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Poisner has another great racewalking year

Alan Poisner

At the recent annual meeting of USA Track & Field (USAFT) in Columbus, Ohio, Alan Poisner was recognized as Racewalker of the Year in his age division (80-84). He previously had won Racewalker of the Year in 2011 and 2015.

This was based on his gold medal wins at the USATF National Indoor in Albuquerque (1 mile and 3,000 meters) and the National Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, (5,000 meters and 10K). He was also recognized for setting a new national record in the Indoor 1-mile racewalk, which he set in February in Albuquerque. 

Overall, Poisner won nine national and international races in 2017. Those included gold medals at the National Senior Games in Birmingham (1,500 meters and 5K), and the State Games of America in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

A highlight of his travels this year was attending World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand (1,500 meters and 3,000 meters). More than 28,000 athletes from 106 countries in 50 sports compete in this event, which is larger than the Olympics. Poisner competed in this event in 1999 when it was in Eugene, Oregon, and took the gold then in the 5,000 meters. This year he competed in the 1,500-meter and the 3,000-meter racewalks and took gold in both.

He faced several challenges through the year including racing the 5K in the National Senior Games during a drenching rain on a course full of puddles and sloping surfaces. Another challenge was the 10K race in Baton Rouge, where the humidity was greater than his finishing time (76 minutes). 

Poisner enjoys the challenges and the rewards of racewalking.

“Racewalking keeps my brain and body healthy, enables me to play (compete), travel and help others find the same joy.”

In addition to these achievements for racewalking, he also won a Phidippides Award from the National Masters News for his participation and wins in many local road races (10 racewalking against runners in his age group). He has now won this award six times.

Poisner has been competing as a racewalker for 33 years. A founding member and past president of the Heartland Racewalkers, he trains several days a week with personal trainer Peggy Ruiz at the Jewish Community Center, and is a frequent pedestrian on the treadmill. He and his wife, Sharon, live in the villas at Village Shalom.