Our History

Celebrating 45 Years of the London Pacers

In September 17, 1972, under a tree in Springbank Park, London, Ontario, a group of men came together to form a club of people interested in long distance running, to pool race information and share travel expenses to races.

Within 7 months the club had 24 members, formed an executive committee and produced newsletters to inform members of events and in 1973 organized its first Club Championship race with awards. Members also volunteered their expertise for other races held in London and this carries on today. The Pacers started the second road race in London and were instrumental in introducing the marathon to the Forest City Road Races. Over the years the club has been involved with many events and currently organizes the Galloping Goose Mile Night, Turkey Trot Cross Country Races, Pacers Classic Road Races (Club Championships) and Vulture Bait Trail Races.

The club was involved with the Springbank International Road Races during the 1970’s when many of the best runners in the world raced in Springbank Park. Learn more about the programs, check results and see photos on our Historic Results page.

In 1979, the club drafted and approved its first Constitution outlining the club’s objectives, membership and club business. Down the years various events became annual activities; annual dance (now a luncheon), track workouts at U.W.O., Sunday morning runs with refreshments at The London Rowing Club, bus service to various races and an annual New Year’s Day run, to mention a few.

Many runners credit the Pacers Sunday Fun Runs with introducing them to the joys of racing. Dedicated members organized the weekly races and gave every participant a certificate to commemorate his or her participation.

Hundreds of runners have been London Pacers over the years. We celebrate round number anniversaries and welcome back past members.

Several histories have been written over the years.

The London Pacers: the First Ten Years, 1972 to 1982 & Peeking into the Pacers’ Past

The First Ten Years of the club’s history as written by first president Len Smolders, with an attached article by Harry Littleton.

In The Beginning: The First Fifteen Years

The First Fifteen Years of the club’s history written by past-president Wendy Sullivan.

Forever Young: 1993 to 1998

Forever Young: the London Pacers, 1993 to 1998 written by Ken Dungavell