HRW Strike Gold-USATF Natl Masters Indoor
March 1 and2, Winston-Salem, NC saw our defending Gold Medal winners repeat at the annual indoor meet. In the one-mile race Karen Swisher not only defended her win from 2017 in Albuquerque, but also set a new American Record, beating her old record by 3 seconds in a time of 9:46. In doing so, she once again beat USATF Hall of Fame walker Marianne Martino in the 65-69 division. Although Alan did not finish that race, he holds the American Record in the 80-84 age division. In the 3000-meter race on March 2, Karen took the Silver medal to add to her collection of national medals. Alan, a veteran of many USATF races, took the Gold in the 80-84 division for the third time in the 3000-meter race in that age division. The results will be posted in the HRW Results link. a report in the Kansas City Star can be seen at:
posted on 16 Mar 2019 by heartland

Heartland Racewalkers Officers 2018-2019

HRW officers were elected for 2018 and reelected for 2019: Serving as President: Karen Swisher; Vice-President: Charlotte Haupt; Secretary and Clinic Director: Sunday Cavallaro; Treasurer: Tom Oakes; Past President: Alan Poisner; Other Board Members 2019: Fred Adams, Maggie McCoy. We thank them all for keeping HRW among the top racewalking clubs in U.S.
posted on 12 Jan 2019 by heartland

Alan Poisner Does it Again in 2017

Alan Poisner, founding member and past-president of the Heartland Racewalkers, repeated as USATF Masters Racewalker of the Year in his age division (80-84). He had previously won this award in 2011 and 2015. This was based on his Gold Medal wins at the USATF National Indoor in Albuquerque (one-mile and 3000 meters) and the National Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge (5000 meters and 10K). He was also recognized for setting a new record in the Indoor one-mile walk. In the 9 national and international races in 2017 he earned 9 Gold Medals. This year had some serious challenges, including racing the 5K in the National Senior Games in Birmingham during a drenching rain on a course full of puddles and sloping surfaces. Also a challenge was the 10K race in Baton Rouge where the humidity was greater than his finishing time (76 min) and survival was the goal. After the Indoor meet in Albuquerque, Alan went further south to compete in the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. This is described in the news item posted in May. He competed in the 1500 meter and 3000 meter racewalks and took Gold in both, achieving an 86.1% age-grading result in the 1500 meter race. He also beat the Russian who had come in second to him in 2011 in the World Masters Athletics Championships. This guy probably was taking the wrong drugs. After New Zealand, the next two events were also south, but in the U.S. In the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alan repeated as the Gold Medalist in both the 1500 meter and the 5K walks in the 80-84 division (now at age 83). Then at the USATF National Masters Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge, he took Gold in the 5000 meter race on the track (LSU) and the 10K on the road (mentioned above). The final national race was the biannual State Games of America which was held in Grand Rapids, MI. Our club was instrumental in part in including racewalking as an official event, just like it was in 2015 in Lincoln, NE. Alan was the sole representative of HRW, although other club members had qualified by taking medals in the Sunflower Games or the ShowMe games. He repeated his 2015 win by taking Gold in the 1500 meter walk. In addition to these achievements for racewalking against walkers, he also won a Phidippides Award from the National Masters News for his participation and wins in many road races (racewalking against runners). He has now won this award 6 times. 2017 has been a special racing season for Alan, now in his 33rd year as a racewalker.
posted on 23 Dec 2017 by heartland

Karen Swisher Excels in 2017

Karen Swisher had a spectacular year in just her third year as a racewalker, garnering awards that had not previously been earned by women in our club. She started out the year by competing in the USATF National Masters Indoor Championships in Albuquerque in March, the first national USATF meet that she had ever entered. The first event was the one-mile walk, a rarely held distance (usually 1500 meters) and Karen not only took first place, she beat the former Racewalker of the Year, Marian Martino, nipping her at the last stride by 0.5 sec AND she set a new national indoor record for her age group (65-69). Adding to her Gold Medal, the next day she took Silver in the 3000 meter walk. Next on Karen’s 2017 walking victory march was the National Senior Games in Birmingham, AL in June. At this location, she took Gold in the 5K race while it was raining and beat 32 of the 34 other women in the 50-69 divisions except two who were 10 years younger. Her time was good enough to earn an All-American Award (81.7%). She followed this up two days later by taking another Gold in the 1500 meter walk, beating the other 8 women in the 65-69 division and all 10 walkers in the 60-64 age division. She again attained an age-graded finish greater than 80%. The next national competition, the USATF National Masters Outdoor Championships, was even further south, Baton Rouge, and in July. That means HOT and HUMID, and it was. But Karen was really hot, taking two more Golds (5000 meters on the track and 10K on the road) in really brutal conditions. Her time in the 5K, 30:28, was good enough for 86.2% and she came in ahead of all of the 8 other women who dared to race under the glaring sun for over one hour. Finally, just to keep her winning form going strong, she entered the Kansas Senior Games in September and took Golds in the 1500 meter and 5000 meter walks, beating all of the men and women in both events. As a result of her performance in the USATF races, Karen earned the USATF Masters Racewalker of the Year in the 65-69 age division, which was a spectacular result in this just her third year of racewalking. Because of this record that had never been achieved by women in the Heartland Racewalkers in its 29 years, Karen was given a special trophy by her fellow competitor, Alan Poisner, a founding member of Heartand Racewalkers, who has 32 years experience in competing in national races, and can’t keep up with Karen any more. But neither can many others around the country. Congratulations, Karen.
posted on 20 Dec 2017 by heartland

