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New England Walkers Newsletter
January 2003


Enter, 2003

A full range of racewalking events is on our calendar for the new year.

The schedule includes Year Five of the popular 5-kilometer races at Danehy Park in Cambridge, MA., held the second Sunday of the month from April through October. The races are judged but no one is disqualified; the judges are there to offer encouragement and useful advice.

Also in store is our annual Grand Prix competition. Participants are ranked by their times in their four best designated events, as measured against age-graded tables. Last year we expanded the number of races and opened the eligibility to all walkers in New England, and the changes were met with one of the strongest showings we'd had in years. Keeping with the same formula for this year, we offer this lineup:

Jan. 12 1 mile USATF-NE Masters Brown University
Jan. 19 3K GBTC Harvard University
Feb. 23 3K USATF-NE Harvard University
March 30 3k USATF National Masters, Reggie Lewis Track
April 27 8k Clamdigger, Westerly RI
June 1 20k Ninigret Park, Charlestown RI
July 3k Bay State Games
July/Aug 5K Eastern Regional, Springfield
Oct 10k Conn.

A 10k and/or a one-hour race may also be part of the schedule. Stay tuned.

New year's resolutions

What are our racewalking goals and hopes for the year? As always, the query brings a variety of sentiments from club members and friends.

***

Fred Anderson
I just hope to keep walking. I'd love to do more races this year. I hope to do a half marathon with my 15-year-old son (His idea).

***

Bob Ullman
My goals for 2003 are simply to stay healthy and enjoy the competitions and company of my fellow New England Walkers.

***

Marcia Gutsche
My goals for 2003 are as follows:

  1. To fully recover from a nasty hamstring injury.
  2. To successfully complete the Antarctica marathon on March 3rd - continent #6 in my quest to complete a marathon on every continent. Only South America will remain!
  3. To meet the 3K qualifying standard for the Indoor Nationals.
  4. To significantly improve upon my 20K time to see how close I can get to the National Outdoor qualifying time and to post PR's in the 5K/10K distances.
And, of course, to keep it all in perspective and to remember that I walk to have fun and stay fit and for the enjoyment of the camaraderie of all the great folks that I've met through racewalking.

***

Brian Savilonis
Stay healthy (or healthier)! Peak for a significant race, perhaps the Nationals in Eugene. But I wish I could make a resolution for the sport of racewalking in New England -- that we each find some new competitors, and that our races have a healthier profile. That walkers support our key events; that our talent pool is not so diluted; that we actually can have races with more than a handful of participants. And that the race is longer than 3k!!

***

Richard Ruquist
Now that I am over my groin injury, my goal for 2003 is to race so slowly that I stay injury-free.

***

Ken Mattsson
I would say that my goals are to get back in shape enough to race at a non-embarrassing level, and to also get back into having a more organized set of races and plans.

***

Bill Harriman
In 2003 I hope to stay healthy and fit enough to duplicate or improve on the times I posted in 2002. I would also like to walk the Boston Marathon in April and attempt the 40k-50k double in the fall, but the most important thing as always is to beat Tom Knatt in our head to head series and win the bottle of wine. I would also love to see some new faces at the races. Come on out, all you NEW members! You have joined the club so you must have some interest in racewalking. We need you!

***

Charlie Mansbach
I have a wealth of memories of 2002. I cut 15 seconds off my previous year's time in the National Masters 3K; I outdistanced a host of people at the Senior Games who had never racewalked before; I completed the National Masters 10K without falling over. I even racewalked around a track for two hours in the middle of the night as part of a cancer society fund-raiser. I look forward to more such fun in 2003.

Membership renewal time

If the date atop your mailing label does not say "2003" or later, your New England Walkers dues are due. The payments support races, clinics, mailings and other activities throughout the region. At $6 a year, it's still the best deal around. Please send your check to:

Justin Kuo
39 Oakland Road
Brookline, MA 02245
Members may also renew membership or sign up online by visiting our web page at newalkers.tripod.com or by clicking here.

***

It is time also to renew your membership in USA Track & Field. Membership is required for participation in the many USATF-sanctioned events during the year. The form is available at www.usatfne.org. You can also register on-line by clicking here . For further information, call the New England office at 617-566-7600.

