top of page

John Stifler

Class of 2024

Florence, MA

    Born the same year as Amby Burfoot and a year before Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers, John Stifler was the right age and had the right inspiration to become a child of the 1970s Running Boom. After a brief stint as a slow cross-country runner in college, John trained well enough to qualify for Boston three times, complete 17 marathons and two 50K’s, and break 90 minutes for the Mt. Washington Road Race.


    Before doing any of these things, John had begun pursuing his other goal -- to write about the sport. In 1974, discovering that a high school coach named Ron Hebert organized an eight-mile race in Florence and Haydenville, John convinced an editor at the then-independent Valley Advocate to publish a story by him about the emerging local road-racing scene. Later, that editor assigned him to cover an all-women’s race in Springfield, where John witnessed the emergence of Nancy Flynn (later to become Nancy Conz).


    After he joined the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club, John’s writing in the Sugarloaf Sun led to a weekly running column in the old Amherst Morning Record. That experience prompted him to write a story about a 50K road race he had run in a hilly region of central France and send it to The Runner magazine. Thus began seven years as a contributor to that magazine, followed later by articles in Runner’s World, Running Times, Walking, American Health, Vermont Sports, and the Washington Post. After he ran Mt. Washington in 1989 and published a humorous article about that race in New England Monthly magazine, race director Bob Teschek enlisted John to be the race’s media liaison, a job he did for 29 years. That connection led to John’s becoming a senior writer for New England Runner, where his subjects have ranged from the wheelchair racers in the Boston Marathon to scenic runs in India and Sri Lanka.


    More than any of these accomplishments, John is known for his regular running column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, which appeared weekly or biweekly from 1988 until the early 2000s. His column resumed in July of 2023, in both the Gazette and the Greenfield Recorder, and will continue.

    bottom of page