HRW 2017 Annual Party and Election

HRW held its annual year-end party at the home of Sunday Cavallaro on Dec. 2. President BJ Thornburg with the help of the Board gave a report of the year's activities. Alan Poisner, the past president, acting as chair of the nominating committee then presented the list of officers and board members for 2018. These were voted in by acclamation and the list is shown below. The Alan Poisner Service Award for 2017 was presented to Karen Swisher (also a 2016 recipient) for her dedicated service to the club. A series of special awards was then presented to Karen along with a trophy and that is described in a later message. Karen, as incoming President, then gave her view of our club's activities in the coming year with lots of interesting events planned. Also discussed was a plan suggested by Alan to expand our club's mission to include power walkers in our community. That will be codified in a updated By-Laws that will be presented in the new year. The club expressed their thanks to BJ for her two years of service as President with cards and some special gifts. As usual, the annual gift/door-prize activity was again a popular way to conclude our 29th year as one of the premier racewalking clubs in the country. Officers and Board Members for 2018 President Karen Swisher; Vice-President Charlotte Haupt; Secretary Sunday Cavallaro; Treasurer Tom Oakes; Asst. Treasurer Steve Fraley Clinic Director Sunday Cavallaro; Past President Alan Poisner; Photographer Maggie McCoy; Website Mntce. Alan Poisner/Karen Swisher; At Large members: Fred Adams, Pat Durkin, Maggie Link
posted on 20 Dec 2017 by heartland

National Masters News Story on Alan Poisner

The National Masters News featured an article about Alan Poisner in the June/July Issue. Read it here
posted on 29 Jul 2017 by heartland

Poisner takes Golds at 2017 World Masters Games

HRW past-president and founding member Alan Poisner brought more honors to our club by taking two gold Medals in the World Masters Games held in Auckand, New Zealand. This event is held every four years and is larger than the Olympics. It drew 28,000 athletes and supporters from 100 countries who competed in 46 sports in 5-year age divisions. Alan entered the 1500- and 3000-meter walks in the 80-84 division that were held on April 25 and 26. His winning times of 9:53.8 and 20:54.4 were good enough to beat walkers from Russia, Canada and New Zealand and corresponded to 86.1% and 83.3% in age-grading. In the 3000-meter walk, he also beat all three medal winners in the 75-79 division. Alan commented that “it was a long way to go (9000 miles) just to walk a little less than 1 and 2 miles”. He previously took Gold in the 5000-meter walk in the World Masters Games in 1998 in Eugene, OR and in the 5000-meter walk in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento, CA in 2011. >
posted on 17 May 2017 by heartland

New Year's Day Fun Race

Several of us showed up for the New Year's Day fun race. We had fun, but we didn't really race walk because the paths were covered with ice. We did, however, enjoy the traditional post-race breakfast at LePeep. I think Phil is still eating his HUGE pancakes! Pictures on Flikr
posted on 18 Jan 2016 by heartland

