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 26th annual Pit Run is coming up this Sunday, October 6.  The start line for the 10k, 5k, and 2 mile stroll is on Main Street in Oneonta, on the viaduct near the Main Street, Neahwa Park entrance.  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 line up 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 date, the foundation has given out more than $500,000.

To find out more about the The Pit Run, visit Pitrun.org.