Walk This Way

Today was the final leg of my Senior Games odyssey – the timed walk.

I’ll start by saying that I have never in my entire life been timed as I walked. I knew nothing about the event other than watching race-walking on TV, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to pick up that kind of technique any time soon. But, I did practice walking fast, several times a week, for the distance that we would be doing in the Games, 1.5 miles. And I studied race-walking a little to see if there were any tips I could adapt for my own use.

Because I’ll tell you, I wanted to win my age group. There. Now you know.

All right. My husband and I drove over to Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA, about 25 minutes from home. We planned that I would do my event and then we would continue on to Doylestown to set up for the Tile Festival this weekend. This was nice – I had a cheering section and photographer.

The course was the blacktop walk around the central quadrangle of buildings, starting at College Hall.

Here’s the view from the start.

The event was scheduled as a drop-in event, meaning that contestants could arrive anytime during those hours to compete. A group was assembled and set off on its way. Once those people finished, another group would do the same. Since I arrived before 9 AM, you can see I was eager to get going. A few others felt the same – our initial group was a small one, which was nice. Later groups were larger – more than 100 people competed in this event.

So we lined up, got our instructions, and took off. I am wearing the pink shirt and purple shoes.

The course was said to be 1.5 miles, but everyone agreed it was at least 1.75 miles, given our times. Everyone also agreed it didn’t matter. In any case, we went around 6 times plus 1 leg of the quadrangle plus 1/2 of the next. It was possible to lose count but the officials helped us out with splits and lap counts.

I have found walking fast takes focus. It’s easy to drop off in pace if you lose attention. Being in the competition with other people walking as well as the college students who occasionally wandered in was a little distracting. I tried to keep my mind on my feet.

Here I am in action at various points.

And at the finish. I did the course in 24:22.

finish walk 5-16 small

Then I waited and watched the next groups. Over the week I have met quite a few people and some of them competed today. I also ran into a friend I haven’t seen in some time, so I watched her race. And — I did want to see if I could achieve my goal of winning the event. I admit it!

At the end of it all, I did win. Both my age group, and – I was the fastest woman, as well. Now, let’s remember, I was also one of the youngest competitors in the race, so I had an advantage. Still, I was happy. I felt my planning and training had paid off in something I hadn’t done before.

I like this kind of walking and I think I’ll keep doing it as part of my exercise from now on. I’m glad I was introduced to the idea of trying it.

So, now the Senior Games are over for this year. I am thinking already about what I’d like to compete in next May. Guess I enjoyed myself, didn’t I?

About Claudia McGill

A person who does art and writes poetry. That's me!

11 responses to “Walk This Way

  1. Congratulations! I’m surprised you didn’t win the Most Fetching Outfit prize too. Great shoes!

    • Thank you. My theme was pink for these Games and I tried to keep it up as much as possible! I have more athletic clothes than regular ones, I hate to say. I love these shoes too, the purple ones – sadly they are nearing the end of their lives for running but still good for walking. I plan to hold on to them.

  2. Congratulations!! You must feel like a million bucks today! Well done ๐Ÿ’œ

    • Yes. I did feel very happy and grateful not only for this but for doing the Games experience and trying to get into the whole thing, not just showing up at one event and competing. I really liked meeting so many people trying to do the same thing I am. And it’s been a while since I competed. I enjoy competition and I have missed it.

  3. Congratulations and well done!

    • Thank you. I feel very satisfied that I competed, did not back out, and that I could do as well as I did. Very grateful. And the experience was a lot of fun. I met many people, older than I am by quite a few years in some cases, that gave me encouragement to keep on with my exercise and athletics. And I’m glad I tried new things.

  4. Very stylish and efficient and healthy and just a little distracted. Great stuff!

    • Thank you. You know, I have more exercise clothes than regular ones. When I returned to exercise 10 years ago after a 25 year or so detour, I wanted to lose weight, get fit, and not look like I had just crawled out of bed and forgot to change out of my pajamas. Strangely, getting official exercise clothes made a difference. I feel professional!

  5. Pingback: Re-Orienting Myself | Sometimes You Get So Confused

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