20-year Farewell Report by Alan Poisner

Now I would like to add an addendum because this is not only the report for the past year, but in my case, the report for the last 20 years. That is how long that I have been President of the Heartland Racewalkers in our 26 year history. As you probably know, I have decided that it is time for someone else to take the reins and lead our club in the coming years and, fortunately we have a veteran officer of our club who has agreed to do that, BJ Thornburg. Before I conclude this major portion of my life, I would like to reflect on some of the things that our club has accomplished in these past 20 years. When I took over the club in 1996, I had just come back from a one-year sabbatical in Durham, NC. I had been racewalking for about 10 years at the time and was able to enter a large number of local races in North Carolina as well as competing in the National Senior Games in San Antonio that year. The club was not very large at the time since we had lost our main coaches, Don & Debbie Lawrence and then Pathe Price and Jim Fogle. For a while we maintained our twice a week clinics, with the second one being at 6:30 on Wednesdays. But that dwindled away after a few years. Then we started getting renewed interest, partly due to the website that I set up as our newsletter under the editorship of Ed Levy and myself was superseded by our electronic newsletter and then the whole expanded website with Jake Fowler as webmaster. Our meeting place (initially called Health Plus) had a number of owners over the years, from Health Midwest, to HCA to private owners. During this time, we also moved our meeting room from upstairs to downstairs to the front room to one of two back rooms. Steve Figoni and I ran several training sessions for outside groups: one was breast cancer survivors who wanted to train for the Race for the Cure. Another was the transplant group that was training for the National Transplant Games. We are very fortunate that Pamela Felton started with that group and has sustained her membership with us over the years. I have presented many racewalking clinics around the Metro and then was aided a number of times by BJ and Fred. These were for adults, coaches and youths in the area. Fred and I made a number of visits to a grade school in Independence to start a racewalking activity at their recess period and our club also sponsored them in a race around Arrowhead Stadium. In 2004, we hosted the USATF World Cup Team trials in 2004 in Corporate Woods when Curt Clausen visited us. Most of the elite racewalkers came in to participate in this series of races, the chief one being the 20 K walk. In 2008, Eileen McManus and I represented the club in the USATF National Club Track & Field Championships where there were no age divisions and still picked up enough points to beat some running clubs. In 2013 our club was the local team at the USATF National Masters Outdoor meet in Olathe, I had the opportunity to help certify the course. Our club garnered 14 medals between the 5K and the 10,000 meter walks. Over the years, we brought in a number of national coaches to present clinics. These included Ray Funkhouser, Dave McGovern (twice), Jeff Salvage, Carolyn Kealty, Debbie Lawrence and Jonathan Matthews. That is another way that our club is known on the national stage. Because of our national prominence, several members of our club were featured in a book on racewalking by Brent Bohlen, including profiles of Jean Brunnenkant and me and a comment about Tom Young. Our club has entered many races over the years that were initially set up for runners. In 2001, I set up our first team to enter the Brew to Brew Relay to Lawrence. We were the only racewalking team and set a precedent by beating a number of running teams using the age-graded finishing times. At one time we had four teams in the Brew to Brew. I also arranged to have teams in the Blue Springs Marathon and Half-Marathon Relays in Independence. Once we had five teams who entered. In recent years, we have also set up teams in the Patriots Day Run. That has been in four different locations in Olathe and we have had wonderful participation, many times with 20 or more walkers. I have also been able to persuade some local road race organizers to include racewalking divisions in their races. These have included the Gobbler Grind, the Father’s Day Run and the Cliff Hanger and there have been others. This has raised the visibility of our club and helped promote racewalking in the Metro. In addition to gaining support from some local race organizers, I have also been able to gain discounts for our club from some local running stores, that includes Gary Gribbles (now 20%) and Metro Walk/run. Over the years we have had a number of youth members who excelled in regional and national competition. That included Emma Carter who won medals in the NAIA national meet in Olathe and actually competed in the USA-Canadian competition and did a sub-24 minute 5K. Other successful youth members who did well nationally included Kiara Bunton, Santosh and Lakshmi Dandi. A major event occurred in our club’s history a few years ago when Health Plus, now called Fitness Plus, closed their doors. Their old building and management couldn’t compete with the newer public and private fitness centers. This was a critical time for our club since a physical indoor facility is vital for a club in the Midwest. Fortunately I was able to negotiate an arrangement with the Jewish Community Center that has proven very successful, with indoor and outdoor venues and meeting rooms. We are very lucky that it is also only a short distance away from our former location. An accomplishment that I cherish is the bringing together of Floyd Delon and Martie Lykens. Martie was one of the founding members of our club along with Phil Jacobs and me. When I recruited Floyd into our club many years ago when he was a widower, he met Martie who had lost her husband. The rest is history during which they not only got married on a ship in the Mediterranean but also have entered countless races locally, regionally and nationally. Another twosome that found the Heartland Racewalkers a warm place to meet were Jean Brunnenkant and Tom Young, who were my role models and frequently featured in local newspapers. Jean brought more glory to our club by winning the Senior Sportswoman of the Year from the WIN Network some years ago. Several of us were able to attend the banquet at the Hyatt Regency with about 1,000 in attendance where the award was given. She was recognized in a competition that included all sports, not just running or walking. Because of Tom Young’s many years of service to our club, we recognized his name on a plaque on a bench in Roe Park that also recognizes some other meritorious club members, including Al Armstrong, Ed Levy and Don Swegel. On a personal note, the inspiration from previous coaches of our club has helped me attain recognition at the national and international level with many Gold Medals at the National Senior Olympics, the USATF Indoor and Outdoors and the National State Games of America. This also includes Gold Medals at the Huntsman World Games in St. George, UT and the Nike World Games in Eugene, OR. The highest honor that I got was taking two Gold Medals in the biannual World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento in 2011 (5,000 and 10,000 meters). I was also part of the USA country championship team that resulted in another Gold Medal and selection as the USATF national racewalker of the year in the 75-79 age division. As mentioned before, this honor was repeated this year in the 80-84 division. Along the way, I have also collected a number of state and national records from 1500 meters to 5K. Finally, my greatest satisfaction over the years with our club is the realization of just how many individuals, from the younger to the older, have taken up our sport and achieved a better level of fitness while having fun. They and you are all emissaries to the wider world who now have a better appreciation of what a grand pastime that we have adopted.
posted on 29 Dec 2015 by heartland

2015 Annual Holiday Party and Election

Heartland Racewalkers celebrated their 27th year on Dec. 19, 2015 at the home of BJ Thornburg. 24 members and guests attended this event. After a delicious brunch, it was time for announcements, awards and elections. Alan distributed the year-end summary of events and gave his report of another successful year. Awards (special plaques) were presented to BJ as the “Come-Back Kid” of the Year (because of her courageous recovery from her bone fractures that she suffered at the Missouri Senior Games in June and to Jean Brunnenkant who has continued to make racewalking history with our club up to her 99th birthday party. We are looking forward to her 100th in August. John Anderson took honors for accumulating the most participation points during the year (gift to received later since he was out of town). .
Door prizes were selected with the help again of Sharon Poisner and BJ. Alan thanked the officers and board for the work that they had done to support the club during the past year. Alan then presented a review of the 20 years of his Presidency (a type of Farewell Address). This is the first significant change in leadership since 1995 and represents 20 of the 26 years of Heartland Racewalkers. This review is shown elsewhere in the News. Handouts were passed around, including a history of the Brew to Brew races that our club has entered.
Elections for the 2016 year were held with the first significant change after 20 years, since Alan has decided to move on to Past President and our current Vice-President, BJ Thornburg, was elected as the incoming President. Pat Durkin was elected Vice President. The Secretary (Carol Smith) and Treasurer (Tom Oakes) were reelected. Another retirement was that of Fred Adams who has served for many years as Clinic Director and his replacement is Sunday Cavallaro. This was another banner year for HRW. We had a number of outreach events in the community with the help of BJ Thornburg, John Anderson and Alan. We continued our good relations with the Kansas City Track Club by hosting a Wednesday Night Run and participating in relays and road races. We won lots of medals at state and national events and the Prez set some national records and received the National Racewalker of the Year Award from the USATF Masters Racewalking Committee. News, results and pictures of the past year can be found at the respective links on our website. We expect HRW will continue the tradition of racewalking excellence and camaraderie in 2016.
posted on 29 Dec 2015 by heartland

