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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Your Track Vault Pick of the Week

Tomorrow will be the 101st running of Cincinnati's Thanksgiving Day Race, the oldest of the hundreds of similar races held across the country.  In honor of that is a rememberance of Cincinnati's Ted Corbitt, one of the running communities' most important men who was nearly as old as tomorrow's 10k.
St. Stephen’s Methodist Church, the old wooden structure where friends and family came to say goodbye to Ted Corbitt, is a little jewel, more than 100 years old. The small, round sanctuary with the oak pews softened from years of loyal church worshippers formed a crescent with Ted, resting in his treasured New York Pioneer Club sweatshirt, as its centerpiece. Around his neck was a finisher’s medal from the 2007 New York City Marathon that his son, Gary, had run and dedicated to his dad. It was a personal gesture, very fitting to the aura of the occasion, as it was the family side of Ted Corbitt that was remembered at his wake and funeral, attended by friends who went back 40 years and had plenty of Ted stories to tell. Honored guests at the funeral eulogized Ted not as the legendary father of long-distance running but as the family man and friend with the gentle spirit. As is often the case at wakes and funerals, the occasion brought laughter and humor as well as tears and sadness. Gary Corbitt recalled later, “I never saw so many grown men with tears in their eyes.”

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