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Gary Corbitt Shares His Dad's (Ted Corbitt's) Obituary With the LetsRun Community
January 31 (Ted's Birthday), 2008

To The Running Community

I’d like to thank the running community for the tremendous outpouring of support during this difficult period.

I want to share my father’s obituary which is in his own words and a chronology of his life.

Gary Corbitt



I ran and won my first race, 60 yards, in 1933.  I wanted to be a sprinter but too frequent hamstring muscle injuries ruled that out.

In time, I became addicted to running long, long distance runs, and inspired others to do it better.

In addition to training extensive mileage, I spent years doing administrative stuff in the background, to help our sport survive and grow.  At times I referred to myself as a reluctant dragon.  I pulled this overloaded life off because I lucked out in my choice of a wife.

I had successes, but mistakes, and failing to master the art of tapering off between killing training and races, and lady luck, all affected race results.

In 2002, at age 83, I walked 303 Miles in a 6 day running race.  I would have loved to have run in a couple of 6 day races in an effort to join the few men who have run 600 miles in 6 days.


November 3, 2007

Acceptance Speech Runner’s World Heroes of Running Awards Ceremony

1919    Born January 31st  Dunbarton, South Carolina

1942    Graduated University of Cincinnati

1944    U.S. Army – World War 11

1946    Married Ruth Butler

1947    Joined the New York Pioneer Club

1949    Began a 44 year career at the Institute for Crippled & Disabled.

1950    Earned a Masters Degree – New York University – Physical Therapy

1951    Ran his first marathon at Boston.

            Son Gary born

1952    Represented the US Olympic Team in the Marathon at Helsinki, Finland.

1954    US National Marathon Champion

1958    First President New York Road Runners Club

            Started a quarterly New York Road Runners Newsletter.

            Personal best marathon time set in Philadelphia – 2:26:44

            Began teaching at Columbia University.

1960    Became the third national president Road Runners Club of America.

            Co-authored a book on Hydrotherapy.

            Started the National Road Runners Club Newsletter.

1962    Made the first of six trips overseas to run London to Brighton 52 Mile Road Race and other ultramarathons.

1964    Wrote a book on Measurement of Road Running Courses.

1965    First Chairman of the National Standards Committee which certified accurate distances of road race courses.

1966    Set US Record for 50 Miles on the track.

1968    US National 50 Mile Champion

1969    Set US Record for 100 Miles on the track.

1973    Set US Record for 24 Hours on the track.

1974    Subject of a biography called Corbitt.

1975    Suggested the concept of a Five Borough race to celebrate the Bicentennial.  This became the Five Borough New York City Marathon.

1993    Retired from The Institute for Crippled & Disabled.  He continued to treat patients until September 2007.

1998   Inducted in the inaugural class Distance Running Hall of Fame.

2002    Set a World Age Record 303 Miles in a 6 Day Race at age 83.

2003    Walked 68.7 Miles in 24 Hours.  The race celebrated the 30th Anniversary of his American Record.

2004    Journeyed to Athens, Greece to see the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

2005    Returned to Helsinki, Finland to attend the World Track & Field Championships.

2007    Life is the ultimate marathon; stay on the course and stay strong.

            December 12, 2007

Ted is survived by his son Gary and sister Louise Fairbanks.

There are currently plans to do a series of memorial remembrances for Ted Corbitt during 2008.  We’d like to see these memorials also honor all the founders and architects of our sport.  Before there was a Fred Lebow; there was  Aldo Scandurra and Bob Campbell.  Before there was a George Hirsch the publisher; there was a Browning Ross and Fred Wilt.  Before there was a Joan Samuelson; there was a Chris McKenzie, Nina Kuscsik, and Kathrine Switzer. Before there was a Frank Shorter; there was a John J. Kelley and Buddy Edelen.  The history of these and other pioneers need to be honored and preserved.

*To read about the establishement fo the Ted Corbitt archives click here
*To discuss Ted or his obituary on the message boards click here.

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