December 3rd, 2022, the day that my official run season would end and what’s a better race to close out the season than the NYRR Ted Corbitt 15k. When I started running back in 2016 with Black Men Run NYC this was one of our big races, not because it was a 9+1 qualifier with the NYRR marathon program but because of who this race represented, Ted Corbitt. Ted Corbitt was known as the father of distance running and one of the founding fathers of New York Road Runners club while also helping to create the one and only New York City Marathon.
As this race progressed through the years it began to turn into a plain old New York Road Runner race, not much of a mention about Ted Corbitt, his accomplishments, what he represented to NYRR which turned out to be very disappointing to the point where it felt as if we were just moving forward while trying to phase out all the history behind Ted Corbitt. Most runners that are aware of the history and know about Ted Corbitt began to speak up through the years. How can a race with the name of someone so iconic not have representation, not have a medal, not have any historical facts about the man himself be acceptable. Quite simply it wasn’t. Enter Black Men Run NYC, the captains discussed among the group what we can do to start creating the shift with this race. One of the solutions, creating a medal for the 15k race if NYRR wasn’t going to do one. With Gary Corbitt’s blessing that’s what we did for every year up to 2021 our goal was to have a medal for each year of the Ted Corbitt 15k. Along with this Black Men Run NYC made it a point to continue to build and carry the legacy of Ted Corbitt through having a medal, shirt and most of all being an extension of Gary Corbitt as a group.
Fast forward to January2021 Black Men Run NYC introduced the inaugural Ted Corbitt 50k run. That day we all decided to be the change, to show the run community that we wanted to continue Ted’s legacy the correct way through running, to continue to educate the run community on his accomplishments.
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