On The Road To 50K, Part 3
By Bill Harriman

Sunday November 10, 2002 dawned cool and cloudy, windy and humid in Hauppauge NY, on Long Island. Joanne and I made the short drive from our overpriced hotel room to the race course and had about 45 minutes before the 9 AM start. Hilary and Bob Keating had just arrived, and Jack Starr, Eileen Druckenmiller, and Ed Gowinski were already there. The seven of us had dined in a fancy Italian restaurant the night before, and a show of hands revealed that Eileen, Ed, Jack and I were all rookies in this 50K business. Jack is 74 and Ed is 75, and both would be trying for age group records. The field also included Cheryl Rellinger, Rod Craig, Nick Bdera, Vlado Haluska, Jim McGrath, Erin Taylor, and Sylvan Martin. Walkers could also sign up for shorter distances, and one walker declared for 5K, four for 10K, and Joanne for 20K. The course was perfectly flat on a pleasant, tree lined road with a grassy median, closed to traffic, and shaped like the letter U with an upslant to the left at the tops of the letter. The start/finish was at the lower left of the U on the straightaway facing "down", about 50 meters before the first turn. Two kilometer loop, 25 loops to go at 9 AM. There were 8 judges, including race director Gary Westerfield and old friend Maryanne Torrellas.

Although I had had a fitful sleep the night before, I felt good at race time. I had tapered gradually since my last long walk at the Bay State Marathon 3 weeks earlier, and had decided a few days before the 50 that I would finish no matter what, except for a DQ. After a very short, easy warmup I stuffed my "Race Ready" shorts with GU and I was ready to rock and roll. The gun went off and I eased into it as almost everyone pulled ahead of me. Let 'em go, plenty of time! Craig, Rellinger, and Keating took off fast, and even the ageless Jack Starr pulled away from me. Oh well, at least I was ahead of my wife, although not by much. My early 2K splits were in the 15:30 range, and I reached 10K in a very comfortable 1:17:29. So far, so good. It was cloudy and quite windy, but it looked like the rain might hold off.

After an hour and a half, all the 5K and 10K walkers had finished and there was already a DQ and a DNF in the 50, so there were fewer of us out there going back and forth, back and forth. I felt great physically, but found it mentally tough to think of such a long way still to go, 5 more hours. Best not to think of that. More 15:30 laps got me to 20K in 2:34:40. Still felt strong. Joanne finished her 20K in 2:36 and was ready to serve as my pit crew. Another DQ at 20K dropped the field by one, and the fast folks had lapped me a few times.

Between 20 and 30K my splits started to creep closer to 16 minutes, although I still felt very good. I hit the halfway point in 3:13:55, for a projected 6:27:50. At 30K I was 3:53:42, and I knew that I would finish. I was psyched! Two more people had dropped out, so now there were 7 of us left, going back and forth, back and forth. Cheryl Rellinger was still hammering away, but Rod Craig and Bob Keating had gone out really hard, and they were slowing down. In fact, I was catching up to Bob, although he was 3 laps ahead of me. I decided to try to catch him, just for something to do, and I did. What a novel experience, to pass Keating in a race! Okay, he was 6K ahead of me but I'll take my little triumphs wherever I can find them. I was now getting excited, knowing that I would finish, and would achieve a long cherished goal. I was getting tired and my legs hurt but I managed to hold my form together. All those long workouts were paying off now. I hit 40K in 5:11:08 and Gary Westerfield shouted "5 laps to go". I would have kissed him but I didn't want to break my stride. Only 5 more times back and forth, back and forth.

That last 10K was tough but not as bad as I thought it would be. My splits were 15:58, 15:54, 16:14, and 16:17 through 48K, with one lap to go. I felt like I was going faster and faster, but I was slowing down, and was very, very tired. My legs hurt. I dug in for a strong finish though, to try to get in under 6:32, and managed a 15:33 for that final, glorious lap. I crossed the line in 6:32:01, and the thrill was almost equal to that of finishing my first marathon, Boston 1972. Maybe I'll do another 50 someday, maybe even next year. I'd like to see how close I can get to 6 hours. When you lose your mind, the rest is easy.

It was great to see that all the 50K rookies finished, and Ed Gowinski got his age group record. Jack Starr missed his record, but he still finished despite being twisted like a pretzel with back pain at the end. He's an inspiration, as is the legendary Bob Keating, who hasn't missed a day of training in over 22 years! I'm happy when I go a whole week without missing a day. The race was very well organized, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to do a 50K. It will be held there again next fall. Any takers?

