilda Danahy Moore.
Together, we share the parenting. Rick is home
during the day and I take over after 3 pm. While
I was training for the Marathon, Rick took on at
times more of the parenting so that I could get
my workout in. I could not have done it without
his support and his love.
So this year, while feeling the painful
blisters develop at mile 13 instead of mile 15
(which was my own fault due to a last-minute
panic attack), I thought about how wonderful my
life was and how truly blessed I was. And you
know, those blisters didn't hurt half as much as
they had in the past.
The results: Official Time
|Keating, Bob H.
|Holsti, Ole R.
||Chapel Hill NC
||New Orleans LA
|Hoffer, Michael G.
|Shelby, Deborah D
|Barranco, Roswell K.
Danahey developmental 5K - Cambridge,
April 14. Race impresario Bill Harriman reports:
"We finally had good weather for a Danehy Park
season opener, with cloud-dotted blue skies and a
warm, gusty wind. Rich McElvery soloed to an
impressive 26:15, only 10 seconds off Brian
Savilonis' course record of 26:05. Holly
Wenninger and the venerable Tom Knatt battled for
second place the whole way to a first-ever photo
finish at Danehy. " The results are:
Judges: Bill Harriman, Joanne Harriman,
National Indoor Masters 3K - March 24,
Boston. The sixth consecutive year that the USATF
indoor championships have been held at the Reggie
Lewis facilty. As usual, the racewalks drew great
performances, with competitors coming to town
from across the country.
|----------- Women 35
|----------- Women 40
||Las Vegas, NV
|----------- Women 45
|----------- Women 50
|----------- Women 55
|----------- Women 60
|----------- Women 75
|------------ Men 35
|------------ Men 40
||Bad Axe, MI
||Rocky Hill, CT
||San Francisco, CA
|------------ Men 45
|------------ Men 50
|------------ Men 55
||Lower Waterford, VT
|------------ Men 60
||Sterling Hgts, MI
|------------ Men 65
||Overland Park, KS
|------------ Men 70
||West Allis, WI
|------------ Men 75
|------------ Men 80
The event was judged by Mary Baglin, Mary
Helen Baldwin, Ross Baranaco, Harry Brooks, Tom
Eastler, Tom Knatt, Rod Larsen, Ken Mattsson,
Maryanne Torrellas and Justin Kuo.
Grand Prix standings
Following are results to date in our 2002
Grand Prix, based on performances in the Jan. 13
Brown Masters indoor mile, the Jan. 20 Greater
Boston Track Club 3K, the Feb. 17 New England
Indoor 3K, the March 24 National Masters 3K, and
the April 21 Clamdigger 8K. Points are awarded by
comparing walkers' times to standardized
age-graded tables. Walkers' four best
performances of the season will be used in the
final tabulations. The next Grand Prix event will
be the New England 15K championship at Ninigret
Park in Charlestown, RI, on June 8. Thanks to
Bill Harriman for tabulating the results.
Ken Mattsson is conducting racewalking
sessions at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Harvard
University track in Allston, MA in conjunction
with the Cambridge Sports Union. Walkers at all
levels of ability and experience are welcome.
For information, call Ken at 617-576-9331.
Springfield racewalkers train at Forest Park
at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and on Blake Track at
Springfield College at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
For information, contact Bob Beaudet at
413-525-3542 2002 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
canceled. It's always best to verify the time,
date and location with the race director before
19- Great Bear 5K. Pollard School,
Needham, MA, 3:20 p.m. An unjudged walk as part
of a daylong series of road races.
8 - 15K, Ninigret Park, Charlestown,
RI. Grand Prix event. Joe Light, 401-596-3173
9 -5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, 9:30 a.m
contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before
9:30 p.m.). .
14-15 - Massachusetts Senior Games,
1500-meter and 5K racewalks for ages 50 and
above. Springfield. 413-788-2457.
15 - New England outdoor championship
3K. Part of USATF-NE track meet. MIT track,
Cambridge, MA. USATF-NE office, 617-566-7600. The
Entry Form is online.
4 - Dedham 5-miler, Dedham, MA. An
unjudged walking division as part of the town's
holiday road race.
14 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, 9:30
a.m. (See April) 13 - Bay State Games 3K, Dedham,
MA. Part of the track and field portion of the
statewide athletics festival. 781-932-6555.
26 - Blessing of the Fleet 10-miler,
Narragansett, RI. Not judged, not really a
racewalk. But great fun.
27 - Eastern Masters 5K championship,
Springfield College. USATF-NE office,
entry form is available online.
11? (perhaps to be rescheduled to avoid
conflict) - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, 9:30 a.m.
(See April listing)
8-11 - National Masters Outdoor Track
& Field Championships, Orono, Maine. 5K and
10K racewalks. USATF-NE office, 617-566-7600.
information and entry form is
8 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, 9:30
a.m. (See April) Sometime this month - Regional
one-hour championship. Many details to come.
5 - 5K, Bristol, NH, in conjunction
with New Hampshire Marathon. 603-744-3335.
6 -- National Junior 5K championships,
plus New England 5K championships, hosted by the
New England Association. Location and other
details to follow.
? - Connecticut 10K championship.
Down memory lane (15K edition)
October 1988 - Brian Savilonis puts on
another of his 15K championships on a road course
in West Boylston, a site that offers all the
amenities but one. "No bathroom facilities
available," the race director warns. "Come ready
to race." Undaunted, walker Lou Hennefeld pulls
up in a fully equipped camper, and we all take
turns trying out his indoor plumbing. Once these
preliminaries are over, New York walker Jim Mann
outdistances Savilonis and Phil McGaw, while the
pretty fair trio of Mark Fenton, Steve Vaitones
and Bob Keating roams the sidelines as
September 1994 - The 15K moves to
Ninigret Park in Rhode Island, where organizers
add a supplemental bunch of right turns around
cones in a parking lot in order to make the
overall loop come out to the desired 1,500
meters. Eighty 90-degree turns per walker later,
we all agree that it would be more pleasant
simply to measure off 15 kilometers on the big
loop, even if the starting line and finish line
are at different places. Brian Savilonis (1:14)
and Joanne Dow (1:25) are top finishers in this
July 1996 - The skies open on us in the
aftermath of Hurricane Bertha for our 15K in
Boston's Franklin Park. A puddle grows
increasingly larger at the edge of the far turn
of our loop, but we manage to finish before it
spreads over the entire section of the course.
Brian Savilonis beats Bill Purves, 1:19 to 1:22,
while the ever-resourceful Richard Ruquist walks
the entire race in what appears to be a specially
For up-to-the-minute information on race
schedules, clinics and other events, call the New
England Walkers hotline at: 781-433-7142
The New England Walkers
Send material to:
25 Larkspur Road
Newton, MA 02468
E-mail address: email@example.com
For membership information, contact Justin