Home > ABOUT US
The developer of this site is Phil Howell and my name is Jim Norvill, I am your host at eRaceWalk.com. This page tells you a bit about Phil, about Icabod (his skinny sidekick), and about eRaceWalk.com.
Phil has never felt a "runner's high" that even began to match the "walker's high" he felt when race walking. And as a runner, he had also never experienced the camaraderie and sense of family that he found among race walkers.
Since then, he has participated in almost all aspects of race walking--including racing; judging; putting on races; volunteering for local, national, and internations events (including lap counting at the 1996 Olympic Race Walks); editing local and national newsletters; creating race walking Web sites; and teaching a few rookies how to wiggle correctly. He has been taught by, encouraged by, and repeatedly lapped by some of America's and Canada's top walkers (some of whom he only recognize from their back side--going away).
Phil loves to race walk. Now in his late 60s, he finds great pleasure in "floating" along at good (for he says him) speed for 5-15 miles, and spend most of his racing time doing unjudged half and full marathons. (He prefers longer walks and most local race walks are no more than 5K or 10K.) He enjoys his fellow race walkers--from novices to world-class athletes. Phil is fascinated by race walking's Pedestrian history, and he likes to watch any-and-all race walks, in person or on video (hooray for YouTube!). But, he is most fascinated by the technical and style aspects of being a good race walker. Like golf, race walking seems so simple to describe yet so hard to do. It is his fascination with race walking technique and style that brought him to this project.
Some of the skills he has comes from having been a serious student of the art and science of photography since the early 1960s, from having worked with computers in almost every capacity (repairman, programmer, manager, user) since 1963, from having created Web pages since the mid 1990s, and from the enjoyment he gets in using Photoshop and other graphic software in his digital darkroom to restore old photographs, enhance new ones, manufacture a few that never really existed, and create animations out of raw materials he finds all about him.
eRaceWalk.com is his attempt to bring his skills to bear in helping to support the exercise and sport he loves. If you like (or dislike) what he has done, let me know. If you have comments, suggestions (good or bad), send them to me using the Contact page. If you find race walking images (especially videos) that you think I might find useful, please let me know. I am always looking for new and better information. If I do not hear from any of you, I can still monitor the traffic to this site (or lack thereof) through my Web space provider. In any case, I will be learning a lot in managing this site, and I will personally use it as I try to become a better race walker.
Phil would also like to mention Elaine Ward and her North American Racewalking Foundation. In working with her as co-editor of the now-defunct "U.S. Racewalking Journal" newsletter, and as Webmaster of her NARF Web site, Phil has met a lot of very interesting people and learned a lot about the background activities needed to support race walking in the United States and around the world. Phil sincerely thanks her for her long-term support of race walking, and her unwaivering support of his efforts.
Icabod Jr., the demonstration assistant shown on the right, is based on measurements taken from photographs and videos. He can imitate the best and worst race walkers in the world--and everyone in between. He can even run. He is fun to work with, is a tireless worker, and is a WHOLE LOT thinner than his boss. I thank him for joining my team.
Since Icabod Sr. (shown on the left) started walking in 1998, Phil figures he has walked almost 8,500 miles--nonstop (at 68 steps per minute and with a 1½-inch step length). While his speed ain't so hot, I assume his long, legal, non-stop distance more than qualifies him as an ultra-distance race walker. (Phil also assums he was walking while no one was looking.)
A FEW LOOSE ENDS
- "Race walk" and "racewalk" are both used in popular literature about our sport. While I first participated in walking races as a "racewalker" and am more comfortable with the one-word variation, the two-word variation has the historical edge and is used by most athletics organizations around the world. While this Web site uses the two-word variation, I remind readers that entering "race walk" or "racewalk" into the search window of some Internet search engines will yield somewhat different results.
- I know that race walking is an "event" in the "sport of athletics." Phil also knows that "event in the sport of athletics" is too long a phrase to use often. Please excuse me again if I choose to talk about "the sport of race walking." It feels so much more comfortable.
- Phil says he wishes English had better gender-neutral, single-person pronouns and adjectives. One could get so tired of writing "he or she" and "his or her." Based on limited research, I find I am not alone. The question is whether it is better to be gramatically correct or socially correct. In life, Phil says he has learned that if is damned if you do and damned if you don't, he should do whatever he pleases. Use of the feminine singular form is no better than use of the masculine singular form and, quite frankly, adds a bit more discomfort as it continually calls attention to the failure of English to properly allow gender neutrality. The third-person plural form (they, them, their) is incorrect and clumsy. Some people resort to artificial creations (e.g., zie, zim, zir, zirs, zimself) but Phil finds them to be seldom used and very unclear. He even thought about using he/him/his on odd pages and she/her/hers on even pages--but then someone would surely count the pages and report any discrepancy. +++ As he built most of this site, he resorted to using the masculine singular form (he, him, his) throughout. Having gotten this site on line, I am now in the process of reworking many of the pages to eliminate the need to use personal pronouns, or to make the writing more personal by using "you/your/yours" when appropriate. Some might see my concern as just so much "political correctness." As a race walker, I see it as appropriate recognition of the "fast women" I so often chase--and so seldom catch.
return to top