Oneonta Welcomes Back In-Person, Family Pit Run Event Oct 3
From the very beginning, The Pit Run, held in memory of Ricky J. Parisian, an Oneonta native and New York State Trooper who died while trying to stop an armed robbery at an Oneonta grocery store in 1994, was destined to be a big success.
According to Mark "Sid" Parisian, brother to Ricky, the first Pit Run was just a 10k race and not expected to be big since it was held only six months after Ricky's death with the family having very little time to organize it. However, over 800 turned out that first year to show support which was unbelievable and humbling to the Parisian family. Since that first event, it has continued to grow and has changed over the years to include a 5k race, 2-mile stroll and kids' fun run.
The whole idea is to raise money in support of “The Ricky J. Parisian Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc.” which goes annually to an OHS graduating senior who demonstrates the ability to enhance the local community in some way. It's a non-academic scholarship in Rick's name since he was a 1978 Oneonta High School graduate. The winning student receives scholarship money that supports them through their first degree in higher education. Along with that annual scholarship, the foundation also supports youth educational opportunities/programs in the surrounding area, including avenues of social enrichment.
The 28th annual Pit Run is coming up on Sunday, October 3, and will be held in-person while adhering to CDC and Dept. of Health guidelines (subject to change). For anyone nervous about attending the in-person event, there is a virtual option - the 100k Virtual Challenge that takes place all October for participants. Click here to find out more about that.
Last year's event, due to the COVID pandemic was virtual-only and so the Pit Run committee is excited to be able to offer an in-person event this year which includes the 10k, 5k, and 2-mile stroll starting on the viaduct near the Main Street, Neahwa Park entrance. The kids' fun run will take place in Neahwa Park.
That Sunday morning, registration will take place from 8:00 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. at the Registration Tent in Neahwa Park. Race lineup begins at 10:25 a.m., and the race starts promptly at 10:45 a.m. Following all events, racers and the community at large are invited to enjoy music, an awards ceremony, and Brooks Chicken BBQ meal in Neahwa Park.
It's an event that all can enjoy in some way, whether you are a runner or not. I have always found this event to be one of Oneonta's greatest and most inspirational events as all the money raised is given back to the community through a scholarship that is given annually to an Oneonta High School graduating senior, or through many local youth-oriented programs that receive money from the Ricky J. Parisian Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
To find out more about The Pit Run, visit Pitrun.org.
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