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New England Walkers Newsletter
March 2003

Bill Rowan, 1944-2003

William P. Rowan of Boston, a NEW member who tirelessly devoted time and effort to club activities for many years, died January 30 at age 58.

"I met Bill over ten years ago while we were volunteering together at the Massachusetts Special Olympics,” Justin Kuo recalls. “Bill became interested in walking and joined NEW. Since 1993, Bill had volunteered at nearly every NEW event in the Boston area including the Tufts 10K, Chase Corporate Challenge, Shamrock 5K and Special Olympics. He was always one volunteer you could call and know that he would be willing and able to lend a hand. Bill was the volunteer responsible for securing sponsors for our National One and Two Hour Championship. Several years ago, Bill became a USA Track and Field official and could be seen officiating at track and field, cross country and road races in the Boston area. I most recently saw Bill at MIT in January, where we worked together at an indoor track and field meet."

Bill leaves four sisters, a brother and two nieces.

Long-awaited spring

After a seemingly endless winter played havoc with our lives and our racewalking (with two feet of snow even forcing a cancellation of our traditional Presidents’ Day race in Brockton), we eagerly look to the warmer days and clearer pavement beneath our feet.

One more indoor competition remains on our calendar — the National Masters Track and field 3K Championships on Sunday, March 30, at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Those who have yet to sign up should contact the New England Track and field office at 617-566-7600 or obtain an application form at

Several lap counters and a card runner are needed for the racewalks, and any apprentice judges would be welcome. Help is also needed in the long, triple, and high jumps. If you can lend a hand, please contact the New England Track and field office at 617-566-7600.

After that, we move outdoors.

Year Five of the popular 5-kilometer races at Danehy Park in Cambridge, MA, begins on Sunday, April 13. The races are judged but no one is disqualified; the judges offer encouragement and useful advice. Further details are in our race calendar.

Our first outdoor Grand Prix event, the Clamdigger 5-miler, will be held at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 27, in Westerly, RI. A race form is included in this issue. For further information, contact Joe Light at 401-596-3173.

Race results

US Track & Field Indoor Championships — March 1-2, Reggie Lewis Center, Boston. Capacity crowds turned out to watch this prestigious national meet. In the racewalks, local favorite Joanne Dow of Manchester, NH, delighted to be competing in front of family and friends instead of in some far-off locale, successfully defended her women’s 3K title.

Women’s 3K
1 Joanne Dow 13:07.68
2 Michelle Rohl 13:21.19
3 Sam Cohen 13:50.85
4 Jolene Moore 13:51.14
5 Maria Michta 14:17.12
Men’s 5K
1 Tim Seaman 19:21.56
2 John Nunn 19:26.43
3 Curt Clausen 20:38.34
4 Dave McGovern 21:58.61
5 Matt Boyles 21:59.05
6 Jim Robinson 22:39.28
-- Adam Staier DQ

3K Racewalk, New England Indoor Track and Field Championships - Harvard University, Cambridge MA., Feb. 23. Lots of good performances. Winner Collier has been racewalking for only six months. Gutsche’s time would have placed her in the national 3K if she hadn’t been planning to be in Antarctica on race day. Keating overcame the disadvantage of never knowing his splits (the clock wasn’t working and his middle-aged eyes had difficulty focusing on his young-person watch) to come up with a stellar time.

1. Patrick Collier, 32 13:37
2. Bob Keating, 55 14:29
3. Joe Light, 55 16:07
4. Mark Dennett, 17 16:15
5. Bill Harriman, 55 16:18
6. Tom Knatt, 62 17:44
7. Charlie Mansbach, 58 18:15
1. Marcia Gutsche, 41 14:08
2. Maryanne Torrellas, 44 15:05
3. Jasmine Brooks, 17 16:02
4. Holly Wenninger, 38 17:38
5. Joanne Harriman, 60 19:32
6. Jessica Smith, 15 19:33
7. Pat Godfrey, 56 20:32

13th Annual Connecticut Racewalkers Mall 3K — Feb. 15, Milford, CT. A strong turnout as usual for an event unique in the world.

Maryanne . Torrellas (44) 15:11
Marie Michta (16) 15:24
Loretta Shuellein (25) 15:42
Dana Vered (14) 16:18
Allison Shonowski (12) 17:05
Ann Percival (44) 17:32
Indiana Rapoll (17) 17:40
Ginger Armstrong (40) 19:27
Kara Steele (12) 20:21
Ora Kurland (46) 20:36
Janice Watkins (51) 20:37
Julia Latora (18) 21:05
Flo Dagata (76) 25:24
Zach Pollinger (16) 13:47
Theron Kissinger (32) 13:51
Peter Noble (38) 15:38
Joe Light (55) 16:01
Dave Baldwin (60) 16:17
Andy Cable (37) 16:29
Billy Wides (15) 16:33
Bob Barrett (69) 16:34
Larry Titus (53) 17:22
Seth Kaminsky (62) 17:38
Jerry Patrick (63) 18:10
Rob Watkins (54) 19:09
Michael Cotto (11) 19:46
Benno Stein (65) 21:10
Michael Gannon (38) 23:29
Luke Torrellas (8) 25:03
Rich Huie (67) DQ

Greater Boston Track Club Invitational — Harvard University track, Jan. 19. Men and women raced together in a big and deep field.

