Category Archives: Certification

25 Nordic Walking Clinics for Vancouver’s Sun Run 10K

After the Olympics, Vancouver  focus shifts to events like the Sun Run — poles and all

I’m obsessively watching the Winter Olympics these days, so I have Vancouver on the brain. Before the Winter Games began and after they conclude, one of the biggest sports events around is the annual  10K Sun Run, an urban marathon through one of the world’s most wonderful cities. The 2010 Sun Run takes place on Sunday, May 9. Registration March 31 is CDN $40 and $45 thereafter.  Last year, of the 58,000-plus participants, about one-third were walkers. I have no idea what the percentage or Nordic Walkers was, but I do know it’s growing.

The Sun Run walkers have a separate start zone and are the last wave to cross the start line at approximately 9:30 to 9:45 a.m. Access to the zone is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and walkers are encouraged to arrive at the start area by 9:00 a.m. to ensure that you can access to start zone. Around the 3K to 4K point, a special walkers’ pit stop will be set up. With ChampionChip timing system, each participant’s time begins when s/he crosses. The Sun Run is known for its fast easy course interspersed with moderate hills. It that starts in downtown Vancouver and ends at BC Place Stadium, where the Olympic Opening Ceremony took place last Friday.

Nordic Walking Training Clinics

SportMedBC, a  not-for-profit society comprised of sport medical and paramedical practitioners that promotes leadership, public awareness and education in several areas including sports training, and Urban Poling, a Vancouver-based pole-maker and training/certification organization, partner in a 13-week series of clinics to help Nordic Walkers prepare for the 10K Sun Run. The training program is under the aegis of Lynn Kanuka, Olympic bronze medalist runner and SportMedBC’s RunWalk coach. Twenty-five clinics now accommodate Nordic Walkers up from just three in 2007. Click here for more information on in-person or online clinics (respectively $139 and $99). Clinic registration closes on February 26.

INWA Course Scheduled for Montreal in January

INWA National Coaches, France Paquin and Patrice Duclos of Marche Nordïk FP inc (Nordïk Walking FP inc) are hosting a two-day INWA instructor certification course, January 16-17 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They promise lots of video review and analysis of individual NW technique. The cost is CDN$320 plus tax, which today is US$301.40. The course will be conducted in French, so keep that in mind is your French is feeble. For more info, call 514-773-7103.

Patrice tells me that it will take place at the Parc du Domaine Vert (10423 Montée Ste-Marianne, Mirabel, Québec J7J 2B1) and will be outdoors unless there’s an ice storm. Les Québecois don’t let a little cold or a little snow get between them and their outdoor activities.
Accommodations arrangements have been made with the Impéria Hôtel Et Suites,70 Rue Dubois,
St-Eustache, QC J7P 4W9; 450-472-3336.

Montreal Instructor Training Course

Upcoming program for Francophone fitness pros

Earlier this week, in sharing news of an upcoming instructor training and certification course in Toronto, I praised Canada for its adoption of Nordic Walking in greater proportion to the population than the US. As if to underscore my compliment, move one provinced to the east and shift the language to French, and you have Marche Nordique‘s next training and certification weekend. (On its logo, the orgranizaton is spelled Marche Nordik.) In any case, the program is designed for professional trainers and fitness instructors who want to add the skill set of Nordic Walking, not for recreational Nordic Walkers who just want to improve. The minimum requirement to participate is with physical education or kinesiology degree (students in these fields are also welcome) or a certification as a group or personal training instructor.

The dates are November 7-8, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days. Leading the INWA program will be France Paquin and Patrice Duclos, who is an INWA national coach. The location will be the Bois-de-Belle-Rivière, 9000 Route Arthur-Sauvé, Mirabel, Qué. The cost is CDN$320 per person. Call Marche Nordique 514-773-7103.

Marche Nordique has recommended nearby lodging at Impéria Hôtel et Suites, 570 Rue Dubois, St-Eustache, QC J7P 4W9; 450-472-3336.

Toronto Instructor Certification Course

INWA Nordic Walking course coming to greater Toronto

I have admired Canada’s embrace of Nordic Walking on this blog more than once. I’ve come across pole-friendly races, courses, groups and instructors from British Columbia to the Maritimes — certainly in greater proportion, population-wise, than the US.