2015 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report This is our annual month-by-month “State of the Club Report” for the past year. This was the start of the second quarter-century of the Heartland Racewalkers. That will be mentioned later. On New Year’s Day, we joined the KC Track Club for the annual start of the year run/walk which was followed by the traditional brunch for some of us at La Peep. We had 10-12 (incl. spouses & friends At our January meeting, we had a speaker on nutrition sponsored by Steve Fraley. We had 18 members who braved weather with wind-chill down to -12 degrees to attend this first meeting of the year. Our February meeting featured JonathanStepp, sponsored by John Anderson. He spoke about his successful fight against bone cancer and his inspirational message as an athlete and role model Our March speaker, Betty Sherrer, sponsored by Carol Smith, led us in a program of drumming-for rhythm and aerobics. Later in March, John and I went to Winston-Salem, NC for the USATF National Masters Indoor Championships. John served as a cheerleader for Alan (having missed out on the registration) and it worked since I set a new American Record for the 3000 meter walk. Unfortunately, it will not to be certified as a record since the number of judges was reduced at the last moment from 5 to 4 and 5 are needed for full certification. In April, our speaker was Bob Akers, sponsored by BJ Thornburg. He spoke about electronic recycling. Then later in the month we fielded three teams in the Annual Brew to Brew relay from KC to Lawrence. The Heartland Hipsters, under Captain BJ Thornburg, came in ahead of the Perpetual Pedestrians and the Wooly Walkers, Alan and Mark were captains of those teams and were veterans of many Brew to Brew races. Afterwards, we had our traditional post-race feast at the Mad Greek’s restaurant in Lawrence. Nancy Perih again put on the most miles in attending by driving in from Topeka to participate and then backracking to Kansas City before returning to Topeka. At our May meeting, we had a review of the Brew to Brew race so all of our members could see some of the scenes. On May 20, HRW hosted the Wednesday Night Run once again at Leawood City Park. Thanks to Tom Oakes (our order chef) and the o11 ther members who helped host this event. At our June meeting, Don Culp, who had been part of the KC Walkers and an early members prior the establishment of the Heartland Racewalkers, gave us some historical recollections about the early days. Also in June, our club collected a lot of medals at the Missouri State Senior Games. This year’s meet was noteworthy not for the records set by Dave Couts and Alan but mostly for the disastrous fall that BJ suffered on falling on a slippery spot in the 5K and breaking bones in her ankle. Fred and John were there to help her until she finally was taken care of in the hospital. Fortunately, BJ’s courage and persistence has led her back to recovery and she is back to racing again. She is an inspiration. In July we did not have our meeting on the first Saturday because it was the 4th of July (a number of us got into races). On the second week, we had our annual picnic in Roe Park with 22 in attendance, including Jean Brunnenkant our Walking Queen who was just a month before her 99th birthday. Top point winners in the first 6 months of the year were John, Pamela and Lynn. In July we also had four medal winners in the Sunflower State Games: John, Sunday, Nancy Perih and Alan. At the Show Me Games in Columbia, Fred and Dave Couts each won two Gold Medals. July was also the when the National Senior Olympics held the racewalks in St. Paul. We had 6 competitors and one cheer-leader, Maggie McCoy. Our club came away with 2 Gold medals, 3 Bronze medals and 6 ribbons for 4-8th. Included in that were one all-time record in the 80-84 division in the 1500 meter walk and a second best of all time in the 5K and one 9th best all time in the 5K. Later in the month, on July 26, your Prez took another Gold medal by winning the 10,000 meter walk in the USATF National Masters Outdoor Championships in Jacksonville, Fl. It was very hot and humid and took place on a track-25 laps with rigorous judges watching. In August, Carol Goslin, our multi-time marathoner spoke to us about her experiences and acknowledged that she was a top veteran of the marathon maniacs. We salute her for her many years of dedication to her passion for locomotion. On Aug. 1, our youth member, Maggie Boley, took 3rd out of 19 in the 9-10 year-old age division in Norfolk, VA in the AAU National Championships Jr Olympics in the 1500 meters in a time of 9:27. Another national event that occurs every two years is the State Games of America. This year it took place in Lincoln, NE on Aug. 1. HRW took 3 Golds and a Silver. This is the national event that requires qualification in one’s own state, like the Sunflower Games and the ShowMe Games. John, Fred Alan and Nancy were our representatives. September found us in a variety of activities. At our monthly meeting, Nan & Sid Kantor spoke about their activities promoting the Special Olympics. Then on Sept. 11, the Patriots Day Run on 9/11 found us with two teams who kept the paths at the Mid America Nazarene Campus in Olathe busy with racewalking for 9 hours and 11 minutes. The Heartland Patriots (John Anderson, captain) finished the long day with 39 laps, beating out the Heartland Hipsters (Pat Durkin, captain) who had 36 laps (miles). The Kansas Senior Games were held on Sept. In October, our schedule Be-A-Walker had to be postponed due to the reconstruction going on at Roe Park. Instead we had a substitute speaker, the Prez, who spoke on “Nobel Prize Winner that I Have Known”. This is a favorite topic of mine and I presented to my medical alumni class at our 55th reunion the week before. In November, our monthly speaker was Matt Kirsh, sponsored by Pat Durkin. He is a personal trainer at the YMCA and he spoke about fitness. Thanks, .
posted on 28 Dec 2015 by heartland

