Masters of the sport
It’s safe to say the Sudbury Masters Running Club members have a few miles under their belts. The club started running together in 1969 at the Sudbury YMCA and hasn’t stopped since. Its members have run countless races of varying distances, from five kilometres up to full marathons, and some hold Canadian and world records in the sport.
The club was started by a group of business men in the downtown area who had a desire to “get into the fitness kick,” according to Louis Moustgaard, one of the founding members. Other founders included Mike Narozanski, Mike Wisniewski, Vic Bridle, Mike Furlong and Ted Coe.
The Masters would begin their workout by running around the gym, then playing volleyball or badminton, and finishing off in the pool or weight room. In 1970, the members were running further on the indoor track at the YMCA and began charting their distances.
“We were doing two miles a day (or 56 laps),” Moustgaard said. “You were dizzy when you finished.”
The men made the decision to move their running to the Sudbury Arena and became a daily noon-hour fixture there until just recently, when the group merged together with the Sudbury Rocks running club and took their practices to Laurentian University.
As the group continued running, they became more serious and started running longer distances. Norm Patenaude, who eventually moved to Massey and started the Friendly Massey Marathon, also began the Sudbury Masters Ramsey Tour in 1976. The club decided to allocate the money raised from the race entry fees to scholarships at Laurentian University and Cambrian College for members of the varsity running teams.
To date, more than $150,000 has been given to support post-secondary students and runners succeed in both their studies and running pursuits.
In the early part of the last decade, the Laurentian women’s cross-country running team lost funding support from the university, so the Sudbury Masters stepped up, donating about $5,000 per year for several years. The funding from the university has since been reinstated and the funds from the running club have been redirected into scholarships for track team members.
Around the same time the Ramsey Tour began, club members began competing in major marathons around the continent. Some of the more notable runners include: Ron Wallingford (professor emeritus at Laurentian University and one of Canada’s top marathon runners, who came in third in the Boston Marathon in 1964), Terry McKinty (executive director of the Sudbury World Junior Championships in 1988), Judge Stephen O’Neill and Marcel Clements (former NHL coach).
In September 2012, the club ran its 36th Ramsey Tour. While the number of runners has decreased in recent years, the club remains committed to supporting running and education in the Sudbury community.