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Profiles of Walking Clubs of the Week 1999

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Updated August 21, 2012

These clubs were featured in 1999. Please check with the club for recent information.

Gulf Coast Racewalkers: was an independent member Club of the USATF/Florida Association with 30 members. The club is now inactive.

Port City Pacers Racewalkers
The Port City Pacers (PCP) was organized in Mobile, Alabama in 1979 as a non-profit chapter of the Road Runners Club of America(RRCA). Racewalkers have been an active part of the club since the mid 1990s.

Cambridge Sports Union Race Walking Team
This racewalking-oriented club sounds perfect for those in the greater Boston area who would like to learn to walk fast or to improve their racewalk technique. The club meets every Tuesday evening for workouts year 'round. They sponsor other group social activities, including coordinating with the running section of the club. They encourage people to set goals and participate in racewalking events.

The Cleveland Hiking Club
The Cleveland Hiking Club was formed in 1919 and is currently one of the most active hiking clubs in the country.
Based in Cleveland the club currently has over 700 members. They are not mall walkers. They offer all types of hikes from the 3-mile leisure walk up to the annual 40-mile hike which has taken place once a year on the first Sunday of May since 1924.
One of the members will be reaching her 50,000 mile which is computed only on club sponsored hikes.
We have all types of hikes from road and city to trail and cross-country.

Valley Vagabonds of Cleveland, Ohio
Who We Are...
The goal of Valley Vagabonds is to promote active interest in noncompetitive leisure sport events in which anyone can participate regardless of race, color, creed, sex or ability. Volkmarching was introduced into the USA through the military community and some clubs show this military influence. Our club is unique in that our founding fathers were active senior citizens. Our walks were often park walks and our awards depicted wildflowers and birds because of their interest in nature and proximity to the Cleveland Metropark system. We have continued this tradition and expanded our events to include bike events, year-rounds and weekday walks Our first bike event was in Kirtland in October 1992. Our Year-Round Event in Berea started in 1993. We also have YRE in downtown Cleveland and Markko's Vineyard, near Conneaut.
Valley Vagabond History
It was mainly through the efforts of Margaret and Galen Cooley that we began. Galen visited his son who was in the Army in Germany and participated in volksmarches there. He mentioned it to Robert Turner when he got home. Robert was in the army here and knew about volksmarching. Together they decided to start a club here. Georgene Ragone lent the club the $50 charter fee. Robert, an early officer, soon moved to Arizona and started a club there too.
In 1968, West Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria formed the International Volkssport Verband (Association) the IVV. The first event in the United States was held in Fredericksburg, Texas in 1976 where the first club was formed. The American Volkssport Assoc. was formed in 1979. Our Cleveland club, Valley Vagabonds, was formed in 1980 as the sixth club in Ohio and the 49th in the USA. Today the AVA has 434 clubs. We were chartered June 13, 1980, incorporated in 1984 and recognized as a tax-exempt non-profit group under the AVA in 1990. Of our 82 current memberships, 15 have been members since the 1980's.
One of our traditions has been a picnic and Christmas Dinner. Picnics were held at Huntington Reservation in 1985 and Bradley Woods in 1986, but the last few years we have met in the Cleveland Metropark to walk our Berea Year-Round afterwards. The Christmas get-togethers were often pot luck dinners at Rocky River Nature Center since the Cooley's were VIPs (Volunteers in the Parks).

