/have known John Gray since I took up distance racing in 1965. We've been good friends and close competitors since then. My first running race that year was the Cathedral ten-mile run in Boston, and my second was the Boston Marathon. I started walking, also in 1965, with a wild half-mile walk indoors at the Fargo Building, and that summer I walked at Taunton in a race that is still held annually. John was in all four of those races as well as in hundreds of others since then.
I can honestly say that I know his attitude toward sports and that I approve of it. His experience is well documented. He has kept records over the years since he started in 1947, and his 36-year total is now well over 60,000 miles.
Like me, he has competed every year in both walking and running races. Also like me, he is convinced of the superiority of walking as an exercise from which almost everyone can benefit.
This book is for the normal person who wants to find the most enjoyable sport possible. Some champions may not agree with all that's written in these pages because there is not enough sacrifice involved. The book's goal, however, is not to make champions but to tell you how to enjoy your exercise and how to benefit from walking for both fun and fitness.
I'm convinced that you'll enjoy John's easygoing ways and that your life will never be quite the same again after reading these pages.
You'll be glad about the change.
Dr. George Lattarulo
rhis book is a family affair. Although only two of the members
are racewalking competitors, all of us—my wife, our two daughters, our son-in-law, and myself—are real walkers. In competition, two of us have proved to be fairly good, although hardly world class. The others walk simply because it is man's finest, most enjoyable exercise.
I have been walking competitively since 1950 and have had a few wins over the years, but because age-group competition is, for me, the greatest invention since beer, my best days may well lie ahead of me. At least I won my first national championship, the two-mile indoor walk for men 55 to 59 years old, in the winter of 1982. My older daughter, Linda, who is not the athletic type, took second place in her submaster category, ages 30 to 34, in the same meet.
My other daughter, Kate, is quite an athlete, one of the better tennis players and runners on Cape Cod, and a leading woman walker in New England at distances from twenty kilometers on up.
The competitive angle is of little importance, however, compared to the other benefits of walking. My wife, Mary, hasn't been in a race since I more or less forced her to try it almost twenty years ago; nevertheless, she still rates walking as her favorite year-round exercise. She and Linda hate running (or even listening to people talk about running), but each is as likely as Kate or I to suggest a walk.