CLARION - The annual United Way of Clarion County 5k/10k race will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28. The race will begin and end at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium with the course touring through the beautiful streets of Clarion.
Open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, well over 300 people participated in 2018 and that number is expected to grow this year.
This year's pace setter sponsor is The Law Offices of Greco, Lander and Shekell, P.C.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers of the 5k and 10k races. Medals will be given to the fastest age group finishers of both races. Timing is provided by Runner's High.
An extra special award for the men's 10k in the 55 to 59 age category will be given this year in memory of Ronald Corbett as well as the timing chips are sponsored in his memory by his children, Tim Corbett, Bob Corbett and Carol Corbett Matuszak.
Ronald Corbett suffered a fatal heart attack on Sept. 15, 1979 while running the first United Way 10k. His family reached out to United Way hoping to honor the 40th anniversary of his passing.
"Dad loved Clarion. Clarion has always been an important part of my Corbett family heritage," said Tim Corbett. "Dad got interested in running about age 50 and was an avid runner the last four years of his life. He consistently ran an eight-minute mile. In 1979, he was 56 years old and was confident he could place in the 56 to 60 year bracket if not be the outright winner." said Bob Corbett.
Ronald Corbett was born and raised in Clarion. He was the son of Ronald and Grace Wilson Corbett. He graduated from Clarion Area High School in 1941 and went on to serve as a Corporal (Battery C 557th) in the U.S. Army during WWII (1942 to 1945) in Belgium and France. He was a proud member of the Clarion American Legion.
Corbett was one of 15 contest winners to change the name of the Pittsburgh Pirates Football Club to the Steelers. The original letter is prominently on display in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum in the Heinz History Center.
He married Margaret Yantko Corbett in 1948, and raised their three children in Cleveland, Ohio, coming back often to visit friends and family in his hometown of Clarion.
"When the Corbett Family contacted me, I was honored to find a way to somehow memorialize their father," said Melissa Fulton, United Way's executive director.
"This is proof that our race and our other events for that matter are not just fundraisers. They are an important part of our community. They are a tradition for many and part of the fabric that is Clarion County.
"Four decades after his passing, Corbett is still having a positive impact in Clarion County. That is the type of legacy we should all strive for," said Fulton.
Anyone wishing to register, sponsor or volunteer for the 5k and 10k races can find more information at http://www.uwclarionco.org, on United Way of Clarion County's Facebook page, or by calling United Way's office at (814) 226-8760.