Category Archives: Events

Nordic Walking’s Online ‘Record Book’

Nordic Walking by the numbers

Following my recent post about the remarkable Gabriel Abraham and his recent Nordic Walking records for various distances, he contacted me and alerted me to the World Ranking Nordic Walking site.  I probably was aware this site of at one point but had forgotten all about it. I’m glad that he reminded me.

The site lists records for men and women for “Nordic Walking” (both on the road and on the outdoor track track (5km to marathon). It also lists”Ultra Nordic Walking” records on the road for distance (5km to 500km) and on the track (50 km to 100 miles), as well as for time (6 hours to 6 days). Click on the site, read the stats, look at the pictures and get an idea of what is required at the highest level of Nordic Walking competition. Amazing stuff.

Nordic Walking Weekend in Wisconsin

October 8-9 are the dates and Greenfield is the place. Here’s the skinny from Suzanne Nottingham, founder and education director of Nordic Walk Now Now, who is producing the third annual annual WALK STRONG event next weekend: “This is our third consecutive WALK STRONG event in Greenfield and brings together walkers, runners, seniors, fitness instructors and enthusiasts of all ages and abilities with a headlining emphasis on promoting Nordic walking, or using specially designed poles to enhance walking fitness experiences to produce a life-long commitment to one’s health and well being, an opportunity to redefine your fitness walking commitment. Taking place at the newly renovated Greenfield Community Center (at the former library), we are excited to a FREE walking education classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings. No special experience is necessary and we provide free use of poles to everyone. We have an indoor rain option should the weather not cooperate.”
Here’s the SCHEDULE in the organizers’ words:
Saturday October 8:
9 – 10:15am: Take a “WALK WITH THE KING & QUEEN”! Join us for this entertaining and educational walking experience with the country’s leading Nordic fitness walking experts literally known throughout the US as the king and queen of this fitness movement, Tom Rutlin and Linda Lemke. Also on Saturday, we will be traveling to other venues in Greenfield to offer this same experience.

Sunday October 9:
8 – 9:15am: Sooth your spiritual side for “WALKING IN THE WORD” led by spiritualist Rachael Clark. This is an easy walk that focuses on enhancing your relationship that blends higher power, nature and body for an uplifting experience.
The following fee-based educational intensives on Sunday require registration online at, or on
site at the Greenfield Community Center prior to training:
9:30am- 12:30pm: EXERSTRIDE METHOD NORDIC WALKING (EMNW) Teacher Training: The Exerstride Method Nordic Walking Teacher Training is for experienced instructors who aspire to teach Nordic walking skills to a variety of individuals and groups. The virtue of simplicity is the key to both teaching and retaining information for students. Learn the Exerstrider proprietary
methods and techniques, and how Exerstrider poles enhance any person’s fitness goals. See prerequisites at
1:30 – 4:30pm: WALK TO LIVE WORKSHOP is for everyone! Any person who wishes to enhance posture, stability, weight loss, injury recovery, pain management, strength, cardiovascular and back health should attend! This is not a “workout”, rather a comfortable opportunity to learn more about keeping your body healthy using poles to improve fitness. No special experience is

147 Nordic Walkers in the Birkie Trek

Great Lakes Nordic Walkers reported that 147 Nordic Walkers participated in last weekend’s fourth annual BirkiTrail Run & e Trek in Wisconsin. The Trail run is a marathon, while the Trek is a half-marathon that welcomes Nordic Walkers. The organizers describe it thus: “The Birkie Trek is a “Nordic walking” event where use of poles is suggested. The Trek is a non-competitive, un-timed walk on the beautiful American Birkebeiner Trail. The Trail, used in the Winter for the American Birkebeiner Cross-Country Ski Marathon, is mowed, relatively smooth, but hilly and challenging.” The Birkie Trek remains on my bucket list, but this time, I was in Connecticut while it was going on. Below is an image from the Great Lakes Nordic Walkers blog.


WordPrss isn’t letting me embed links in my posts on this blog. The URL for the post is The Birkebeiner website is at

Jayah Faye Paley Coming to Boulder

California personal trainer and mobility expert at REI this evening

Boulder’s REI hosts a free talk this evening, 6:30p.m., on “Poles for Hiking, Walking & Exercise” with personal trainer and mobility expert Jayah Faye Paley. Through Adventure Buddies , she helps people get more enjoyment and fitness benefits from hiking and walking with poles, and through Poles for Mobility, she helps people address mobility and balance issues to help people stay as active as they can be as long as possible by improving gait, posture, strength and endurance — all quality of life aspects. 

What I like about Jayah’s approach of use of poles is adaptability, because poles really are suitable for people on a personal fitness quest and for people with health challenges who just want to extend their ability to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. She is one of a growing number of trainers and coaches who appreciate the multi-dimensional uses for poles.  Boulder being Boulder, poles are also great summer cross-training for Nordic skiers, an additional training tool for anyone wanting to increase upper body conditioning without weights or bands or for injured runners needing to take pressure off the knees, hips and ankles.