Walk 'n Mass Volkssport Club
The Walk 'n Mass Volkssport club organized its first event in Concord, MA in November 1985, and has been expanding ever since. In 1999, the club sponsored 18 traditional one-day volkssport events and 12 seasonal/year-round events - self-guided trails that can be walked on a day of your own choice. The club has 290 membership units (individuals, couples, or families), including 57 who have joined since April 1, 1999.
Walks in 1999 ranged from events entirely on wooded, natural trails (around Barre Falls Dam or through Quabbin Park in Central Massachusetts) to historic downtown Boston streets (the Freedom Trail year-round event, walked by more than 550 volksporters so far in 1999.) The goal of the club's County Project is to offer walks in new places by organizing two events in each of the state's fourteen counties between 1999 and 2003. Walks were held in nine counties in 1999 and events are being planned for the remaining counties in 2000, including the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. (The County Project is funded by a four-year grant from the Boston Federal Savings Bank.) Other goals this year are to improve the quality and consistency of event trail markings, and to further recognize the accomplishment of first-time walkers.
The club runs an indoor mall seasonal event during the winter months in Burlington, MA. Its Boston, Concord, MA and Providence, RI events qualify as AVA National Heritage Special Events.
The club has a number of programs to enhance the sociability of walking. Group walks of each of the club's seasonal and year-round events are held on weekends throughout the year for those who enjoy companionship on their walks. These were supplemented in 1999 by eleven weekly Tuesday evening "friendly little group walks" of some of the club's more popular year-rounds. For the past several years, the club has sponsored an annual bus trip to New York City to the volkswalks in Central Park. A five-event weekend (3 walks, a swim, and a bike) in three Western Massachusetts counties in August 1999 included a Saturday night barbecue dinner under a tent. (The weekend events were enhanced by over 100 volunteer workers.) With three neighboring clubs, Walk 'n Mass co-sponsors a Tri-State Weekend of events each Columbus Day weekend, which includes a catered dinner on Saturday evening. The 2000 Tri-State events will be held on October 7 and 8, and will feature walks to view four Atlantic Coast lighthouses. Other Walk 'n Mass activities include a club picnic, an ice cream social, and a holiday party. For the last two years the club has scheduled Saturday work days to help clear trails on public lands where club walks were scheduled. Members earn the right to purchase a club jacket by volunteering at events for fifteen hours.
Walks are often held in conjunction with other local happenings. For example, the Newton walk in April 1999 was led by the Mayor as a kick-off to that city's Walk-a-Block Program. The Holliston walk in September 1999 was part of the town's 275th Anniversary Celebration.
The public is invited to club meetings, held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:45 pm at the Bedford Town Center Building, on Mudge Way in Bedford, MA. Meetings usually include a guest speaker and a discussion of upcoming events. (During four summer months, sanctioned evening walks are held instead of meetings.) A Southeastern Massachusetts satellite group meets monthly on the third Thursday of each month in the Attleboro, MA Public Library.
Walk 'n Mass was designated a Silver Star club by the American Volkssport Association at its 1999 Biennial Convention. In addition, the club received a first place award for Single Event Publicity; the club's monthly eight-page newsletter, Footnotes, was awarded third place prize for club newsletters; the club's year-round and seasonal events brochure received honorable mention in that brochure category; and the Walk 'n Mass web site was awarded a Seal of Approval.
For more information click onto the club website.

Vaca Valley Volks
Vacaville California
The club was established in 1986 and is a member club of the AVA/IVV.
Present membership is 47, with most members being from Solano County.
The club is active, sponsoring several walks a year, including Guided Night Walks and Group Walks for the non-traveling Volkssporters.
One walk a year is dedicated to a worthy charity who receives all proceeds from the walk.
In 2000, the club is sponsoring 6 year-round self-guided walking trails and one bike event. The club has a current program in which they are sponsoring walks in all seven cities in Solano County.
Visit their award winning website at http://www.vacavolks.org/

Walk This Way
Racewalking and fitness walking club in the San Diego, California area. About 100 members.
Contact me at: Slonico@aol.com or call (619)855-7644

Florida Athletic Club
The entire State of Florida is one Association in USATF. The Florida Athletic Club (FAC) is the primary club for RW and Masters Track in Florida. The club is structured so that there are autonomous chapters. In RW we have the "FAC-Walkers" (primarily based in South Florida) .
FAC-W has about 110 members, all of whom are serious competitive walkers. FAC-W sponsors four racewalks each year, including State Championships at 10Km and 20Km. Both chapters have weekly practice sessions.
FAC-W has a coach, Al Ranofsky. They have monthly Board of Directors meetings.
FAC has a yearly banquet, primarily with the FAC-W.
The members have won WAVA and USATF National medals. FAC-W dominate the walks in Florida.
The parent club is the primary sponsor of the Florida Track Circuit consisting of five full scale track meets in the spring and early summer. All of these meets have racewalk events, either a 5km or 1500 meter/3km combination.
Each of the racewalk chapters has their own treasury. Any profits from events that they may sponsor goes back to the chapters. The parent club only receives $15 dues. The parent club publishes a bimonthly newsletter; pays all fees, provides equipment, & club pins. FAC is a member of the RRCA and USATF.
Of the 120 racewalkers in the club 117 are "home grown".
For more information
FLORIDA ATHLETIC CLUB
Contact: FINE, ROBERT
3250 LAKEVIEW BLVD
DELRAY, FL 33445
407-499-3370

FLORIDA ATHLETIC CLUB WALKERS
Contact: CELLA, BOB
7199 NW 49TH PLACE
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL 33319
954-372-1392

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