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My Other Career - Race Walking

I am as passionate about my other career--as a National Race Walk Champion--as I am about my dog training. I feel truly blessed to be able to combine both my work and workout into one daily ritual. Add music to the mix and I'm in seventh heaven!

I always loved walking and while training my very first Boxer became interested in learning the race walking technique. That was over 25 years and sixteen dogs ago. I now train five days a week, and never walk out the door without one (or more) of my dogs happily heeling alongside me. All of my kidz are training partners--they motivate me to get my butt in gear and walk outside on those days when I would much prefer to sleep in and/or workout indoors.

I am an athlete...and Dozer, Otis, and Tank are athletes, as well. We all take pride in being lean (okay, some leaner than others), mean walking machines! R.I.P. Kelly Girl (see our newspaper photo on my homepage), and my Handsome Boy, Seamus (photo below). Paws down, the best training partners ever. And even though Sophie didn't race walk with me very often, she was always first in line when I brought my bike out.

There are two main rules to competitive race walking. The first is that one foot must remain on the ground at all times, the second one is a little more complex and it states that from the time your foot first makes contact with the ground until your leg is vertical your knee must remain straight. These rules make race walking a grueling sport both mentally and physically. Races are monitored by certified judges and if found to be in violation of the rules, a competitor can be disqualified--either during or after the race.

I have clocked the fastest times and been ranked #1 in my age group in every distance between 1500 meters and 20k during my 22 years of competing at the national level. (Not bad for an aging hippie who smoked two packs a day and couldn't jog around the block in the '70's.)

 

I am a charter member of the Parkside Athletic Club based out of Kenosha, Wisconsin. The P.A.C.'s mission is to "promote race walking for fitness and competition." Club members meet weekly for workouts with one of the country's foremost race walking coaches, Mike DeWitt.

2004 Badger State Games 3k

2005 National Masters 3k Boise ID

2005 National 5k Kingsport TN

2006 National Masters 5k Charlotte NC

Ad for Runners Edge in Chicago Athlete magazine

2007 National Masters 10k Orono ME

Seamus following in Kelly's pawsteps

2008 National Masters 5k Spokane WA

2008 National Masters 10k Spokane WA

PAC Wacky Workout

2011 National 5k Kingsport TN

2013 Biggest Loser 5k (post knee replacement!)

Click here to read feature story in The Journal Times October 12, 2007. Click here to read follow-up story published December 12, 2008.

As a nationally-ranked competitor for over 20 years, my accomplishments include:

 

  * 17 National Masters Championship titles

  * broke 3k World Age Group Record in 1999

  * hold three American Age Group Records

  * honored by USA Track and Field as Outstanding Female Race Walker of the Year

       in 2004, 2005 and 2008

  * featured as one of Sports Illustrated "Faces in the Crowd" in October 8, 2007 issue

My PR's (personal records) include:

 

  * 1:59:04/20k (12.5 miles)

  * 1:25:57/15k (9.32 miles)

  * 55:27/10k (6.214 miles)

  * 26:29/5k (3.107 miles) American Record

  * 15:32/3k (1.864 miles) American Record

  * a fast-as-lightning 7:56 mile

So, as they say in our sport, "Walk this  way!"

On a final note...I am proud to say that I'm a breast cancer survivor. As one of the top fundraisers for Milwaukee's 2007 Komen Race for the Cure--over $4,100--I extend a heartfelt thanks to all my friends and supporters! (Try to pick me out in the crowd photo, above.) And I have absolutely no intention of letting life's little "speed bump" slow me down, either on the track or on the road to training my next client!

Also, thanks to so many of you who have donated to the 2013-2016 American Cancer Society's Bark for Life. This very special event recognizes the important role that canine companions play in caring for cancer patients. Because of your generosity, I was officially dubbed "Top Dog" fundraiser in 2013, 2015 and 2016, raking in over half of the total amount donated! I continue to be overwhelmed by your compassion and support.

         

 

 

 

 

 

"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too." ~Samuel Butler

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