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New England Walkers Newsletter
May 2002

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, RI.

Race fees: $5 for 5K, $10 for 15K; pay on race day. For further information, call Joe Light, 401-596-3173

Race results

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 Hampshire.

" '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 go.'

"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 surprise.

" '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 rival."

Men's 8K racewalk Women's 8K racewalk
Brian Savilonis 40:53 Marcia Gutsche 41:43
Bob Keating 41:40 Lee Chase 43:44
Richard McElvery 42:25 Maryanne Torrellas 45:53
Andy Cable 46:37 Jean Tenan 47:01
Bill Harriman 46:42 Joanne Harriman 54:12
James Gawle 47:49 Ann Percival 57:07*
Richard Ruquist 49:47 Cathy Orr 59:45
Charlie Mansbach 51:13 Nectar Babaeghian 61:24
Justin Kuo 54:50 Carol Kuo 61:47
Gus Davis 54:57 Rosalind Clark 68:00
Bob Beaudet 54:57 Florence Dagata 70:63
Lou Free 55:58
Geoff Bye 59:09 * Started 8 minutes late.
George Curti 59:44

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 year's finishers:

Mike Hoffer: I sincerely want to thank you for helping me get into the Boston Marathon.

While I have done 25 previous Marathons for the Leukemia Society's Team in Training program [many with better times] this one was very special.

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 luck.

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 Marathon?

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

Competitor Group Residence Official Time ChipTime
Keating, Bob H. M55 Nashua NH 5:16:07 5:03:31
Holsti, Ole R. M68 Chapel Hill NC 5:19:42 5:09:10
Attaya, Steve M53 New Orleans LA 5:25:59 5:13:25
Hoffer, Michael G. M63 Narragansett RI 5:46:20 5:36:29
Danahy, Maureen F45 Brookline MA 6:08:59
Shelby, Deborah D F49 Spencer MA 6:08:59
Barranco, Roswell K. M52 Linden MI 6:11:10

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:

1. Rich McElvery 44 Hollis NH 26:15
2. Tom Knatt 61 Concord MA 31:16.2
3. Holly Wenninger 37 Malden MA 31:16.3
4. Bill O'Leary 78 Westwood MA 40:29
5. Florence Dagata 75 Pawtucket RI 44:59