2014 Annual Report

This is our annual “State of the Club Report” for the past year. It was an especially fulfilling year since it was one where we celebrated our 25th anniversary. That will be mentioned later. We ended 2013 with our annual party that was held at BJ Thornburg’s home and had a good turnout of 25, incuding BJ the DJ Taylor who was our guest. Awards were given to John, Carol and Lynn for their special support of the club during the year. On New Year’s Day, we joined the KC Track Club for the annual start of the year run/walk which was followed by the traditional brunch for some of us at La Peep. We had 28 members who had renewed at this time. At our Feb meeting, we discussed the Brew to Brew over the years in preparation for our April race. Our March meeting featured a nutritionist from K-State extension who spoke on how to eat out healthy. She was sponsored by Carol Smith and gave an excellent presentation. At our April meeting, Mark spoke about foot problems. We have our own resident foot specialist which is our good fortune. On April 6, we had a record FOUR teams and 4 volunteers at the Brew to Brew relay race from Kansas City to Lawrence. Phil’s “Walking Shoes” team won with the help of the St. Louis flash, Dave Couts. Afterwards, we had our traditional post-race feast at the Mad Greek’s restaurant in Lawrence. Nancy Perih again put on the most miles in attending by driving in from Topeka to participate and then backtracking to Kansas City before returning to Topeka. On May 3, we had a report about our Brew to Brew teams with a slide show from the Prez. Also in May, we had a team of 6 members who did the WALK KANSAS program sponsored by the K-State Extension of Johnson County. We did a “Virtual” walk around Kansas (about 1500 miles, more than the goal of 1200) by recording our weekly mileage. exercise and healthful eating habits. We received a certificate of accomplishment and were third in our division, which was mostly runners. The participants were: Mark, Carol, Sunday, Martha, BJ and Alan. At our June Meeting, Linda Sher spoke to us about life at KCUR, an NPR station where she is a frequent announcer. She has made arrangements for a future tour of the studio and we will be soliciting members for their preferred visiting time. In June, HRW once again collected lots of medals at the Missouri State Senior Games in Columbia-and set several records. On July 5, we had our annual picnic and used this for our 25th anniversary celebration. HRW took some more medals at the Sunflower Games in Topeka. At our August meeting, Maggie spoke about the KC Track club, its history and activities. We have had a close relationship with them over the years. A lot of that comes from Maggie’s work on the Wednesday Night Run as well as the Brew to Brew and other events. Thanks, Maggie. On Sept. 6, Tom Cotter, a runner and sports chiropractor, spoke on sports injuries. He was sponsored by John. In September HRW once again garnered many medals. New Senior Games records were set by Carol Smith, Eileen McManus and Alan Poisner. Alan made a presentation at the JCC in the St. Luke’s South wellness program. We recruited one member last year from this activity, Donna Misiti. In October, we had our annual Be-A-Walker, predicted time 3K race at Roe Park with 18 walkers. The top finishers were Carol Smith, Peg Armstrong and Martha McCarter. In November, the Prez spoke about the history of racewalking and his own personal history (29 years in the sport). At the Cliff Hanger, a race with a racewalking division, John Anderson was the top male and first overall, BJ was the top female. This is a great race that we should continue to support and get more walkers involved. That brings us to December. We now have 67 members and hope to have more of them as regulars in the coming year and as well as welcoming new members. Our webmaster, Jake Fowler, had some health issues during the year but continues to put our race results up on our home page. I encourage all members to periodically view this page for information, including links to many resources on the Internet. I look forward to the coming year not only because of my love for racewalking and my racewalking friends, but also because I have started a new phase in my life with a wonderful mate, Sharon Shoham Poisner. When she joined our club in May, I decided that I would do whatever it took to keep her in the club. So I married her in October. That should convince you of my devotion to the Heartland Racewalkers. I hope that you will continue to enjoy and benefit from racewalking and our club’s activities in 2015. Please give me and the other officers and board members feedback about what you would like our club to do in the coming year, at weekly clinics and special events. I thank you for helping me enjoy this adventure that has lasted 29 years for me, with 19 of them as president in the 25 years of the Heartland Racewalkers. Respectfully submitted, The Prez, Alan Poisner
posted on 04 May 2015 by heartland

HRW Prez wins 2013 Year-end awards

After each calendar year, different organizations honor track and field or road running athletes with various awards. One of these, sponsored by the USATF, is the Phidippides Award that is earned for long distance running. Alan Poisner won this award for 2013 even though he did his racing by racewalking rather than running. He also won this award in 2010, 2011 and 2012. All of these races were open to runners without racewalking divisions but miles are miles regardless of the locomotive style. Some runners in the area probably earned this award as well.
Another award that is promoted by the National Masters News is the All-American Award that is open to all masters' competitors. In order to earn this designation, athletes must perform in a road race, a track meet (track or field) or a racewalk and achieve a result that is 80% or better on the age-graded tables that are shown in their publication. The criteria for race walking can be found online at and an online calculator for runners and racewalkers is found at:
For 2013, Alan won this designation for races at three different distances and this was published in the January 2014 issue of National Masters News: Track & Field: 1500m Race Walk-9:19.59 ; 5000m Race Walk-34:02.78 ;10000m Race Walk 1:09:38.50. Alan has won All-American status many times in recent years and this should become easier after October when he reaches a new age division (80-84).
Another award for 2013 was earned in a new series of races sponsored by the Ujena Racing club. They have been conducting races across the U.S. in their Double Road Race format, which is a 10K event followed a short time later (30-60 min) by a 5K race.. After many races in 2013 they ranked the winners based on age-grading and finishing times and gave prizes to the top finishers. Alan raced in Overland Park on June 30 and took first place in his age division while being the only racewalker. At the end of the year, he received this message: �Congratulations! You have been awarded the 2013 Ujena Fit Club Elite Racing Top 100 medal. Ujena Fit Club members posted thousands of races they ran in 2013. 100 points were given to each race completed, 20 points for each mile raced and performance points if you placed in the top 500 of age-graded performances. You placed in the top 100. That was not easy but you did it!
Racewalking in the Olympics is truly an endurance sport (currently 20K for men and women and 50K for men), Competition for Masters is frequently 10K or less. Alan has shown his endurance by continuing his 28-year journey of racewalking. Pictures of the awards can be found at:
posted on 27 Feb 2014 by heartland

2013 Year-end Report

Dec. 7, 2013. This is the annual State of the Club Report which reviews the activities of the Heartland Racewalkers for the past year and make some projections for 2014.

Our annual party last year was held on December 1 at Fitness Plus-the last time that we used that facility for our year end party since 1989. 25 people were in attendance. Awards were given to Sunday Cavallaro, Mitch Kranitz and BJ Thornburg. Election Results: Pres-Alan Poisner, Vice Pres-Chuck Zarrelli, Secretary-Sarah Justice, Treasurer-Tom Oakes, Clinic Director-Fred Adams; Historian-Jean Brunnenkant.

On January 1st, we started off the New Year by taking part in the annual New Year�s Day Run/Walk at the Athletic Club of Overland Park, sponsored by the KC Track Club. It was a 28 degrees and icy so that encouraged our walkers to finish fast so that they could have a warm breakfast afterwards at La Peep. Ten of us made the trek. This is an annual club tradition and I invite you to join us this year.

At our January 5 meeting, Eric from Gary Gribble�s gave a presentation on shoes that are popular with racewaklers He brought a number of models for us to see.

Jan 27 was the ill-fated Ground Hog 5K in the cave where our own Mitch Kranitz fell down (or was pushed) shortly before the finish line. He eventually got up and finished and took a medal-BUT had suffered a fractured hip and was taken by ambulance to Shawnee Mission Hospital where the next day he had hip replacement surgery. I am happy to report that his rehab program is going well (he walking up to a mile at a time) and he should be back with us soon.

Jan. 27 was also a very sad day for Heartland Racewalkers when we lost our senior and beloved member Tom Young. He was a fixture in our club for many years, having been �recruited� by Jean Brunnenkant, his long time companion. Tom had an enormous impact on our club with his positive outlook on life and his ever-present sense of humor kept us delighted for many years. He also was a successful racewalker, winning many Gold Medals at state and national events. He also was honored for his service to the country and last year took an honor flight with Fred Adams to Washington, D.C. He did so much for so many people in his 95 years.

February 2 Our speaker at our February meeting was Matt Lane, a sports chiropractor. He and his colleague spoke on injury prevention. .

March 2 In March, we viewed a new video on racewalking and a video of Tom Young over the years.

March 28 We had a second meeting in March to accommodate the schedule of our speaker, Dr. Jeff Burns, a neurologist from KU Med Center at the Director of the Alzheimer Research Center. He spoke on the effect of exercise in preventing memory loss and cognitive decline. We had 46 members at this time.

April 3 BJ hosted the Wednesday Night Run/walk at her home and we had a good turnout of HRW members.

April 7 In April, HRW fielded three teams in the Brew to Brew but were missing Alan for the first time since we began this fun popular in 2000. BJ, Mark and Phil were the captains. We also had 4 volunteers.

May At our May meeting, we reviewed the Brew to Brew race. It was deemed another success. HRW again hosted the WNR on May 22 at Leawood City Park and enjoyed some more camaraderie with the KC Track Club.
June Racing took off in June with 6 members entering the Missouri Senior Games in Columbia and taking 7 Golds and 2 Silvers. We also had club members entering the Amy Thompson 8K, the Father�s Day 5 and 10K and the Double Road Race, a new event that featured a 10K, followed after about 30-60 min by a 5K. Due to his strategy of being the only one in his age division, Alan took the Gold and was thrilled to have it presented by Billy Mills, a former KU athlete and the10K Gold Medalist at the 1960 Olympics.

A major change in the life of the Heartland Racewalkers occurred in June when our host facility, Fitness Plus, shut its doors, unable to stay financially viable. Thankfully, HRW rose to the occasion by conducting a few clinics at Roe Park where we frequently have met and then, thanks to some negotiating by Alan, we were given permission to use outdoor and indoor facilities at the Jewish Community Center at 117th & Nall. For outdoor walking, we first gathered at the pavilion near the tennis courts at the JCC and then walked the interior sidewalks on the Sprint campus. It is about 2 miles round trip to make one loop. When the weather turned cold, we were able to meet indoors and use the 10-lap track, as well as two meeting rooms. Based on historical events, this has probably save our club from a demise suffered by the precursor club, the Kansas City Walkers. It is important that we do not abuse this relationship and recognize that we are really lucky that we have found a welcoming facility just 5 minutes away from our former home (since 1989).

