Legendary runners Grete Waitz and Ted Corbitt, both known around the world but especially beloved in New York City, were honored last night with portraits that will be showcased in the Marathon room of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame at The Armory.
Also unveiled was a new plaque representing the Ted Corbitt Memorial Award, given by USA Track & Field to the Male Ultrarunner of the Year.
"It's fair to say Ted's spirit is what we have today in long-distance running," said Dr. Norb Sander, executive director of the Armory Foundation. "Ted was a remarkable runner, a remarkable health physician, a remarkable writer, and a remarkable husband and father." Corbitt (1919-2007) was, among his many accomplishments, an ultra-marathon pioneer and founding president of New York Road Runners.
Waitz (1953-2011) won a record nine New York City Marathons, was a world record-holder, and captured a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics. "It was on our streets where she shined," said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. "She may have been born in Norway but to so many of us she will always be a New Yorker. I can't think of a better place to recognize her than here in the Marathon room in the National Track Hall of Fame."
Waitz's image was taken by Lisbeth Michelsen and published in 2010. The portrait of Corbitt was the work of Staten Island artist Sarah Yuster, who along with Corbitt's son Gary were on hand for the unveiling.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg