Mike Roche trained almost daily on the towpath. In 1976 he made the US Olympic team. His entry in the RU hall of fame is here.
His teammate Larry Erickson recollects the origin of the plaque, “He ran on the tow-path almost every day and one day after being ribbed about it, he found a stick, bent over and wrote Mike Roche Highway; right after the Landing Lane spillway, and the legend began!”
A plaque has been in place on a tree in that area, and club member Chris Lehman noticed that the tree was not looking healthy. Given that several other trees have been cut down in that area recently, he wanted to be sure that the plaque was preserved. It is now located on a nearby healthy tree.
The plaque is on an oak tree close to the tow path and not far from the landing lane spillway.