July was an even busier month. We had our picnic on July 6. Then on July 11 and 14, HRW entered 11 walkers in the USATF National Masters Outdoor Championships that were held in Olathe. We came away with 6 Golds, 5 Silvers, a Bronze medal and 2 ribbons. This event has never been held in our area and drew elite athletes from all over the country. Dave Couts, our St. Louis member, and Alan each won two of the Gold Medals. We are proud of our members, many of whom had never been in a national rigorously judged competition. Two weeks later, HRW was again competing on the national stage at the National Senior Games in Cleveland. At this biannual event HRW garnered 3 Golds, 1 Silver and 3 ribbons. Dave Couts and Alan had the top two age-graded-results of all racewalkers, male or female, in the 1500-meter race.

August Our August meeting was the first indoor meeting at the JCC. We had a reports from the National Senior Games in Cleveland and from the USATF National Masters Championships in Olathe. Martie Delon won two Gold medals at the National State Games of America in Harrisburg, PA. Maybe being close to her home state helped. We also had the pleasure of celebrating Jean Brunnenkant�s 97th birthday with a cake under the shelter house at the Jewish Community Center.

September At our Sept. 7 meeting, Alan showed the club how to view links on our homepage, including results, pictures and age-grading. On Sept. 11, HRW again fielded two teams at the annual Patriots Day Run. This 9 hour 11 minute celebratory event featured two veteran teams, captained by BJ and Alan. BJ�s team came away with a one-lap victory. The Perpetual Pedestrian team featured Mark Landry doing several laps on his way to 13 miles.

On Sept. 21st, we had a ceremony with the installation of a plaque on our club bench in Roe Park honoring Tom Young. Two of Tom�s sons and their wives came in from out of town for the occasion. This was followed by a picnic in our favoritie shelter house.

On Sept. 29, HRW 6 walkers were successful at the Kansas Senior Games in Topeka: Sunday, Nancy, Julie, John, Lee and Alan. Everyone won one or two medals. In addition, the Kansas Senior Games committee presented a special award (Haefle Lucite trophy) to Alan for sportsmanship and activity). This is the 3rd year that this award has been given and it is open to all track and field athletes.

IOctober Our Be-A-Walker on the 12th was held again in Roe Park with a great turnout-24 racers and volunteers. The top walkers in the predicted-time 3K were John, Kendra and BJ. John�s finish was only 6 seconds off his prediction.

November There were a number of races in November, including the Cliffhanger and the Gobbler Grind that gave awards to racewalkers. BJ and John Anderson took Golds in both of these racewalking events.

There is another underground race this year and it is tomorrow in Lenexa, the Jingle Bell Run. HRW has always had racers in this event even though it does not have a racewalking division. The opportunity to walk on a guaranteed dry surface with temperatures of 55-65 degrees in December is a strong incentive. Our lub usually manages to have medal winners anyway. I also want to draw your attention to the New Year�s Day run/walk at 10:00 am at the Athletic Club of Overland Park at 103rd & Marty, hosted by the KC Track Club. We always have a number of walkers who do this fun way to walk and socialize with other runners and walkers. Some of us finish up this non-competitive walk with the first brunch of the year.

That was a busy and successful year, our 25th. We ended with 55 members and look forward to another good year ahead.

posted on 27 Feb 2014 by heartland

2013 year-end party and New Year's Day walk

HRW held its annual year-end party at BJ Thornburg's home once again . There were 25 in attendance, including BJ (Taylor) the DJ. Awards were given to John Anderson (most points) and Carol Smith and Lynn Sandbeck were recognized for their participation. The Prez gave the annual report for another very successful year and we shared a moment of silence for passing of Tom Young. The election of officers was held with the following: President: Alan Poisner, Vice-President: BJ Thornburg, Secretary: Carol Smith, Treadurer: TomOakes. Clinic director: Fred Adams. We also celebrated Martha McCarter's birthday with a cake.

On New Year's Day, HRW had 10 walkers who moved briskly in the cold weather outdoors from the Athletic Club of Overland Park together with the KC Track Club and then moved to La Peep for our first group meal of the year-a good way to start the year. div>
posted on 27 Feb 2014 by heartland

Brew to Brew 2013

The 2013 Brew to Brew from the Boulevard Brewery in KC to the Free State Brewery in Lawrence (well, almost to the brewery -- just short by a couple of blocks) was record-setting. That was because the Heartland Racewalkers showed their true strong colors by committing to three relay teams, instead of two as in past years. They were as follows: Coming in in first place, the Whiz Bang Walkers with two rookies and three veterans. In second place were the Perpetual Pedestrians also with two rookies and three veterans. And last, but not least, were the Pedestrian Predators with only two veterans and three rookies.

The weather was probably as good as it's going to get. Cool at the 6:00 lead off (not cold) with temps warming gradually to a nice spring day. Dave Couts (Mr. Speedy) came in again from St. Louis, and Nancy Perih again came in from Topeka. We sure enjoyed having them. Dave gave some good instruction to us on the finer points of racewalking. By April 6, 2014 (the day of the next B2B) we might set new records as teams. Another record set was our number of club volunteers. Carol Smith, Charlotte Haupt, and Mitch Kranitz helped out at the end of Leg 5, and Tom Oakes helped park cars at the end of Leg 8.