It is logiccal that instructor certification opportunities are picking up too. INWA North America’s first instructor training and certification course in greter Toronto is coming right up on October 17-18, a a convenient location lfor some of the northern US too.The two-day course promises lots of video review and analysis of individuals’ NW technique. The cost is CDN$300, including a large selection of poles of different brands and styles for participants to explore during the course. The program starts on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. at Dundas Lions Memorial Community Centre, 10 Market Street South (south of King Street South), Dundas; 905-546-2260. Click here for a map.

To register or for any further questions, contact INWA National Coach Anna Ekstrand, or 613-759-4689.

Reflecting Back on Santa Monica Event

“Neither wind, nor lack of sun, nor gray gloomy day deterred these Nordic Walkers from their self-appointed rounds” — Claire Walter, 2009

My paraphrase of the Post Office’s longtime slogan summarizes the recent Walking & Nordic Walking Health Expo in Santa Monica. I now think of it as a pow-wow in which various Nordic Walking “tribes” came together in a sense of unity and common purpose to further the sport/fitness activity of Nordic Walking. For previous posts, including photos, on this first-time event, click here and here.

Among members of the public who got free introductions to Nordic Walking, I witnessed genuine enthusiasm and a sense of discovery. (Above is ultra-Nordic Walker Mike Gates of PoleAbout, who came all the way from Australia, with two new Nordic Walkers). I saw the same thing at Devil’s Thumb Ranch last week, when three beginners started Nordic Walking under unfavorable circumstances (using cross-country ski poles, going with a guide whose orientation was more hard-core athletic than fitness, boggy route) yet were upbeat and impressed at the end. On Saturday, I joined a Nordic Walking intro at Boulder’s Fleet Feet where two experienced pros got two dozen beginners to Nordic Walk quite well in a couple of hours. The class was supposed to last an hour, but enthusiasm ran so high and the group’s progress was so satisfyingly rapid that it stretched twice that long. Several purchased poles or other gear on the spot — and five bought my new book.

These experiences so close together have reinforced my conviction that once they try it, people are easily turned on to Nordic Walking, no matter which specific instruction they receive and no matter which specific poles they use. Therefore, kudos to Malin Svensson of Nordic Walking USA for organizing the Santa Monica pow-wow. The presenters, coaches, trainers and instructors listed in alphabetical order below generously provided the best free instruction to the general public. Poles were included, thanks to pole-makers who attended. A number of the presenters and trainers then gathered to create a plan for Nordic Walking’s growth, which is why I am calling it a pow-wow. They are individually and collectively excellent resources for information, instruction and in many cases, instructor training.

Annette Tannander Bank (NSCA-CSCS-NASM-PES-CMT), Boulder, Colorado; 720-220-2937;

Patrice Duclos and France Paquin, Marche Nōrdïk Québec, 10423 Montée Ste-Marianne; Mirabel , Québec, J7J 2B1, Canada; 514-773-7103,

Jacki Elledge, Nordic Walk Fitness, greater Sacramento area, California; 916-359-0114,

Anna Ekstrandh, Outstride – Nordic Walking Ottawa, 41 Crystal Park Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 3Z8; 613-759-4689,

Mike Gates, Community Fitness Australia and PoleAbout International Network, 34 Machinery Drive, Tweed Heads South, New South Wales, Australia; (07) 5523 4022,

Yennah Hurley, DayTripping, Franklin W Hatheway Pavillion/Lily Lake Pavillion, 55 Lake Drive South, P.O. Box 492, Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 3Z8, Canada; 506-657-8747,

Gary Johnson, Nordic Walking North America, 3319 NW Yeon Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97210; 503-228-4981,

Suzanne Nottingham, Nordic Walk Now, P.O. Box 710, Mammoth Lakes, Cal;ifornia 93546; 760-912-4471,

France Paquin (see above)

Tom Rutlin, Exerstrider, P.O. Box 3087, Madison, Wisconsin 53704-0087; 608-223-9321,

Alex Sullivan, a certified instructor from Canada, whose contact information I don’t have.

Malin Svensson, Nordic Walking USA and Nordic Walking North America, 2629 Main Street #700, Santa Monica, California 90405; 310-399-8522, or

Exerstrider Schedules Instructor Program

Exerstride Method Nordic Walking training and certification launches in May

Exerstrider has scheduled its first instructor training weekend for Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10 in Madison, Wisconsin (recreation path, right). The cost is lower than originally anticipated if a Chicago location had been selected. The one-day (Saturday) Basic Instructor Certification course is $149 including a pair of OS2 poles. The two-day (Saturday and Sunday) program aiming at Advanced EMNW Instructor certification is $249 including the OS2 poles. You check the Exerstrider information for enrollment instructions, or email and put “Instructor Training” in the subject line.

