by Christine Bishop
Runners Michelle Davis and Travis Carr are engaged and soon to marry in the magical month of May. Mat Nark was their cupid. They literally ran into each other at the Nark Running and Strength group. Michelle states when asked how they met, “Travis contacted Mark and joined our group. I was attracted to him, but I would never make the first move. With the help and encouragement of teammates, he asked me out for brunch after our long run New Year’s Day in 2021. I declined as I was very tired and was headed to my dad's. But a week later, I asked him if he wanted to grab breakfast after the long run. It's all history from there. One year ago on Pi Day, Travis asked me to marry him."
Come back in June for wedding pictures!
Thomas J. Osler
Dr. Thomas J. Osler made many contributions to running as you will read below but he also was a frequent contributor to our Pace Setter during its early years.
Remembering Dr. Thomas J. Osler (1940 – 2023)
I chose this picture of Tom on the cover of the Long Distance Log because of his love for Browning Ross. The Log was published monthly by Browning and was the glue that brought the U.S. running community together with race results from 1956 to 1975. Thanks to Tom’s foresight of keeping every issue, The Logs have been all digitized and preserved by the RRCA at this site: https://issuu.com/rrcaexecdir/stacks/4115107091f845c0a08c43f3c021d910
Tom’s love of Browning Ross was always quite special to hear. He would equally talk about the mentoring impact my father also had on him when as a teenager he met Ted Corbitt at the 1955 Shanahan (Philadelphia Marathon).
Tom has been so supportive of my work over the years of preserving running history. This loss saddens me because it’s a reality check that the day is fast approaching when all our long distance running, and track and field pioneers of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s will be gone. For my ongoing research I still had more follow-up questions for Tom. Lesson #1: always interview your elders while you can. To family members of athletes and race officials during this era of first-generation Road Runner Club of American (RRCA) members, let’s always keep in touch and do all we can to preserve this history.
Tom was a master historian and he’s entrusted me with a scrapbook of newspaper articles and picture from the Pedestrian Era of 1896 – 1903. This book was passed on to him from Vern Ordiway a Middle Atlantic area runner of the 1960s. There was a period of years where we thought this scrapbook was lost. I was able to help in its recovery. Here’s a 2015 email from Tom to me about this episode:
You might tell them that this scrap book was donated by me, with the understanding that it would be used by historians of sport to help understand an import segment in our history. But this did not happen, instead the scrapbook at first seems to be carelessly lost. If it is recovered, it is from old saved boxes that are ignored. I want this scrapbook in better hands, where its contents can be disseminated to sports historians.
The RRC of NY has had the book since 1986 and done nothing but ignore it. So badly was it treated that for years we thought it was lost.
It is time to return the scrapbook to concerned competent hands.
– Tom Osler
Below are two remembrances of Tom from my father. It’s important to note that the work of starting an effective course measurement system in the United States wasn’t easy. There were a series of resignations from the standards committee in 1965. This was due to the many frustrations in getting the running community on board at setting course measurement standards to be followed by all. There was also some infighting between committee members and the RRCA President at the time. Tom stepped up in 1966 at a time of need and stayed active in the 1980s.
To: Dr. Thomas J. Osler, Glassboro, New Jersey
The ROAD RUNNING TECHNICAL COMMITTEE “Course Certification Committee” extends a vote of thanks and deep appreciation to Thomas J. Osler, Ph D, for his loyal and extensive service to the Amateur Athletic Union Standards Committee, at a time when willing volunteer workers in the course measurement arena were very hard to find.
Dr. Osler, a former national long distance running champion, a mathematician, a physicist, a race promoter, a course measurer (in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania) a writer, and an ultra-marathon historian, generously gave of his limited time to serve on the National AAU Long Distance Running Committee’s Sub-Committee on Standards, and on the RRTC Course Certification Committee, thus logging one of the longest tenures among the faithful few committeemen who labored to get the North American course certification program under way.
Dr. Osler recruited and trained course measurers to serve in the TAC/USA Middle Atlantic Association territory. And, he served as a consultant to course measurers, sometime by telephone in the middle of a course measurement.
Well done Brother Tom Osler.
National AAU LDRC, Sub-Committee on Standards/RRTC Course Certification Committee,
Chairperson Ted Corbitt
New York 11/30/84
“The determination in your heroic effort will permeate your mind and heart even after your success or failure is long forgotten.” --Sri Chimmoy
A SALUTE TO THE GREAT TOM OSLER
I would like to congratulate the runner Tom Osler, on his receiving the 2001 South Jersey AC’s Browning Ross Award. It is a worthy award for a worthy recipient: Tom Osler.
Tom Osler is a unique individual in terms of his nearly maximizing his potential talents as a long distance runner; and in the area of his scholastic successes. In both cases, most of us never approach our potentials, Tom Osler did.
Tom Osler is also a nice down to earth human being with a good awareness of our society, a guy we are comfortable being around.
There are those among us who watched in amazement as Tom Osler blossomed and emerged dramatically out of the pack to become an all-conquering champion runner.
I owe Tom Osler a debt of gratitude for serving with me on the National AAU/TAC National Long Distance Running Committee’s Sub-Committee on Standards which dealt with promoting more accurate road race course measurements. Tom Osler was most generous with his limited time in helping to evaluate race course measurement data. We all benefited.
Ted Corbitt, New York City – April 2001
Rest in Peace Brother Tom Osler
March 30, 2023