Our rookies were Sunday Cavallaro, Lynn Sandbeck, Martha McCarter, Amy Siebes, Terryll Brown, Jane Zaccardi, and Jodi Cusick. Our veterans were BJ Thornburg, Fred Adams, Raj Dandi, Phil Jacobs, Dave Couts, Lakshmi Dandi, Mark Landry and Nancy Perih. Almost everyone, including volunteers, were treated to a welcome dinner at The Mad Greek following the race by the esteemed leader, Alan Poisner, who was absent this year. We were beneficiaries of people who do good work, as was the Cystic Fibrosis organization who helps so many lead a better life. There were signs posted along the route that showed how, over the years, the life expectancy of those born with CF has increased due to better treatments offered to them.

Something was in the air about one veteran racewalker doing the whole 44.4 miles in 2014. We shall see.

posted on 24 Apr 2013 by heartland

2012 Annual Holiday Party and Election

Heartland Racewalkers celebrated their 24th year on Dec. 1, 2012 at our home base at Fitness Plus. 25 members and guests attended this event. After a delicious brunch, it was time for announcements, awards and elections. Alan distibuted the year-end summary of events and gave his report of another successful year. Awards were presented to: Sunday Cavallaro-the Newcomer of the Year (special club shirt); Mitch Kranitz-Top Point Winner (Club cap and a gift certificate); BJ Thornburg-Volunteer of the Year (Gift Certificate); and Lakshmi-Youth Honoree (New Racewalking DVD).
Door prizes were selected with the help again of Lakshmi Dandi, our designated number caller. A number of members showed off the medals that they had won at national competitions. Our Historian, Jean Brunnenkant, brought scrapbooks showing historical events in the last few years. Alan thanked the officers and board for the work that they had done to support the club during the past year.
Elections for the 2013 year were held with all officers being reelected (no term limits). The results showing the resulting years in office:
President Alan Poisner (18)
Vice-President Chuck Zarrelli (2)
Treasurer Tom Oakes (7)
Secretary Sarah Justice (10)
Clinic Director Fred Adams (12)
Historian Jean Brunnenkant (15)
This was another banner year for HRW. We had a number of outreach events in the community with the help of BJ Thornburg, Martie Delon, Fred Adms and Alan.We continued our good relations with the Kansas City Track Club by hosting a Wednesday Night Run and participating in relays and road races. News, results and pictures of the past year can be found at the respective links on our website. We expect HRW will continue the tradition of racewalking excellence and camaraderie in 2013.
posted on 28 Dec 2012 by heartland

Blue Springs 50/50 Marathon Relay-2012

Oct. 28, 2012. Heartland Racewalkers returned again to the Little Blue Trace Trail in Independence with a new starting point this year. The team captains were Alan Poisner (Peripatetic Pedestrians-PP) and Eileen McManus (Wily Walkers-WW). Alan & Fred Adams picked up the bibs and shirts on Saturday evening at Fazolis in Blue Springs. Again this year, Alan and Eileen McManus walked the first two legs (in the dark) at chilly 28 degrees. That allowed Alan to tie his all-time record in the BS Relay-he wore 7 layers of outerwear. After 5 legs, PP was exactly on the predicted time pace and WW was just 3 minutes slower. WW had all veteran walkers: Eileen McManus, Nancy Perih, Lakshmi and Raj Dandi. PP included veterans Alan Poisner, Fred Adams, Phil Jacobs and rookies John Anderson and Sunday Cavallaro.

After almost six hours, WW came in 7 minutes before PP and took the first prize of a bottle of champagne. The second prize was the same and we will share this at our annual holiday party in December. We congratulate all of the walkers, especially our rookies. We thank Maggie McCoy and Raj Dandi for doing some of the driving. Alan did most of the critical chauffeuring that allowed walkers to get to the proper locations.

It was another impressive turnout of runners who managed to go distances ranging from 13.1 to 26.2 to 31.3 (50K) to 50 miles!

Pictures and Results can be found at the respective links.

posted on 31 Oct 2012 by heartland

Kansas Senior Olympics 2012: Striking Gold and Silver-again

Sept. 23, 2012-Hummer Sports Park, Topeka. Once again, Heartland Racewalkers hauled in the bulk of the racewalking medals at the Kansas State Senior Games. Our 10 walkers came away with 10 Gold medals and 5 Silvers in the 1500-meter and 5000-meter races. New state games records were set by Mitch Kranitz (M80-84) in the 5000-meter race and Tom Young (M95-99) in the 1500-meter race. Other walkers included Martha McCarter (F50-54), BJ Thornburg & Nancy Perih (F65-69), Lee Debault (M65-69), John Anderson (M70-74), Julie Haller (F70-74), Alan Poisner & Fred Adams (M75-79), and our reigning queen, Jean Brunnenkant (95-99). All qualified for the National Senior Games to be held in Cleveland in 2013. Some will be defending medals that they won in Houston in 2011 and they showed that they still are speedy. Results and pictures can be found at the respective Links our homepage.
posted on 29 Sep 2012 by heartland

HRW does it again at the Patriots Run- Sept. 11, 2012

In another return engagement, HRW fielded two teams in this special relay that allows 9 hrs and 11 min and honors first responders on 9/11 and the Salvation Army. The Roaring Racewalkers (BJ Thornburg-captain) and the Peripatetic Pedestrian (Alan Poisner-captain) coped with extremely windy and often hot weather on the 1-mile loop course at the Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe, KS. We had some guest walkers and some new members with us at this annual patriotic event. Thanks to Dick Ross for many of the photos (see Pictures link). Thanks to all of the 19 walkers for HRW (see Results)
posted on 29 Sep 2012 by heartland
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