1 Adam Staier Mansfield U. 12:35.54
2 Zachary Pollinger NJ Striders 12:42.06
3 Patrick Collier Athletics East 14:43.53
4 Mark Dennett Maine Racewalkers 15:48.96
5 Rich Correll Mansfield U 15:49.69
6 Steve Shaster Mansfield U 16:56.52
7 Adam Keir Mansfield U 17:08.35
8 Billy Wider Unattached 17:13.05
9 Tom Knatt NE Walkers 17:17.41
- Joe Light NE Walkers DQ
1 Michelle Rohl Moving Comfort 12:57.72
2 Joanne Dow adidas 12:58.84
3 Maryanne Torrellas Conn. RW 14:47.35
4 Jasmine Brooks Maine RW 15:12.25
5 Laura Feller Unattached 15:59.73
6 Lauren Olievieri Mansfield U 16:00.81
7 Carly Lochala Maine RW 16:16.78
8 Sarah MacIntyre Mansfield U 16:47.50
9 Holly Wenninger CSU 17:46.76
10 Ann Percival Connecticut RW 17:52.17
11 Kate Dickinson Maine RW 18:17.37
12 Ginger Armstrong Conn RW 20:11.19
- Sheri Stager Mansfield U DQ

1 mile, USATF-NE Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships - Brown University, Providence, Jan 12.

Holly Wenniger 9:26
Patricia Godfrey 10:42:10
Iziar Garcia 10:42:46
Rich McElvery 7:53
Brian Savilonis 8:02
Joe Light 8:17
Charlie Mansbach 9:32
Spencer Parrish 10:55
Bill McCann 10:56
Bob Beaudet 11:16

You be the judge

Following our 3K race on Feb. 23, about a dozen of us gathered in a corridor off the Harvard track for a judging clinic conducted by Maryanne Torrellas, Ken Mattsson and Tom Knatt. All three are certified USATF officials, and as anyone who regularly attends sanctioned races knows, judges are not only indispensable but are also in short supply.

The session was geared to increasing those ranks. It focused on the official definition of racewalking …

A progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg shall be straightened (i.e., not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the leg is in the vertical upright position.

… and on the challenges of enforcing that definition. Sometimes, it may mean just showing the paddle:

Competitors must be cautioned by any judge when, by their mode of progression, they are in danger of ceasing to comply with the definition of race walking; but they are not entitled to a second caution from the same judge for the same offense.

Other times, it may mean issuing a red card. And a judge does not have to give a competitor a caution before giving a warning.

Competitors shall be given a proposal for disqualification (warning) when, by their mode of progression, they fail to comply with rule 150.2 by exhibiting visible loss of contact or a bent knee during any part of the competition.

Doing the job right takes concentration, attention to detail, and practice. To attain certification as a racewalking judge, one must take an open-book test on the entire USA Track & Field rulebook. Making the leap from informal, unofficial Danehy Park-style judge to official USATF judge means a not-insignificant commitment of time and effort. But, as longtime competitor and recently certified official Chris Anderson noted at our clinic, it is also a way of giving something back to our sport.

For further information on becoming an official, contact the New England track and field office at 617-566-7600 or e-mail at

World-class clinic

Dave McGovern, racewalking coach, author, international competitor and many-time national champion, will conduct a clinic in Boston area for walkers of all abilities May 2-4, reports Heidi Dusker. The cost is $125, which includes a welcome dinner Friday evening at Heidi’s home in Medford, MA. The track and classroom sessions will be held either in the Medford or Cambridge area. Heidi is making the arrangements now and will notify all participants once plans are firm.

The clinic will include training on the track for technique and speed, filming of every participant, lectures, and use of heart monitors, which Dave provides.

“I have attended two of these clinics,” reports Heidi, “and so highly recommend them that I offered to sponsor one in Boston. Dave hasn't been here since 1998 (when I first met him) and I can tell you that the price is absolutely worth it. He is a world class athlete and a wonderful coach and lecturer -- not to mention a nice guy. I have watched him work with beginners and athletes and he is great with both. Also, once you take his clinic, he will function as your coach. No kidding -- I have never sent him an e-mail that he didn't respond to. If you are interested in attending, e-mail me directly for an application. If there are any other questions that I can answer, let me know as well. I hope to see you in May!”

