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New England Walkers Newsletter
January 2005


Big doings for 2005

New England delegates Steve Vaitones and Justin Kuo returned from the USA Track & Field annual meeting with the news that our New England Association has been awarded the 2005 National 15-Kilometer Racewalking Championship, to be held Sunday, August 7. The association will also host the event in 2006 and 2007. Tentative location for 2005 is a shaded loop on Greenough Boulevard in Watertown, MA. Stay tuned for many details.

Our association has also been awarded the East Region One Hour championship, to be held in September or October at Bentley College in Waltham. MA.

And we have a full range of other racewalking events on our calendar for the new year. The schedule includes Year Seven of the popular 5-kilometer races at Danehy Park in Cambridge, MA., held monthly 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. The lineup includes these events:

Jan. 9 1 mile USATF-NE Masters Brown University
Jan. 23 3K GBTC Harvard University
Feb. 20 3K USATF-NE Harvard University
April 24 8K Clamdigger Westerly, RI
June 3K USATF-NE Outdoor Championships  
July 16 3K Bay State Games  
Jul/Aug 5K Eastern Regional Springfield College
Aug. 7 15K National Championship Watertown, MA
Sept. 24 10K Connecticut Racewalkers New London, CT
Sept./Oct. One-hour Bentley College Waltham, MA

Help save two endangered races

The Brown Masters Indoor Track & Field meet in Providence has suffered declining participation in recent years, and organizers are thinking of discontinuing the event if turnout does not improve for the upcoming Jan. 9 meet. There may not be much we can do about the dwindling numbers of hurdlers, sprinters and weight-throwers, but we certainly can help swell the ranks of entrants in the one-mile racewalk. An entry form is available at usatfne.org; a form and other information are also available from Bob Rothenberg at Brown University, 401-863-1041.

The Clamdigger 8K racewalk in Westerly, RI, a fixture on our Grand Prix schedule, also had a disappointing dropoff in participation last year. The Clamdigger may revert to a runners-only event unless more of us turn out on April 24. For more information, contact Joe Light 401-596-3173 or consult westerlytrackclub.org.

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.

***

Joanne Dow
With the Olympic year behind me, and results that were disappointing, I resolve to have more fun with my walking. I want to compete in some fun, fast events. I'd really like to race at the Penn Relays this year and knock off a fast 5k. My plan is to compete nationally this year (no retirement yet for me).

***

Marcia Gutsche Rutledge

  1. To stay injury-free! This translates to religiously doing my hamstring exercises which I really don't enjoy doing!
  2. To actively participate in NE Grand Prix races.
  3. To travel to several National and/or National Masters events and place respectfully in the National Open Grand Prix and Masters standings.
  4. To post at least one lifetime PR, possibly at the 20K distance -- this is definitely getting harder with age, but hopefully is still in the realm of possibilities given 2 PRs this year.
  5. To develop a game plan for completing two more marathons - one in South America to complete my goal of a marathon on every continent and, of course, that small, local marathon called the Boston Marathon!
  6. And, last but not least, stay fit and have fun no matter how the races go!

***

Bill Harriman
My tendency has been to train too hard, get injured, and miss too many races as a result. In 2005 I resolve to reverse that trend by undertraining, staying healthy, and competing in as many local races as I can. My goal is to see how many total grand prix points I can score in one season. I also resolve to continue attracting as many walkers as I can to the Danehy Park series, especially new walkers, and to make those races fun for everybody.

***

John Gray
My only resolution appropriate for NEW is to get down to an 11 minute mile walking. And to do it before I do that running because actually I can now racewalk, possibly illegally, as fast as I can run.

***

Joe Light
Walk the Boston Marathon. Tried it 9 years ago for the 100th anniversary. Qualified as a runner but got injured a few weeks before and was forced to walk it with inadequate distance training and quit at 30km. Complete 4 races in grand prix series.

***

Tom Knatt
My resolution is to sell my house so that, instead of spending time fixing my house, I have enough time for racewalking.

***

Charlie Mansbach
I can talk about times and GP points and whether I can ever get fast enough to win back the carton of French soymilk from Monsieur Knatt. But all I really want is to be healthy enough to get out there and compete in my new 60+ age category.

Ray McPeck 1920-2004

Raymond F. McPeck of Quincy, MA, a New England Walkers member and a familiar presence at races in the early and mid 1990s, died Dec. 22 at the Bedford VA Medical Center. He was 84.

Ray, a boxer, figure skater, and tennis player before taking up racewalking in his retirement years, was an employee of the Boston Gas Co. for 30 years.

His wife, Helene, also a NEW member, died in 2002.

Membership renewal time

For most of us, our New England Walkers dues are due. The payments support races, clinics, mailings and other NEW activities throughout the region. At $6 a year, it's still the best deal around. Simply click on the "Paying Dues Online" section of this web site, or send your check to

Justin Kuo
39 Oakland Road
Brookline, MA 02245

***

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, and you can also register on-line there. For further information, call the New England office at 617-566-7600.

'04 Grand Prix results

Six men and four women completed the full 2004 Grand Prix, with top honors going to Maryanne Daniel and Bob Keating. Participants were ranked by their times in their four best designated events, as measured against age-graded tables. Thanks to Steve Vaitones, USATF shirts have been awarded to the first-place man and woman, and engraved USATF medals for the first three men and women.

