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Mr. Yancey – Mr. Ross – Mr. Corbitt

Three Gentlemen Who Made a Difference
This Date (February 22nd) in Long Distance Running History


February 22, 1991- Joseph J. Yancey Jr. (1910-1991)
New York Pioneer Club (NYPC) Co-Founder & Coach – Dies on this date.

February 22, 1958 – Browning Ross (1924 – 1998)
Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) was born on this date.

February 22, 1959 – Theodore Corbitt (1919 – 2007)
The first marathon put on by the newly formed Road Runners Club: New York Association was run on this date.

31 years ago, today marked the passing of Mr. Joseph Yancey. Joe Yancey co-founded the New York Pioneer Club (NYPC) in 1936. The NYPC was an integrated team practicing civil rights through athletics.
The NYPC culture of inclusion paved the way for the formation and growth of the Road Runners Club of American (RRCA) and the New York Road Runners (NYRR). Mr. Yancey welcomed all races, colors, creeds, and abilities to the team and starting line. This is the running culture today seen worldwide in big city marathons.

64 years ago, today, Mr. Browning Ross organized a meeting at the Paramount Hotel in New York whereby the Road Runners Club of American (RRCA) was started. Mr. Ross was the RRCA first president. Every movement needs a leader, someone with the vision, plan, and standings within a community to inspire others to join and participate. Mr. Ross was that person for road running. A book “Browning Ross: The Father of American Distance Running by Jack Heath is an excellent read documenting his amazing life and his love for the sport as an athlete, publisher, administrator and coach.

63 years ago, today, Mr. Ted Corbitt representing the New York Pioneer Club wins the Cherry Tree Marathon. This was the first marathon conducted by the newly formed Road Runners Club: New York Association. The race had 12 starters and 6 finishers. Mr. Corbitt would be the club’s first President, with Vice President: Joe Kleinerman (Millrose AA), and Secretary – Treasurer: John Sterner (New York Pioneer Club). The club had 47 members in 1959, and today is over 60,000. Ted Corbitt would become known as “The Father of Ultramarathon running in U.S. and took the lead in developing a system across the country that certifies that a road racecourse has been accurately measured.

For more running history visit www.tedcorbitt.com.