For information on accommodations in Madison or to book lodging online, contact the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau by clicking here or by phoning 608-255-2537 or 800-373-6376.

ANWA Clinics Coming Up in Los Angeles

Certification clinics and workshops scheduled for early December

The American Nordic Walking Association has scheduled what it calls “the premiere Nordic Walking certification event of 2008,” scheduled for December 5-7 in Los Angeles. A 20 percent discount is offered to ANWA members who sign up by November 6. Register online for any of these programs.

Qualified ANWA instructors will be able to achieve a Professional Instructor Level with an intensive three-day training program conducted by two ANWA Master Coaches, Gottfried Kürmer and Bendt Zimmerman — and “additional specialized trainers,” according to ANWA. The Professional Certification program is open only to previously certified ANWA Instructors who are also current ANWA members. During this three-day period, ANWA’s 2008 Basic and Advanced Certification Seminars will also be offered, and Nordic Walking Guides training for those who would like to lead groups but not reach is on the docket as well.

Schedule and Cost (click on each session for details on what is included and what you need to bring):
  • Professional Instructor Certification Seminar – Friday, Decemver 5, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. + Saturday, December 6, 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. +Sunday, Deccemmber 7, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
  • Nordic Walking Guides Workshop – Saturday, December 6, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; $149.
  • Basic Certification Seminar – also Saturday, December 6, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; $335 for non-ANWA members; $284 for ANWA members registering after November 6; $236 ANWA members registering before November 6
  • Advanced Certification Seminar – Saturday, December 6, 2:00-6:00 p.m. + Sunday, December 7, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; $450 for non-members; $360 for ANWA memvers registering after November 6; $288 ANWA members registring before November 6

Pharmaca, 15150 West Sunset Bouevard, Pacific Palisades, California 90272. Meet at the rear entrance of the store.

Nordic Walking in Central Jersey — New Jersey, That Is

The Swiss way to health and fitness transplanted to the central New Jersey shore

I had to smile when I read the name “Swiss Mountain Fitness” for a fitness/wellness/nutrition counseling business in decidedly un-mountainous, un-Swiss Middletown, NJ. My smile was a friendly and encouraging one for this multi-faceted studio run by Daniela and Mike Josi, both born in Switzerland. They bring the sense of being healthy, eating well and being active both in the gym and outdoors to their clientele, especially to people choosing wellness and making appropriate lifestyle changes.

The couple learned about Nordic Walking from their mothers back in Switzerland, and like others, become devotees once they learned its benefits, especially after Daniela, again like others, had to stop running after a knee injury.

They explain on their website, “This past summer we took an Instructor Certification course with Gottfried Kürmer, a Nordic Walking Master Coach from Austria, in Central Park and we were hooked. We really saw the benefits of Nordic Walking and experienced that walking correctly with these poles can actually be a great workout. One of our favorite places to do Nordic Walking is at the beach. We also enjoy walks in one of our many parks here in Monmouth county or if we are pressed for time we’ll just walk around the neighborhood. We know that even if we only have 30 minutes we’ll get a great total body workout in. “

Both are now ANWA-certified advanced Nordic Walking instructors, have hosted master coach Gottfried Kürmer’s training sessions and offer a variety of Nordic Walking classes and workshops for individuals and corporate groups. Upcoming dates for 1 1/4-hour intro classes are August 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 6:30 p.m. The schedule beyond August has not yet been posted.

Swiss Mountain Fitness is at 1385 Highway 35, #276, Middletown, NJ 07748; 732-915-1631.

Remembering a LEKI Class in Tampa

YouTube footage brings up recollections of a 2006 LEKI class; Ed Urbanski share his photo

My recent post about a Nordic Walking segment from a Salt Lake City television station that is now on YouTube brought the following message and image from Wisconsin-based Ed Urbanski, who permitted me to post it on this blog.

