64, Retired Machinist for
Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel
Rollie Woods was first introduced to running. In the
early 1990's he ran for the Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel
Run for Steel. The second year of this event was held
at the Wheeling-Pitt Yorkville Plant. Rollie continued
to run when the event was held at Weirton Steel and
Bethlahem Steel in Baltimore but would come in 10th
- 12th in his age group. That was when Rollie decided
to start race walking instead. When he started race
walking there weren't any races in this area and he
often traveled to Marietta and Parkersburg to walk.
He has been walking since 1993.
walks 5-7 days a week and walks 5-6miles a day. He
has since gotten his grandson, Jonathan interested
in walking and he often races with Rollie too. Recently
they both finished first in their respective age groups
at the Ogden 20k Classic.
questioned about his love of walking, Rollie gave
the following answers:
do you walk? I walk because I really like it. Walking
helps me to relieve stress and to feel better. I walked
before I retired and now that I am retired I am always
busy doing something but I always find the time to
do you love walking? I love to walk at Ogelbay Park,
I like the hills, the scenery and the fact that there
is no traffic to worry about. I especially like to
walk in the morning and prefer competitive race walking
in the morning too.
is your toughest obstacle to walking? The wind and
the rain are the toughest obstacles for me. I don't
walk indoors so when the road gets plowed in the winter,
then I go. I have tried a treadmill but it doesn't
appeal to me.
is your best advice for new walkers? Anyone can walk!
I think we need more walking events so that more people
will participate. Competition is tough but it keeps
you going and there are always people in the races
that are just there for the walk so whatever you prefer
- there is something for you.
is the coolest benefit of walking? Walking really
keeps you in shape. I weighed 240-245 pounds but now
I weigh 210 without dieting! I just walk and eat regular
meals and my weight has taken care of itself.
is your biggest surprise about walking? I am so surprised
to be winning as a competitive walker. I won my first
race in 1993 and I am still walking because it is
fun and keeps my interest. Who would think that walking
could do that?
Rollie is a competitive walker, he has much in common
with the average walker. He walks because he enjoys
it, it helps to relieve his stress, and he has stabilized
his weight without really trying. And the best part
is that Rollie spends quality time with his grandson,
Jonathan. They walk together during training and share
their competitive experiences. We thank Rollie for
joining Wheeling Walks and hope that his experience
can be an incentive for everyone to start walking
- first ten minutes, then twenty minutes, until you
are walking 30 minutes or more on almost every day.
Isn't it time you started walking?