burke and stackpole

John Burke (with megaphone) and Dick Stackpole (in front of clock) cheer on Kevin Ratelle at the Merrimack Regional Theatre Race (Fall of 1979). From this race, the GLRR was born.

The Birth of GLRR

How did the GLRR come about? In late 1979 there were two groups that were simultaneously, but separately, trying to form a Lowell based club.

One group, led by John Burke, Dennis Conners, and Dick Stackpole met as a result of working together on the Merrimack Regional Theater race. They, along with race workers, realized there as a need for a running club within the community.

At about the same time, Bob Dick, a cross-country coach and teacher at the Greater Lowell Vocational-Technical High School, placed an advertisement in the Lowell Sun seeking runners interested in forming a Lowell track club.

A meeting between the two groups resulted and John Burke was elected President, Bob Dick was elected Vice-President, Dennis Conners was elected Treasurer, and Dick Stackpole was elected Secretary – the club was born.


1983 Hynes

1983 Hynes Race Committee (l to r) Joe Cravin, Tom McKay, Dennis Conners, Dave Camire and Dan Cahill


GLRR Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

(Note: the following is reprinted from the May 1985 issue of  Starting Lines)

Happy birthday GLRR! This month marks our fifth anniversary as a running club. In those five years we have accomplished quite a bit. We have established a full racing calendar with the Hynes’ Tavern Race (March), the Great Leg Road Race (July), the Jim Witt 5-Star Race (September), the Run Your Turkey Off 15K Race (November) and the Mill Cities Relay (December).

We have numerous running programs including: The Fudgcicle Series (January through March), the Marathon Clinic (April to October), the Women’s Racing Program (May to July), the Two Mile Series (June and July), and now our new competitive racing team.

We also support numerous social events including: the Pot Luck Supper, white water rafting trips, Hash Hound Harrier Runs, Children’s Christmas Party, and the Adult’s Christmas party.

We have sponsored the very successful speaker nights. Our guests have included Joan Benoit, Greg Meyer, Charlie Spedding, Patti Catalano, Rob Roy MacGregor, Bob Hodge, Vinny Fleming, and numerous other experts and celebrities.

We publish a quarterly newsletter, Starting Lines, and make nine mailing a year of our calendar of events. We have our own phone machine in which information about the club and running events is updated weekly. And, the club is affiliated with the Road Runner Club of America (RRCA) which sends Footnotes to all GLRR members. GLRR members are kept abreast of what is happening on the local running scene, the New England running scene, as well as the national running scene.

It has been a very successful five years. Quite a contrast to what existed in Lowell prior to the GLRR. Back in 1979, there was little in the way of organized running in Greater Lowell. Sure there a few road races, but Lowell was, on the average, a waste land for the local runner. The forming of the GLRR changed all that!