Judges: Bill Harriman, Joanne Harriman, Charlie Mansbach

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 ------------
1 Jean Tenan W38 Bristol, CT 16:50.49
2 Donna Masters W39 Troy, NY 18:10.26
----------- Women 40 ------------
1 Maryanne Torrellas W43 Clinton, CT 14:19.40
2 Marcia Gutsche W40 Newton, MA 14:22.51
3 Victoria Herazo W42 Las Vegas, NV 14:38.13
4 Dorit Attias W40 Fayetteville, NC 15:58.86
5 Abigail Oliver W41 Fortville, IN 17:51.84
----------- Women 45 ------------
*Nancy Patten-Sweazey W46 Mississauga, ON 15:12.26
1 Lee Chase W48 S.Glastonbury, CT 15:48.99
2 Debbie Topham W49 Mayville, MI 16:22.92
3 Chris Anderson W48 Shrewsbury, MA 17:53.31
4 Lynette Heinlein W45 Vassar, MI 18:28.65
----------- Women 50 ------------
1 Ann Gerhardt W50 Sacramento, CA 16:50.16
----------- Women 55 ------------
1 Mary Baglin W55 Reno, NV 18:24.67
2 Joanne Harriman W59 Tewksbury, MA 19:11.19
----------- Women 60 ------------
1 Janet Higbie W60 Indianapolis, IN 18:40.50
2 Lana Kane W62 Conestoga, PA 21:35.56
----------- Women 75 ------------
- Florence Dagata W75 Pawtucket, RI DQ
------------ Men 35 -------------
1 William Masters M37 Troy, NY 19:48.74
------------ Men 40 -------------
1 Rod Craig M43 Bad Axe, MI 14:35.74
2 Stephen McCullough M40 Rocky Hill, CT 18:08.68
- *Paul DeMeester M42 San Francisco, CA 19:19.97
------------ Men 45 -------------
1 John Costello M46 Sherborn, MA 16:04.60
------------ Men 50 -------------
1 Joe Light M54 Westerly, RI 15:49.08
2 Bill Harriman M54 Tewksbury, MA 16:34.36
3 Robert Ullman M53 Nashua, NH 16:57.48
4 Ross Barranco M52 Linden, MI 18:40.18
------------ Men 55 -------------
1 Bob Keating M55 Nashua, NH 14:11.63
2 James Carmines M58 Etters, PA 15:44.94
3 David Baldwin M59 Harrington, ME 17:21.34
4 Charles Mansbach M57 Newton, MA 18:10.91
5 Keith Rowlett M56 Lower Waterford, VT 19:33.51
------------ Men 60 -------------
1 Paul Johnson M64 Venice, FL 15:55.61
2 John Elwarner M62 Sterling Hgts, MI 16:24.44
3 Thomas Knatt M61 Concord, MA 17:06.71
4 Gustave Davis M64 Orange, CT 19:08.13
5 Geoffrey Vaughan M61 Westlake, OH 21:29.77
- Carl Kane M62 Conestoga, PA DQ
------------ Men 65 -------------
1 Bob Barrett M68 Smallwood, NY 16:16.18
2 Alan Poisner M67 Overland Park, KS 18:18.67
3 Presley Donaldson M68 Hillsboro, TX 19:23.82
4 Spencer Parrish M65 Waterbury, CT 21:14.45
------------ Men 70 -------------
1 Alfred DuBois M70 West Allis, WI 17:07.63
2 Jack Starr M73 Newark, DE 18:08.50
3 Bill McCann M72 Longmeadow, MA 20:29.32
- Jack Shuter M72 Worthington, OH DQ
------------ Men 75 -------------
1 Edward Gawinski M75 Wilmington, DE 18:54.99
(American Record)
------------ Men 80 -------------
1 Tim Dyas M81 Ridgewood, NJ 22:52.45
2 Paul Geyer M82 Rochert, MN 24:21.38

*Non-US citizen

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.

Men Women
4 events 4 events
Tom Knatt 312.64 Maryanne Torrellas 340.12
3 events Lee Chase 334.66
Joe Light 241.36 3 events
Bill Harriman 225.38 Marcia Gutsche 260.2
Charlie Mansbach 210.27 Joanne Harriman 229.34
2 events Chris Anderson 225.27
Bob Keating 174.43 2 events
Adam Staier 164.18 Joanne Dow 184.22
Brian Savilonis 161.18 Jasmine Brooks 159.69
Dave Baldwin 154.72 Jean Tenan 147.39
Bob Beaudet 149.41 Cathy Orr 74.84
Mark Dennett 146.51 2 events
John Costello 146.06 Ann Percival 73.5
Bill McCann 145.65 Lynda Beckett 70.7
Jeremy Martin 144.3 Florence Dagata 70.42
Gus Davis 142.27 Ginger Armstrong 69.93
2 events Carol Kuo 64.09
Kevin Eastler 83.09 Nectar Babeghian 61.21
Richard Ruquist 77.8 Maddy O'Brien 60.23
Rich McElvery 77.56
Lou Free 75.4
Jon Chasse 73.56
Bob Ullman 73.25
Geoff Bye 70.53
Andy Cable 66.36
George Curti 66.16
Spencer Parrish 65.31
Keith Rowlett 65.13
Stephen McCullough 62.04
Justin Kuo 60.91
Yuri Kuo 59.06

Outdoor workouts

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 setting out.


19- Great Bear 5K. Pollard School, Needham, MA, 3:20 p.m. An unjudged walk as part of a daylong series of road races. 781-444-8499.


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, 617-566-7600. The 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. Additional information and entry form is available online.


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 judges.

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 last-of-its-kind race.

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 adapted trashbag.

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:

Charlie Mansbach
25 Larkspur Road
Newton, MA 02468
E-mail address: or

For membership information, contact Justin Kuo at 617-731-9889

New England Walkers
39 Oakland Road
Brookline, MA 02245-6700
United States

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This page was last updated Saturday, May 18, 2002.
Corrections? Contact Justin Kuo (617-731-9889)