Runners Hall of Fame
Long before runners had race results available at their fingertips, it was Dick Osgood who kept all of us in western Mass up to date on all things running. For 20 years, starting in 1977, he wrote the On the Run column for the Springfield Sunday Republican. He is also a successful runner, completing over 2000 races over the years. How did it all begin? Dick was actually a semi-pro baseball player in his younger years after pitching for both Chicopee High and AIC, where he graduated in 1959. He gave that up to be a sports writer for the Springfield Union in 1963 and was assigned to cover the very first Holyoke Marathon Race of Champions. Watching from the pace car inspired Dick to take up running and he spent several years running the track at the YMCA before finally racing in 1976 at the Falmouth Road race. Dick interviewed Olympians Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, who went 1-2 that year. Dick also broke the story that Bill Rodgers was to race at the prestigious Holyoke St. Patrick's Day Race that year.
DIck saw running gain popularity in the 1980s and his weekly column was filled with details about the local race scene. He kept runners informed about upcoming races and results. It was certainly a compliment to be mentioned in one of his columns. Dick continued running, doing 20 marathons over his tenure, starting with the Texon Marathon in 1981 that ran from Smith College to UMass. Dick raced at a high level for decades, and at age 60, won 6 gold medals at the Senior Olympics, running the 1500 meters in 6:22. He was a regular at the local weekly races, overcoming knee injuries to run the Stanley park Monday night 3 mile race in 2017, one week after he turned 80.
Dick has been a part of the running community in Western Mass as a runner and journalist for decades. Like a true journalist, he has stories he can tell about the runners and the races, and is quick with a joke and a smile. Dick has seen running change significantly since he first reported on the Holyoke Marathon. When asked what the most significant technological change he’s seen in running, he stated the advancement of timing chips and wearing a chip and getting a time automatically when you cross a finish line was a huge advancement from the paper-pencil-stopwatch days. Thank you Dick for being an inspiring part of our running community.