A total of 54 walkers scored points in the series, with 31 men and 23 women completing at least one race. Following are the final standings of those who completed four races, with thanks to tireless and diligent scorekeeper Bill Harriman.

Men
Bob Keating 353.28
Bill McCann 308.7
Tom Knatt 305.34
Bill Harriman 302.74
Lou Free 300.83
Charlie Mansbach 2 81.84
Women
Maryanne Daniel 347.68
Marcia Gutsche Rutledge 339.26
Joanne Harriman 315.12
Pat Godfrey 293.15

Congratulations to ...

Marcia Gutsche Rutledge, who has been selected as the nation's top female racewalker for 2004 in the 40-44 age bracket.

Justin Kuo, competitor, official, NEW mainstay and member of the USATF New England Board of Governors, who has been named as the new chair of the USATF Records Committee. Responsibilities will include coordinating the compilation of record performances through the year and chairing the committee meeting that reviews the pending records.

Steve Vaitones, managing director of the USATF-NE office and longtime competitor and official, who was elected vice chairman of the Men's and Women's Race Walking Committee.

Team in Training report

By Michael Hoffer

The Rhode Island Leukemia - Lymphoma's Team in Training program has had another very successful and rewarding year. As we complete our 9th year we still are maintaining a 100 % completion record and the cure rates for these terrible diseases continue to show improvements. Nationally, all of the Team in Training chapters this year will have raised a collective $100 million for cancer research and patient care. In the last two national events we raised $12 million in San Diego and $10 million in San Francisco. You can see this is a very strong and successful program

During 2004 I competed in and took teams to the Disney Half/ Full Marathon, Mardi Gras Half/ Full Marathon, San Diego Marathon, Virginia Half Marathon and the new Nike Half/ Full San Francisco Marathon. To date I have done 41Team in Training events, raised $90,000, and we are preparing for our two winter events, the Disney and Phoenix Half/ Full Marathons in January.

In 2004 I received the two highest National Awards at the Team in Training Dinner at the San Diego Marathon, which is attended by every chapter in the country, as having participated in the most events and raised the highest amount of money. To show my "generational gap" with the electronics era, one of the prizes that I won was an MP #2 player, and when I got back to our table I had to ask what this "space ship" like gadget did and how it worked. My wife and I decided that this was too complicated, so we gave it to our grandson who had it programmed within 30 minutes. In the San Francisco Half Marathon I was not going for speed but still finished 3rd in my age group, so it's not that my times are getting better but rather that the number of people in my age group [ 65 - 69 ] lessened!

As we are approaching our 10th year we are very optimistic that we will see major breakthroughs on the research front, cure rates will continue to increase and the quality of life of those stricken with these diseases will show marked improvement. As long as my feet hold up, we see that our mission to eradicate these dreadful diseases is not complete and we continue to recruit new participants to help us fight our battle I will continue to serve as Head Walking Coach for this very meaningful and rewarding program. I still do local races and continue to run [or walk ] into NEW club members, and while my times have gone in the wrong direction it's still fun being out there for the starting gun! I hope everyone is well and healthy and is looking forward to a wonderful holiday season.

Best regards to all and Happy Walking.
Michael Hoffer

2005 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.

January

9 - 1 mile, USATF-NE Masters T&F meet, Brown University, Providence RI 401-863-1041

7, 9 - Dartmouth Relays, Hanover NH

23 - 3K, Greater Boston TC Invitational at Harvard University. 20-minute time limit 617 282-5537 or gbtc.org

February

20 - 3K, USATF New England Indoor Championships, Harvard U. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600 or usatfne.org.

21 - 29th 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.

26-27 - USA 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 or usatfne.org..

March

20 - Tentative- USATF Connecticut Championships. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600 or usatfne.org.

April

3 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 10 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before 9:30 p.m.)

24 - Clamdigger 8K, Westerly, RI. Joe Light, 401-596-3173 or westerlytrackclub.org.

May

1 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 10 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before 9:30 p.m.)

June

5 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 10 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before 9:30 p.m.)

19?? - 3K, USATF-NE Outdoor Championships New England track and field office, 617-566-7600 or usatfne.org.

July

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

10 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before 9:30 p.m.)

16 - 3K, Bay State Games. ??? Easter Masters 5K championship, Springfield College, MA. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600 or usatfne.org..

August

7 - National 15K championships, Greenough Boulevard, Watertown, MA. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600 or usatfne.org.

14 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 9 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before 9:30 p.m.)

September

11 - 5K, Danehy Park, Cambridge, MA, 10 a.m. Contact Bill Harriman at 978-640-9676 (before 9:30 p.m.)

24 - Connecticut Racewalkers 10K.

September or October- Eastern Regional One-Hour Championship, Bentley College, Waltham, MA. New England track and field office, 617-566-7600 or usatfne.org.

Racewalking down memory lane

Jan. 14, 1995 - The mercury hits 69 degrees, an all-time record for the date, while we are assembled in the Brown University field house in Providence for the annual masters meet. Someone opens a side door, and we stream into the warm sunshine to do our warm-ups in the parking lot and on nearby streets. A couple of us are so invigorated that we turn in PRs when we get back inside on the track. Temperatures return to their freezing norms in subsequent years, and we revert to doing our warm-ups at the far ends of the track and down the narrow hallways.

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
jkuo@usatfne.org
39 Oakland Road
Brookline, MA 02245-6700
United States


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This page was last updated Wednesday, January 5, 2005.
Corrections? Contact Justin Kuo (617-731-9889)