Wed, Jun 6, 2012 03:41 PM
Runners of all ages and abilities will line up for the 36th
Annual Crowley Brothers Memorial Road Race, June 10 for an 8 a.m.
start. Competitors can choose whether to run 5K, 10K, or a half
marathon (13.1 miles).
There will also be a kids' run with more than 300 runners
expected to join this year!
According to race organizers, "The Crowley Road Race exists to
promote cardiovascular fitness. We are dedicated to achieving our
goals by educating the youth and adults of Rutland County and the
State of Vermont through healthy lifestyles in providing the
avenues to achieve youth and adult cardiovascular fitness."
The kids' run starts in downtown Rutland on Merchant's Row, the 5K
and 10K races starts in Proctor, and the half marathon start is at
The College of Saint Joseph in Rutland.
The Crowley Brothers Road Race claims to be the oldest 10K race in
New England. Although, technically this year will mark the 36th
annual running of the race, that belies the true age of the event.
It was first run in 1928 or 1929, depending on which version of the
Crowley Road Race you believe.
At that time, two New England runners were competing against one
another for bragging rights. Both men were fierce competitors and
there was a fair amount of good-natured heckling and challenging.
The two decided to race from Proctor to Rutland.
One runner was a Rutland local who would soon represent the United
States at the 1932 summer Olympics in Los Angeles. His name was
Frank Crowley and at the time of the original race he was the
Vermont state record holder for the mile and two miles as a high
The other runner was Clarence DeMar. DeMar had earned the
nickname Mr. DeMarathon because of his impressive record. DeMar won
the Boston Marathon a record seven times in the 33 years he ran it.
DeMar had also represented the United States at the Olympics in
1924 and finished third.
Crowley, Rutland's local runner, was certainly the underdog in the
race but he surprised DeMar by setting a pace that the older runner
could not match. It was a surprising upset victory for Crowley!
Clarence DeMar was never able to latch on to the tempo set by Frank
Crowley in the six plus mile race.
The race continued on as an annual event for many years and nobody
can remember why it stopped, probably because of lack of
sponsorship. Then in 1976, Mike Canty, Bill Reardon, John Cioffredi
and Joe Crowley (Frank's brother) revitalized the race. 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.
Bill Rodgers will make a special appearance running the 10K course
for the fifth year in a row. He is best known for his victories in
the Boston and New York City Marathons in the late seventies. He
won those races four times each between 1975 and 1980 and set the
American marathon record in 1975 and 1979. He was also a member of
the 1976 and 1980 United States Olympic team. He was inducted into
the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1999. The Crowley Road
Race is proud to have such a running luminary involved.