I have a previous commitment to judge a grilling cook-of this evening, so I’ll be packing in calories rather than tapping into Jayah’s wisdom about burning them, but for anyone withstriking distance of Boulder, this is a presentation worth attending.  This morning is cool, gray and foggy, so Jayah, who is here from California, should feel right at home when she arrives in a couple of hours. She, I and two of her other Boulder contacts are planning to go for a Nordic Walk, which I’m greatly looking forward to since I won’t be available to hear her presentation this evening. REI is at  1789 28th Street, Boulder; 303-583-9970.

Nordic Walking Open House on Monday

Great Lakes Nordic Walking Pros Organize Twin Cities event

The energetic coaches and instructors behind Great Lakes Nordic Walkers are holding on open house on Monday, May 9 at the Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, Minnesota, from 2:00 to 7:30 p.m. It’s the place to go for free mini-lessons to sample variations on the theme of health and fitness walking with specially designed poles –and use of  poles is also free with an ID. Great Lakes Nordic Walkers was the host group of the 2010 Nordic Walking Expo, which had some weather issues. So this rain-or-shine event will be held indoors if it’s raining.

The schedule:

2:00 Nordic Walking for Balance and Mobility with Tom Rutlin / Exerstrider

2:30 What’s all the Buzz about all these poles? with Linda Lemke / Nordic Walking Queen

3:00 Exerstrider Technique with Tom Rutlin / Exerstrider

3:30 What’s all the Buzz about all these poles? with Rhea Kontos / Nordic Walk this Way

4:00 Active Body / Active Aging and Nordic Walking with Linda Lemke / Nordic Walking Queen

4:30 What’s all the Buzz about all these poles? / Brian Glader / Midwest Mountaineering

5:00 Girl Scout Walking Badge / Linda Lemke / Nordic Walking Queen

5:30 Nordic Poles for Runners (endurance training and injury recovery) Rhea Kontos / Nordic Walk this Way

6:30 Group Walk around Wood Lake. Your choice of once or twice around. 60 min max

Free Entry to National Parks This Weekend

Free park entry for all — plus Winter Trails Day in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday

I bought my first annual National Parks pass shortly after moving to Colorado in 1988, and I have not bee pass-less (pass-free?) since then. The two east entrances to Rocky Mountain National Park are less than an hour from my door, and it is a favorite year-round excursion for me, my husband, various various and visitors. We go there to hike, to ski-tour, to snowshoe, to see wildlife, to sightsee and very occasionally to backpack.

We won’t need our pass this weekend,  because all 394 units administered by the National Park Service, of which 5b (including RMNP) are designated National Parks. That means you can grab your snowshoes, if you are in the north country (or even some parts of the South, given recent weather patterns), and “test-drive” the nearest park, gratis.

Coloradans have a special bonus, with Winter Trails Day with its opportunity to try out snowshoes for free and join snowshoe walks without paying the normal entry fee. Most other Winter Trails Days around the country took place last weekend, but the Estes Park/RMNP day is Saturday, January 15, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. again, based at the summer shuttle Bear Lake shuttle parking lot along the Bear Lake Road. Snowshoe makers are lending equipment, the Estes Park Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event and REI staffers are adding their expertise.

Michigan’s VASA Trail Run Permits Poles

Nordic Walkers welcom at upcoming Michigan foorace

Michigan’s spectacular VASA Trail system in Pere Marquette State Forest is the site of the VASA Trail Run next Saturday, October 2, hosted by Running Fit. Runners and walkers (including Nordic Walkers) can participate at 5K, 10K and 25K distances. The courses will be marked and timed. Call Running Fit, 231-932-5401 or 231-933-9242, both in Traverse City for more information on the event, whose proceeds benefit the system in the lovely northwestern part of Lower Michigan.

Ski Walking’s Pete Edwads offers FREE American Nordic Walking System instruction and FREE use of Swix or Exel one-piece Nordic Walking poles during the trail run. Edwards, the owner/founder/coach of SkiWalking, located in nearby Glen Arbor, is an enthusiastic promoter of Nordic Walking in general and one-piece poles in particular. Edwards can be reached at 877-SKIWALKING (877-754-9255) or

World Nordic Walking Day Coming Up, 10/10/10

Catchy date for sure, but will it help Nordic Walking catch on?

10/10/10. What a numerically balanced date! I was in Jericho (the original in the Palestinian Territories, not on Long Island or elsewhere) earlier this year, and tourism officials said that they had decided that date would be ideal for promoting that ancient city’s 10,000th anniversary. I haven’t heard or read much about it since, but that date is also the lightly promoted World Nordic Walking Day, which was originally conceived of by someone to offer free introductory classes and other NW events. The date might have been selected to coincide with the International Nordic Walking Association’s 10th anniversary,or perhaps coinciding was a  coincidence. Hard to tell, but in any case, I haven’t heard much about that either.

This might be akin to the the philosophical question, “If a tree falls in a forest but no one hears it, does it make a sound?” I’m no philosopher, but I’m wondering, if a “world day” or something or another is announced but hardly anyone knows about it, is it a world day? I’ve been reading yet another string of comments on the Nordic Walking eCommunity forum about the designation of this day, who might be organizing something, if so what they are organizing and who is/isn’t invited to participate.

