Fudgical Series Schedule
Founded in 1976 after Pat complained to Ben that the ride into Cambridge, MA to organize the Fresh Pond Races was too long, Ben started another series in the town he lived – Tewksbury. The 5K race runs every Saturday morning at 8:00 AM from Tewksbury High School during the months of January and February.
The Day I Met Ben Fudge
by Dave Camire
Few people, to my knowledge have had the impact on the New England running scene like Ben Fudge. Along with his lovely wife Pat, son Dave and daughter Kim the Fudges have logged in more volunteer hours for road racing then any other family in America. Ben’s list of accomplishes as a runner and organizer is staggering. Many of you know that he started the Fudgical Series, now appropriately named in his honor, but how many of you knew that he also started the Fresh Pond Races? It could be argued that Ben is the father of all running series. I know he was the inspiration for the Good Times Series.
Throughout the years Ben has been an active member of the North Medford Club, Greater Lowell Road Runners (GLRR), New England 65+ club and now the St. Pete’s Road Runners. I had the pleasure of serving with Ben on the GLRR board-of-directors in the eighties and his wisdom, knowledge and experience was very valuable to a club in its infancy. I know I learned a lot from him even though some of it took a few decades to actually sink in.
When I was a very young man I came across an article about Ben in the Lowell Sun. It was the seventies and little written information on the sport existed. Any written morsel of information about the sport or another runner took on in measure of importance. The article described Ben’s running achievements along with his organizational endeavors in promoting the sport he loved. I must have read that article a hundred times.
On my runs I would think of that article and would fantasize what it was like to be Ben Fudge. Over the many miles Ben took on a persona of larger than life. I imagined him looking like a tanned Frank Shorter but taller – a taller Shorter if that makes any sense. Then came the day I met Ben Fudge!
I couldn’t tell you exactly what month it was, I don’t remember what brand of running shoes I was wearing or what model car I was driving, but I do remember our first encounter. I had pulled into Tewksbury High School for one of Ben’s famous runs. While I made my way over towards the registration area a gentlemen came over to greet me. He was very fit and quite thin for a guy his age. He asked me where I was from and welcomed me to the race.
After the race I noticed that the guy who greeted me was quite popular as many runners were gathered around him. Then I heard someone say to him, “How’d you run Benny?” I remember that instant as well as if it were yesterday. The first thing to rush through my mind was, “Holy @#$% that is Ben Fudge? He certainly doesn’t look like Frank Shorter and he doesn’t even have a tan!”
As the years passed I got to know Ben quite well. I witness first hand his devotion to our sport. Trust me when I say that the sport of running is a much better place today because of Ben Fudge’s efforts. I guess it was appropriate that when the GLRR selected Ben as one of the first inductees to its Hall of Fame that Olympic Gold Medalist and running great Frank Shorter was there for the induction. Whenever I think of Ben and his many accomplishments I realize that he actually is a taller Shorter after all and now that he lives in Florida he finally has a tan too!