Going the distance, 2003
By Maureen Danahy

Well, I'm training again for the Boston Marathon. Actually, I have been training since October. This year not only do I have the great support of Rick but also my son Ralph, who has been great about doing my long workouts on Saturdays with me. We've been doing a steady 3 1/2 - 4 hours for the past month.

It's been great going on my long workouts with him. He's educating me on all different kinds of subjects. You're probably wondering how I ever talked him into these walks. Well, this year I'm doing the Marathon in memory of a young girl named Marisa Shea. Marisa was the twenty-one-year-old daughter of my son's principal, Barbara Shea. Marisa died of diabetes last year. I'm not sure what is more challenging, the training or the fund-raising But you know how I like a challenge. The challenge continues....

On March 2, Ralph did his first 30K (Stu's 30K Clinton, Mass.) I must say I was very proud of him. For training purposes he jogged along beside me while I stayed in racewalking form. We started out great and strong and our pace was good for the first 13 miles. Then somewhere around mile 14 Ralph started to get really cold and the rain just wouldn't stop coming down. At mile 16 Ralph was sure that someone had measured the course wrong. However we persevered and even though his sense of humor was stretched we finished in decent time. Once again Rick came to the rescue, replacing wet clothes and hats at different mile markers. At one point my hands were so wet and cold they actually hurt. However, Rick soon showed up with a dry pair. The only problem was nothing stayed dry very long. I don't think I can remember ever being so wet and uncomfortable for such a long period of time. The good news is that we finished, my son is still talking to me and we were planning for another long workout the next Saturday.

The challenge continues...

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.


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

13 — 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9:30 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (bely, RI. Joe Light, 401-596-3173.


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

17? — Possible Cambridge Sports Union 10K. Stay tuned.

31 — New England 20K, Ninigret Park, Charlestown, RI


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

14 — 3K, NE outdoor track and field championships, MIT track, Cambridge.


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.

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


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


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

28 — Ollie Road Race Classic 5-miler, Fleet Boston Pavilion, 290 Northern Avenue, Boston, 10 a.m. 617-268-1619. Organizers of this traditional running race have agreed to add a racewalking division this year, Justin Kuo reports.

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

Racewalking down memory lane

Font of racewalking lore Steve Vaitones offers these gems from his files:

With the indoor season upon us, here is an announcement from championships past. I believe it is from 1893; the photocopy doesn't have the year or the newspaper. "Athletes should remember that the entries for the athletic championships, to be held in the South Armory, Irvington Street, on March 11, will close tomorrow. Entries should be made to Francis Green, Institute of Technology. The entrance fee is $1. All athletes, whether members of clubs or not, may enter. The events are as follows: 75 yard run, 600 yard run, 1000 yard run, one mile run, one mile walk, pole vault, running high jump, and 70 yard high hurdle race. There will also be a halgh jump, and 70 yard high hurdle race. There will also be a half mile run in heavy marching order, open to all the military organizations of New England. The track is the second biggest (indoor) in New England and measures almost nine laps to the mile. Athletes should not delay in sending entries. There will be first, second, and third prizes in each event."

Above that: "The Barge Rowers. What has become of the New England Amateur Barge Racing Association?" and an article on the topic. Below that: "Billiards at the BAA There will be a four handed billiard match game at the B.A.A. tonight, with Professors Eames and Kendrick conceding 100 points in 250 game to Messrs. Dwight and Hooper".

It certainly was a different era in sports The first Harvard-Yale Dual meet was held on May 16, 1891 at Holmes Field (in Boston?), and that meet included the Mile Walk. It was won by R.S.Hale of Harvard, class of '91 in 7 minutes 14 2/5 seconds; older results listings only reported the winning time.

In the 1892 meet at Yale, A.L.Endicott and C.R.Bardeen, both of Harvard, tied for first in 7m 41 3/5s. (Apparently the practice of listing everyone by their first two initials was the way to go back then). Then in 1893, A.L.Endicott was the repeat winner in 7m 5s. I don't think the last walker to represent Harvard, Adam Saravay in the 1980's, got down to 7:05 on the banked, synthetic surfaced Harvard indoor track. Also for comparison, the winning mile run times were in all in the 4:35-4:37 range.

All three meets also included a 2 mile bicycle race, with the fastest winning time of the three years being 5 m 48 2/5s. That seems like really motoring given the dirt or cinder tracks of the era.

The New England Walkers

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

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

New England Walkers
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Brookline, MA 02245-6700
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This page was last updated Wednesday, March 26, 2003.
Corrections? Contact Justin Kuo (617-731-9889)