The Chicago Walkers Club is a race walking club run by volunteers who teach race walking for all fitness levels. Whether you are an aspiring or experienced race walker, or just want to get outside for a good walk, come on by and check out our programs.
We welcome members of every age and have had members from 9 to 90. You're likely not surprised to learn that our members come from near and far. The majority of our membership is from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Perhaps it's the beautiful lakefront backdrop for our weekly walks; we have a great group of people who get together to stay fit and have fun at the same time.
Annual (April 1st-March 31st) club membership is $15 for individuals or $25 per family. If you'd like to join the Chicago Walkers Club, please download and complete the membership application and mail it to our Membership Director.
If you have questions, contact our membership director.
The Chicago Walkers Club is a race walking club created to promote and to offer competetive and fitnes race walking for all ages and fitness levels.
Some Chicago Walkers compete in national race walk competitions and earn points for our club as well as individual medals. Being part of our supportive team makes race walk competitions much more fun.
We have open (all ages) and masters (over 35) race walkers competing in regional and national race walks. To compete as a Chicago Walker, join the Chicago Walkers Club and USA Track&Field and enter Chicago Walkers Club for your USA Track&Field club affiliation. Contact president for details.
At the 2014 USA Track&Field Masters Outdoor Championships Chicago walkers had one first place finish, two second place finishes, two third place finishes, one fourth place finish and two fifth place finishes. And the Chicago Walkers Club placed 33rd out of 107 clubs with 35 points.
The Chicago Walkers Club won the USA Track&Field Race Walking Grand Prix in 2006.
The Executive Committee holds quarterly Board Meetings, immediately following the 9 AM Saturday Fitness Workout. The meeting location is the Lincoln Park Zoo Cafe, and members are invited to attend.
|email@example.com||Doris McGuire||Program Director|
|Colleen Leahy||Membership Director|
|Diane Graham-Henry||Racing Director|
In the 1980s, Howard "Jake" Jacobson, a former race walker turned race walking coach and author ("Racewalk to Fitness" by Simon & Schuster, 1980), was the guiding light of the New York Walkers Club, a club formed in 1979 with 12 members. The club gave free clinics every Saturday morning in Central Park to a membership totaling 500 by 1983.
Jake held a race walk clinic in June 1985 at Grant Park and then pursuaded Augie Hirt to start a similar club in Chicago. Augie was #1 ranked race walker in the United States for 5 years, and holds an American record that has not been broken in over 30 years. He made the 1980 Olympics race walking team, which was unfortunately boycotted by the United States.
The Chicago Walkers Club was formed in September 1985, with Augie as Executive Director. The original location of the weekly walk was Grant Park, which was moved to Lincoln Park in 1987. The club has consistently had 100 - 150 members. It is run by an Executive Committee of elected volunteers. The position of board President has been held by Mike Cuprisin, Al Fisher, Nancy Goldman, Rebecca Gilman, I-Tsauy D'Acangelis, Kathy Marr-Stern and now Donna Green.
The club began as an all-level fitness walk on Saturday mornings, with competitive racing for those interested members. Summer evening training sessions were added after a few years. An annual 5k race was established in 1986 and spurred many members to become proficient in the race walking technique. Soon after, members were participating in judged race walks in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois. The club race was renamed the "Diane Graham-Henry" Annual 5k Race Walk in 2005 to honor the club's long-term coach and trainer.
The club continues to attract males and females of all ages and from city and suburbs, and has more than 100 members.
Race walking is recognized as both a fitness regimen and a competitive sport. There are many race walking clubs in the Midwest and throughout the United States. The Chicago Walkers Club remains the largest race walking club in the Midwest today.
Did you know?
Race walking in Chicago has been going strong for nearly 30 years.