Just one week after the Jingle Bell Jog, 4,280 runners found themselves dashing through the snow for 9.3 miles at the Ted Corbitt 15K. An ultramarathon pioneer, Corbitt was the first president of NYRR and the first African American to compete in the Olympic marathon. Today, Central Park was alive with his rugged running spirit.
Though the snow wasn’t expected to come until later in the afternoon, the white stuff was already falling steadily at the 8:30 start. By the time Deriba Degefa Yigezu of West Side Runners won the race in 47:19, the park was blanketed. At that point, many runners were just completing their first five miles. They kept smiling and chugging right along, following in the footsteps of a man who ran some 200,000 miles over the course of his life.
“He ran far beyond what I can comprehend,” said Susan Gruby of Long Valley, NJ.
“Anybody that does longer distances, you have to have a respect for them,” added Mary Armas. Gruby and Armas are friends who annually make the trip to the city to run in the classic winter race, always hoping for the serene scenery that the snow creates.
“It’s beautiful out. The park is so pretty!” Gruby said
“It’s lovely to run in the snow,” said Mark Caine of Agony o’de Feet. “Weather like this is always a blast.”
“It’s such a good gauge of how you’re doing if you’ve run the marathon, and if you haven’t just to come out and run in the winter,” said Jenna Simson of Harrison NY. “To run through a blizzard—it’s just fun and you feel great after.”
This is especially true if you have an exit strategy like Mary Armas had.
“My husband is in the car waiting for us right where he dropped us off,” she said, smiling. “We’re going to get a New York breakfast sandwich and take it back home.”
Read more in our race story.