Sunday, January 08, 2006


Hey Mister Where's Your Ski's ?

Happy New 'Nordic Walking' Year to all readers of Nordic Walking News and of course to your families and loved ones.

As we begin 2006 I am looking forward to our sport taking giant leaps forward this year. When I hear reports of how huge Nordic Walking already is in countries such as Germany and Finland, on one hand I am frustrated and on the other hand I am excited because when this thing really does hit throughout the rest of the world (which it will) we are in for some exciting times ahead.

The nearest thing I can equate where Nordic Walking is right now, is when I think back over 25 years ago. Occasionally you would see the odd 'crazy' person out jogging in the streets. People use to laugh and call out some amusing (to them) comment.... Sound familiar?

Then everything changed. Here in the UK it happened one dull damp Sunday morning. The date - 29th March 1981, the day of the first London Marathon. Screened live on TV the event captured the imagination of the British public who watched in their millions. For many the abiding memory of that day was the TV pictures of American Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen, crossing through the winners tape hand in hand. Those pictures inspired the jogging boom that followed.

Jogging was now cool and soon people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels (many of whom had no doubt previously laughed or smiled as the lonely jogger had passed them in the street), were pounding the streets of Britain.

A few months later I saw a small advert in a newspaper. Two local men who had run in that first London Marathon had started a new road running club and they were looking for members. I joined and immediately started to train for the 1982 London Marathon. I successfully completed my first marathon in 3 hrs 20 mins 59 secs.

If what is happening now eg in Germany and Finland is repeated around the world which I'm sure it will, I don't think it will be long before the boot is on the other foot and the person who is now shouting...

Hey Mister where's your ski's?

... Will be joining us with their poles in hand.

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