History of Crowley 10K
Get Set! Let's Take a Run Down Memory Lane
In 1928 or 1929, depending on which version of the Crowley Road Race story a listener is inclined to hear, two New England runners, who eventually represented the United States on our Olympic Team competed in a road race organized by Carvey Kingsley. In those days it was known as the Proctor Road Race. One runner was from Rutland, Vermont. His name was Frank Crowley. At that time he was a high school senior and held the Vermont State record in the mile and two-mile runs. By 1932, he was representing the United States in the long distance events at the summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The other runner was Clarence DeMar. Yes! This is the same famous Clarence DeMar of many Boston Marathon victories fame. In a very friendly way, both runners were cantankerous, hard-driving athletes. To the delight of the organizers, and as many great athletes will often engage each other, a back and forth banter resulted between the two. Because of this friendly teasing, as the legend goes, these two athletes agreed to race each other from Proctor to Rutland, Vermont. By some accounts, on the Feast of the Assumption the race started out somewhere on Route 3 in Proctor and finally came to a finish by going over the River Street Bridge and ending at the Mount Saint Joseph Academy Football Field. The effective outcome of all this affectionate heckling was an all out, tenacious, assault on the course. In a surprising upset, Frank Crowley succeeded in commanding an unmatchable speed over the six plus miles. On that day, Clarence DeMar was never able to latch on to the tempo set by the younger, resolute, Frank Crowley. For many years, the race continued. No one remembers why the race stopped except, it seems, sponsorship dwindled. However in 1976, with a lot of help from Mike Canty, Bill Reardon, John Cioffredi and Joe Crowley, Frank's brother, the race was revitalized. It is because of Joe's unwavering dedication to the race that it is now known as The Crowley Brother's Memorial 10K Road Race.
Over the last thirty-nine years the course has at times been changed. In this short recap, it will be impossible to rebuild all thirty-nine blowouts or the close finishes and tough minded competitions. However, there have been wonderful, challenging runs and record times set by a host of local runners. One older course record set by Brattleboro's two-time race champion, John Dimick, is 31:51. Four-time race champion, Jack Arthur blasted over the June 6, 1983 road racecourse with a 30:06. During the 1990 race, Greg Rideout held back all challengers with a 34:26, 10K. In the June 1992, version of the run to Rutland, three-time champion, John Daly swept to victory in 35:16. Rodney Viens and Larry Sayers, both from New Hampshire, have left indelible, enviable, marks on the race. During the 1995 race, Matt Cull, in rugged humidity, set a blistering pace from the outset and won the contest going away in 32:07.
The women have also shown a class all to themselves. They have dominated the field with speed and determination, which has not been matched in many races held in the Northeast. Jill St. Peter's (40:58), Michele Burns' (41:17), Michelle Eitapence's (39:44), and Carolyn Sprague's (39:05) have all conquered the women's open division in different competitive years. In the 1995 version of th "Crowley" and in her first 10K, Joya Tetreault swapped lead after lead with Lynn Achee. She doggedly slipped past Lynn and cruised to victory in an impressive 39:50.
The Crowley Brother's Memorial 10K road Race will also be the Vermont State 10K Road Race Championship. This race is sponsored by over fifty corporate sponsors. Research verifies that walking, which can lead to running, plays a large role, as one of the five major components needed to prevent life threatening cardiovascular conditions. The other four components are eating fruits and vegetables daily, controlling hypertension, keeping cholesterol under 200, and avoiding all forms of tobacco use.
Race day will be jam packed with events. Besides the 39th Annual 10K Crowley Brother's State Championship, there will be a Half Marathon, 10K Relay, 5KRace, 5KWalk, and "Kids Race." The Rutland, Merchants Row, Downtown events will also include "A Heart Attack Survivor's Celebration Walk, Jog, or Run," and "A Working on Fitness" event for those who are forty or more pounds over their desired weight on June 1st. These fearless participants want to demonstrate their willingness to do something about their fitness. Both nationally and in local public forums, " working on fitness" events have become very popular. For many people, the need for group support and early recognition for their beginning efforts is very important for successful, sustained results. A lot of championship runners started out with a desire to manage their weight and simply began to get in shape. They started by walking, which led to jogging, and eventually to very fast championship running. Possibly, the reader of this article can relate to what has been accomplished by those who rise from their seat and "start". From these written words, the reader will perhaps choose to join the early Sunday morning fun.
The Crowley Road Race exists to promote cardiovascular fitness. We are dedicated to achieving our goals by educating the youth and adults of Rutland Countyand the State of Vermont through healthy lifestyles in providing the avenues to achieve youth and adult cardiovascular fitness.