Meanwhile, below is my sketchy information on who will be offering something on that  day, including basic contact inormation — with California events dominant:

San Diego. Jeff DeMeester’s weekly Nordic Walk coincides w/ WNWD. Call 619-507-9835.

Southern California. Nordic Walk Now founder/president Suzanne Nottingham announced, “Nordic Walk Now will offer a free session, Intro To Nordic Walking, to kick off the beginning of a winter sport training education series that includes a variety of other workshops to help skiers train for their sports.” No specific time or location given, so contact her by E-mail to or phone 760-912-4471.

Sacramento. Nordic Walk Fitness hosts a group called Sacramento Area Pole Walkers, which plans a  free 5K walk around the UC Davis Arboretum. This is a free walk.

Australia. Not one day, but rather a Nordic Walking Week, promoted by Nordic Academy and Kinect Australia, wrapped into the monthlong ‘Walktober’ initiative with more than 500 walking events throughout the country. Click here for more Walktober info.

Great Britain. British Nordic Walking lists events here.

And that, my friends, is all I know about. Some “world” day.

Birkie Trek Welcomes Nordic Walkers

Wisconsin footrace hospitable to Nordic Walkers

If this blog hadn’t been in “time out” for days — not for misbehaving but for a redesign — I would have posted a reminder about today’s (that is, September 25Birkie Trek in time for people to actually sign up — though I am sure that every Nordic Walker within reach of this race through the Wisconsin woods already knows about it and registered long ago.  But it is too late for 2010, so consider this post a tribute to the event, an offshoot of a classic American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race,  and the organizers and enthusiastic participants. And for Midwestern instructors who help students prepare for the 13.1-mile half-marathon and the shorter 5K fun run/walk, special kudos. You know who you are!

The Birkie Trek is a Nordic walking event where, say the organizers, the “use of poles is suggested” — and following the suggestion, of course, makes it a Nordic Walking event. This untimed walk or jog on the beautiful American Birkebeiner Trail,  is mowed, relatively smooth, hilly and challenging. The half-marathon is intended to be fun and challenging, without being competitive.  All participants receive a great looking Birkie Trail Run & Trek T-shirt.

Today’s weather in Cable, Wisconsin, is forecast to be sunny and in the mid-50s — perfect for a footrace. I hope everyone is having a terrifid time, and next year, I’ll post in plenty of time for out-of-staters to register.

Walk Strong Event Set for September

Top Nordic Walking gurus to gather and teach in Greenfield, Wisconsin

If you read this blog (ir)regularly, you’ve heard me describe the Midwest as a hotbed of Nordic Walking in the US. Most recently the second annual Nordic Walking Expo was held in the Minneapolis area, and coming up next month is Walk Strong, September 11-12 in Greenfield, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee. Walk Strong is a two-day event with components for the public and for fitness pros. On the schedule are certification programs for fitness pros who want to add Nordic Walking to the repertoire, specialty lessons and, importantly for the growth of Nordic Walking, free introductory sessions including use of poles. Suzanne Nottingham, who organized Walk Strong,  has designed this program with commendable inclusiveness in the spirit of two previous Expo. Walk Strong also brings together top trainers and instructors to interact with each other and with the public to instruction options for beginners and broaden the horizons of pros.

Leading Nordic Walking experts will be there, so whatever your level or interest, your meeting and learning from three of Nordic Walking’s gurus: Suzanne Nottingham of Nordic Walk Now and Malin Svensson of Nordic Walking North America, both from California, and Tom Rutlin of Exerstrider, the in-stater from Madison. Promoting lifelong fitness through walking with is a passion of these Nordic Walking authorities. Jenne Goldberg (above left in Nordic Walk Now photo), who is in her late 70s, is an example of one senior who practices just that.

Saturday the 11th is open to anyone who wants to learn what Nordic Walking is about, try different kinds of poles, workshops and leadership intensives. Rutlin and Svensson will team teach two free Intro Nordic Walking sessions, open to the public on Saturday with no pre-registration required. Also on Saturday, Nordic Walk Now is offering demos of inline skating with poles. Bring your helmet (mandatory) to try this energetic, energizing workout. The organizers supply skates, poles and protective gear in two demo times on Saturday. No registration is necessary for the free sessions, but it is necessary for the NWN intensives, the Walk To Live Workshop for everyone and the four- hour Instructor Training Program just for qualified instructors. Also on Saturday is the launch of the stepping stone to the ITP, Master Fitness, an eight-hour course for individuals who have completed the NWN ITP in order to qualify for Master Fitness.

Sunday the 12th is is open only to qualified instructors. Malin and Tom will each offer a 75-minute certification prep courses for any instructor who has a teaching certificate from any Nordic Walking education organization. Pre-registration is required for these two courses at,
 A $10 donation to the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department is also required.
A schedule and registration information are promised soon on the Nordic Walk Now website. Meanwhile, for more information, call  760-912-4471 or email