Congratulations to …

Joanne Dow of Manchester, NH, whom we've watched over the past decade go from novice racewalker to national champion and international competitor, who was awarded the Ron Zinn Award last month as the nation's outstanding female racewalker for 2002.

Steve Vaitones, managing director of the USATF-NE office and a longtime competitor, race director and judge (and who has been known to fill all of those roles in the same meet), who was awarded the 2002 Mike Riban Award as outstanding US contributor to racewalking.

Team-in-training report
By Michael Hoffer

As we are in the holiday season it's time to reflect on the past year and be thankful for all of our positive experiences and memories and look forward to another enjoyable year. My efforts on behalf of the Leukemia - Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program remain alive and well. We have just completed our 7th year with our walking program and we continue to have a 100% completion record for all of our participating teammates. The money we raise continues to fund research and the cure rates are steadily improving, bringing a higher quality of life to the people afflicted with these terrible diseases. The FDA recently approved the drug Gleevec, which treats chronic myelogenous leukemia. The drug was developed by Dr. Brian Drucker, one of the researchers the society funds.

Personally, 2002 was an exceptional year as I did 6 marathons, (which brings my total to 29) and I have raised over $76,000 for cancer research.The year started with a first place age group finish in the Disney World Half Marathon, and 1st Grand Master finish in the Mardi Gras Half Marathon, and in each event I walked with my team for the second part. Next came the Boston Marathon, which was a real thrill as cheering for me out on the course were my wife, family members (including two granddaughters) and my honored patient Caitlin plus all of her family. After the early part of the year I took teams to the Anchorage, Maui and Baltimore marathons, so I experienced all different cultures plus extreme temperature differences.

In all of the various marathons we hear some of the most rewarding success stories of how through courage, medical breakthroughs and a desire of the human spirit, people have defeated these diseases. Unfortunately, we also hear how these dreaded diseases have claimed lives of innocent victims. As I enter the 8th year as the Head Walking Coach for the R. I. Chapter, we are excited about the two upcoming events in early 2003; Disney World in January and Mardi Gras in February. The prognosis is good that we will continue to see new drugs developed which will improve the cure rates because leukemia still remains the number one killer of children under the age of 15.

So as we close 2002 and look forward to 2003 I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season and hope everyone is ready for an exciting new racing season.

2003 race calendar

As always, our list 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 time, date and location with the race director before setting out.

January

12- mile, USATF-NE Masters T&F meet, Brown University, Providence RI 401-863-1041. Entry form.

12 -Dartmouth Relays, Hanover NH 9 a.m. 1 mile, men and women.

19 - 3K, Greater Boston TC Invitational at Harvard University. 9:30 a.m. 617 282-5537. Entry form.

February

17 - 28th annual Presidents' Day 3.7-miler, 2 p.m., D.W. Field Park, Brockton, MA. One of our favorite traditions. Group meal to follow at nearby restaurant.

23 - 3K, USATF New England Indoor Championships, Harvard U. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600. Entry form.

March

1-2 National Indoor T&F Championships, Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center, Boston. 3000m women, 5000m men. Qualifying times. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600.

30 USA Masters Indoor Nationals, Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center, Boston. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600. Entry form.

April

13- 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9:30 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before 9:30 p.m.)

27 - Clamdigger 8K, Westerly, RI. Joe Light, 401-596-3173. Entry form .

May

11 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9:30 a.m. See April listing.

June

1 - New England 20K, Ninigret Park, Charlestown, RI

8 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9:30 a.m. See April listing.

July

4 - Dedham 5-miler, Dedham, MA. An unjudged walking division as part of the town's holiday road race.

13 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9:30 a.m. See April listing.

? 3K, Bay State Games.

August

10 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9:30 a.m. See April listing.

? Easter Masters 5K championship, Springfield College, MA.

September

14 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9:30 a.m. See April listing.

Phone any time

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: mansba@globe.com

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


New England Walkers
NEWalkers@jkuo.com
39 Oakland Road
Brookline, MA 02245-6700
United States


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This page was last updated Sunday, January 05, 2003.
Corrections? Contact Justin Kuo (617-731-9889)