The New England Walkers discussed the possibility of hosting a national championship in 2017, with an emphasis on attracting young walkers, during their annual meeting Oct. 16 in Groton, MA.
Members talked of conducting a two-day racewalking festival, perhaps with a clinic the first day and a race the following day. Devens in Massachusetts was mentioned as a possible location. The major questions were whether we can assure our local USATF representatives that we can provide sufficient help and support for such an event and whether we can attract enough participants.
October was mentioned as an ideal time of year for a race, but Ed Vaitones pointed out that the difficulties of attracting young athletes during the cross-country season and said that the first two weeks of June would be preferable. Members discussed how to reach members of youth track clubs; Ed proposed putting something in writing that Steve Vaitones can give to the youth coaches he deals with.
Ed O’Rourke said he hopes to resume conference calls among members to pursue these matters further.
Ed also said the club should order more shirts to give to new walkers.
Bill Harriman said he was uncertain if he and Joanne would continue to host the 8K race in Pepperell. If they do, they will shift the race to early October.
The club re-elected its slate of officers: Ed O’Rourke, president; Rich McElvery, vice president; Justin Kuo, treasurer; Ed Vaitones, member at large; Charlie Mansbach, recording secretary.
Present at the meeting were Ed O’Rourke, Ann Neuburg, Brian Savilonis, Annie Montgomery, Tom Knatt, Rich McElvery, Val Vaitones, Ed Vaitones, Maegan Allen, Joanne and Bill Harriman, and Charlie Mansbach.