The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on October 21, 2007 · Page 39
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 39

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Page 39
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MIDWEST TRAVELER Des Hloinrs Sunoaij Register E ST SUNDAY October 21, 2007 DOUG PETERSON, Assistant Features Editor 515-284-8324e-mail: fl HA A I Nearly 20 in family walk the distance to fitness Today's long-distance event attracts siblings who prefer gathering for health instead of for another funeral. By DAWN SAGARI0 REGISTER STAFF WRITER n the space of three years, the Janssen family of Panora buried two of 10 siblings. Their sister, Valerie Simpson, died of a heart attack in 2006. She was 58. Three years earlier, brother Bruce Janssen had died of a blood clot. He was 47. The family was determined that the next time they saw each other, it would not be at a funeral. And it won't be. Seven siblings from six states, including two from Iowa, along with relatives from three generations, will be taking control of their health, step by step, as they walk in today's IMT Insurance Des Moines Marathon and Half-Marathon. The Janssen family, nearly 20 strong, will be walking 13 miles to the finish line. It's a feat that boggles the mind for many of them, including Nita Ott, 54, who inadvertently masterminded the plan and got the ball rolling. Marathon details WHAT: Des Moines IMT Marathon and Half-Marathon WHEN: Today, marathon and half-marathon start at 8 a.m., early-bird start for walkers, 7 a.m. WHERE: Nollen Plaza, downtown Des Moines "The joy of getting to gether for a nonfuneral is fabulous," said sister Lois Pote, aka Big Mama, 56, from Grand Mound, la. The idea to join the walk formed when Ott, from Twin Falls, Idaho, and her daughter, Crystal Ayers, 31, from Hazelton, Idaho, read an article in the March is sue of Prevention magazine about walking off belly fat. Ott had just started a walking program in January. Because she would be in Iowa in October to visit family, her daughter suggested she make walking the marathon a goal. "I said, 'Sure, I'll make that my goal. Ha. Ha,'" Ott recalled. Prevention magazine earlier this year named the Des Moines race as one of its seven official walker-friendly marathons nationwide. The magazine's third annual "Walk it! with Team Prevention" is a customized, online training and support See MARATHON, Page 5E j , i :"-,( I ; . . - , I f I ! ... t si fh . I' b'.y v f fl I II U J f. ," " t ". , ... 1 r ft ': ' f 5' n ' 1 :i f HARRY BAUMERTTHE REGISTER Lois Pote of Grand Mound is training. She is one of seven siblings from six states who will walk in the IMT Insurance Des Moines Marathon and Half-Marathon. t .UmJ- 1PfV ' r j?1 f JOHN GAPS III THE REGISTER Carmen Atkinson, 49, who runs Gutterz Bowl and Lounge in Guthrie Center, is planning on walking the 13-mile race. Her 12-hour days have made it difficult to start a training regimen, but she is confident she can hold her own with relatives. aboutthe Zombie A & l Vr1;7 t Bazooka Z K - vv I Pa,rol? 1W.X V"7 V. V : M A Two sisters employ opposite strategies Janssen sisters Lois Pote, 56, Grand Mound, la., and Carmen Atkinson, 49, Panora, la. Compared to the other Janssen siblings, Carmen Atkinson had the least-regimented training program in prepping for today's half-marathon. She didn't take regular walks, enter 5- or 10-kilometer races to build up her endurance or work out at a gym, like some of her family members. No, the 49-year-old co-owner with husband, Rodney of Gutterz bowling alley in Guthrie Center, says her bustling, 12-hour workdays, seven days a week, keep her plenty active. "I didn't want to do it," said Atkinson, of Panora, when she heard of Ott's suggestion to walk the half-marathon. But not to be shown up by her siblings she's the second to youngest Atkinson grudgingly agreed to participate. "I'm not worried," said Atkinson, who was reassured by a niece that she could talk for 16 miles, so walking 13 miles should be easy. "I'm going for it. People in our family, I'm worried about their health. They need to get off their buns." Her sister, Lois Pote, 56, of Grand Mound, la., couldn't have a more different regimen. She has been faithfully following the schedule in Prevention magazine. Since beginning her training in June, she has built up her endurance, from struggling to walk just one or two miles to recently completing a 10-mile walk. Pote goes on three-mile walks during the week near her home and works out at a Curves fitness center. Not even a nasty fall in September, which affected her shoulder, hip and hand, could slow her down for long. See PROFILES, Page 5E 'The Next Great American Band' gives groups a shot at Idol' fame ByLYNNELBER ASSOCIATED PRESS Los Angeles, Calif. There's sheer bravado in the title of Fox's "The Next Great American Band." But the network that gave us "American Idol" is primly cautious about whether it's found another hit talent show. Debuting 7 p.m. Friday, "American Band" boasts an impressive group of finalists ranging from heavy metal to soul to bluegrass, and it's from the producers be- On TV "The Next Great American Band." 7 p.m. Friday on Fox hind "American Idol." But are audiences ready for what Johnny Rzeznik, the lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls and a judge on the new venture, describes as "basically like a big battle of the bands"? "You just have to cross your fingers," said Mike Darnell, Fox's president for alternative entertainment. The No. 1 status of "American Idol," he said, "doesn't necessarily translate to the band show. You can't compare anything to American Idol.'" Nigel Lythgoe, a producer for both series, wants viewers to give "American Band" a fair shot. He's willing, even eager, to say that "Idol" contestants suffer by comparison to the band hopefuls. See BAND, Page 2E EXPERIENCE THE REGISTER How's the service? Service can be as important as the food at a restaurant, yet in the Datebook Diner blog W.E. Moranville writes, "In the realm of restaurants, I'm finding that symbols of service have replaced true service itself." Talk about area eateries at DesMoines Register.comblogs. i gl -gwnfflyw!'yi!''ywi'ri IOWA MOMENT I was doing some household repairs recently and made a quick trip to Wal-Mart in Ames for supplies. Unknown to me, I lost my cell phone in the parking lot. While I was in the store, my phone was found, the "home" number called and the phone returned to my wife at home, all before I returned home myself. Imagine my surprise to find my phone waiting for me; I hadn't even missed it yet! Thanks to Gene and Stacy Dreyer of Gilbert. Joe Sebranek The Register wants to hear your story about lowans who went the extra mite to help you. Write about 50 words and e-mail Include your address and home number. Halloween bonanza At DesMoinesRegister .comhalloween: Enter a costume photo contest. Watch videos of a coffin ride at Sleepy Hallow and the first night at Haunted Nation in Des Moines. Find pumpkin-face templates to carve. Search for pumpkin patches. f wjrj ' i V " if . s 1 I Students pitch in Fifth-graders from Jefferson Elementary School, along with their parents, have been sprucing up the courtyard at Wakonda Manor over the past three weeks. They made birdhouses last week. See photos of happenings around town at DesMoines Register.comphotos. o:

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