“Hi Claire,

“Your post the other day featuring Christine Schnitzer and Jane Rackl on ‘You Tube’ brought back memories! Attached is a photo of the “first” formal class of LEKI instructors taken in March of 2006, in Florida. Some of the people in the picture that you might recognize, either my name or other pictures, are as follows:

The first three girls standing on your left are, Jeanne Goldberg, Christine Rose Schnitzer and Lindy Spiezer (Marketing Director of LEKI). Middle of the first row kneeling with backpack is Bob Moon. Next to him is Nate Goldberg who is featured on LEKI’s Nordic Walking Video on their website. Going to the far right and in the back row, is Suzanne Nottingham, Director of Instructor Training for LEKI. Next to her (going right to left), is Greg Wozer, Head of LEKI, USA. Next to him is Elizabeth Foote, and Jane Rackl. The gal with half her face showing is Donna Mirabile, partner with Elizabeth Foote in Utah and written up in the Wall Street Journal. Next to her,
the old guy with grey beard, is yours truly. And next to me is Tim Arem who
wrote the book “Nordic Walking, A Total Body Experience”. One great class don’t
you agree? Feel free to use the photo any way that you think will benefit and
promote Nordic Walking. Should you have any questions on the photo, please let
me know. Take care!

“Walk Well!

“Ed Urbanski”

Upcoming Nordic Walking Classes

I’ve been chatting over the phone and via E-mail with Rhea Kontos, a Nordic Walking enthusiast and founder of Nordic Walk This Way. She gently reminded me that she has upcoming classes, which alerted me to the fact that it’s been a while since I posted a listing. So here is a sampling of classes around the country in the next few weeks. I frankly don’t have time for deep research on these, so I’m sharing with you everything I know. If you are in the area and are interested, I’m afraid it’s up to you to get any more information that you need.

April 17. Nordic Walking Class in Andover, MA, on Thursday, April 17 at 10:30 a.m. Call the senior for more information or to inquire whether there will be others.

April 17 and thereafter – Six sessions, starting 17, Thursday 6:00-7:30.m. in Valemount, BC. Call Christa Maxeiner, 250-968-4462.

April 18 through May 4 – American Nordic Walking Association programs. Schedule follows. Go to ANWA website for details on time, place and cost, and also to register. Basic Instructor Seminar: St. Paul, MN on April 18-19; Aurora, CO (Denver area), CO pm April 26- 27; Middletown, NJ on April 29; New York City on April 30; Schaumburg, IL (Chicago area) on May 3-4. Nordic Walking Guide Workshop: White Bear Lake, MN, on April 20; St. Louis Park, MN, on April 21; Denver on April 23; Englewood, CO (Denver area) on April 24; Fort Collins, CO, on April 25; Aurora, CO, on April 27; Middletown, NJ on May 1; Schaumburg, IL on May 3.

April 22 to May 13 – Weekly classes at April 22 – May 13 (four weeks, 9:00-9:55 a.m.) with Fittrek master trainer Lori Adams at the Caldwell YMCA, 3720 Sout Indiana Avenue, Caldwell, ID. Call Lori at 208-452-3698 or, at the Y, 208-459-2498, Ext 633.

April 24 – Nordic Walk This Way intro class at Prior Lakes High School, Twin Cities, MN, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

April 28, May 5, 12 and 19 – Series of four weekly introductory classes in Hudson, NY, on Mondays at 5:30- 6:30 p.m., starting at the Rail Trail at Rite Aid on Washington Street (Route 85). Register at 978-568-9642. For more information or to schedule other class times, call Kathy Ekdahl, 978-562-0377, or Sheri Rohr, 978-265-5673.

May 1 – Nordic Walk This Way intro class through Burnsville Community Education, MN, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

May 2-3 – Nordic Walking Instructor’s Course in Chester, Nova Scotia. Call 902-275-2712 for more information.

May 2-4 – In Minnesota, Hoigaard’s Women’s Spring Wellness Weekend at Audubon Center includes Nordic Walking sessions led by Linda Lemke, who also leads weekly Nordic Walks on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m.

May 6 – Nordic Walk This Way intro class at Falcon Ridge Middle School, Eagan, MN, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

May 8 – Nordic Walk This Way intro class at Prior Lakes High School, 6:30-7:45.
May 10 – Nampa Health Fest in Nampa, ID, includes Nordic Walking. 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. with Lori Adams (see above).

May 13 – Nordic Walk This Way intro class at Bloomington Kennedy High School, MN

May 20 – Nordic Walk This Way intro class at Lakeville North High School, MN, at 6:30-7:45.m.

No date specified: Skiwalking‘s Peter Edwards conducts Nordic Walking clinics for Weight Watcher members only 6:15 p.m. on a Tuesday and at 11:45 a.m. on A Wednesday at the Church of the Nazarene Ministry Building on East Division Street in Cadillac, MI. morning and 12:45 pm Wednesday afternoon. Call Diana at 231-775-6198 to see whether you’ve missed it or whether there will be others.