News of Otsego County

Sid Parisian

COVID Can’t Dampen PIT Run Spirit

COVID Can’t Dampen

Annual PIT Run Spirit

Sid Parisian gives a celebratory fist-bump to Don Guinta, who ran the Pit Run course on what would have been Race Day, Sunday, Oct. 4. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA –  Even in the 27th year of the annual PIT Run, Sid Parisian said that his late brother’s spirit continues to find ways to surprise him.

“We’ve been doing a walk from the house to the park for our course,” he said. “And on Wednesday, Oct. 1, I checked to see how far it was, and it was exactly 5.20 miles.”

Trooper Ricky “Pit” Parisian was killed May 20, 1994, trying to stop a robbery at the Great American. The date is 5/20; the distance, 5.20 miles. “He continues to freak us out,” Sid said.

The walk is part of the Virtual Pit Run, which invites runners to tally up their miles throughout the month of October.

“It’s 62 miles, so that’s two miles a day,” said Sid. “That’s 10 10Ks for the month … Breaking it down, it’s like eating an elephant – one bite at a time.”

Though the annual Race Day event was cancelled due to COVID-19, the race itself was moved to a virtual format, allowing racers to choose when they run and on what course.

“It’s always a community event,” said Sid. “I know how healing it was for us in 1994, and I was hoping we could return that, but there was just no way to do it safely.”

Sunday, Oct. 4, the originally scheduled “race day,” the family gathered at the finish line, where the Unalam arch – styled after basketball hoops – was installed in 2018, to cheer on the racers who did take to the course that morning, including Don Guinta, husband of Deb’s college roommate, Susan, who came up from Long Island for the day. “It’s my third Pit Run,” he said. “And it feels good.”

He completed the 5K in 36:29. “He’s the first one over the finish line!” said Sid.

Others, like Kyle Breyer, a 15-year Pit Run veteran, kicked off his race at the corner of Main and River streets at 10:45. “It’s my first time running in four months,” he said. “It’s not the Pit Run, but let’s just say I decided to run the old Pit Run course.”

Though the number of registered racers was much lower – only 160, a far cry from the 1,400 that ran last year –there were more donations than ever before, Deb said. “We saw that, instead of registering to run, people just donated,” she said. “Last year we had $1,000 extra in donations, but this year, so far, we’ve had $3,000.”

The addition of the 100K has drawn the most participants, with 70 people signed up to take on the challenge. Daily totals are added to a virtual “leaderboard,” to determine who currently holds the highest rankings.

Registrations are still open through Oct. 15.

With the event itself cancelled – including the music and the post-race Brooks BBQ chicken dinner – 100 percent of the proceeds from the race go to the Ricky J. Parisian Memorial Scholarship fund.

And true to the legend that it never rains on Race Day, the grey skies gave way to sunshine on Sunday, Oct. 4.

“Now someone just needs to bring me a Brooks’ chicken dinner to eat in the park!” said Sid.

Race Day Goes Virtual, But Skies Remain Clear

27th Annual Pit Run On Through Oct. 31

Race Day Goes Virtual,

As Skies Remain Clear

Since the first race in 1994, it has never once rained on the day of the annual Pit Run, and that track record continued today as Mike Rubino, Bob Scanlon, Eric Michelitsch, and Nancy Scanlon joined Deb and Sid Parisian this morning in Neahwa Park to honor fallen Trooper Ricky J. Parisian at the traditional finish line for the annual PIT Run, which is being held virtually throughout October. A few racers did come down to the park to run the 5 and 10K courses, including family friend Don Guinta, who was “first” to cross the finish line with a time of 36:29. New this year is the 100K challenge, where runners and walkers can add up their daily totals to try and reach a 62 mile goal. Registrations are open through Oct. 15.  (Ian Austin/

27th PIT Run, Underway – Virtually!

27th Annual PIT Run,

Underway – Virtually!

Deb and Sid Parisian stand next to the banner for the 27th annual PIT Run, which has gone virtual for the entire month of October. The race officially kicked off yesterday, but racers can still sign up individually or with a team to pool their totals and hit the 100K challenge. While Race Day – locally known as “The Best Day in Oneonta” – will not be taking place this year, the Parisians have already heard that there will people in Neahwa Park on Sunday, walking and running the course. “Runners can see their cumulative results daily online.” said Sid. “While there are no prizes, awards will still be given and mailed out at the end of the month to the participants.” (Ian Austin/
Pit Run Goes Virtual, Adds 100K Challenge

Pit Run Goes Virtual,

Adds 100K Challenge

This year’s annual Pit Run will be held virtually throughout October. Here, Sid Parisian prepares to start runners in the 26th annual “Pit” Run at Main and River streets.  (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – This year, Sid Parisian says, any day in October can be Race Day.

The 27th annual Pit Run, known as “The Best Day in Oneonta,” has gone virtual, allowing racers to run the 5 or 10K any day in October, along any course of their choosing.

“When we first started talking about this year’s race, we were hoping everything would have calmed down,” he said. “But it’s not safe, so holding it virtually will allow people to continue their streak, or get new people involved.”

The race commemorates Ricky J. “Pit” Parisian, the State Police Investigator who was killed in 1994 as he tried to stop a robbery.

Cooper’s Clean About Gone, But More Coming Next Week

Cooper’s Clean About Gone,

But More Coming Next Week

Sid Parisian, along with Deb Parisian, were up from Oneonta this afternoon to partake of Cooperstown’s latest novelty, Cooper’s Clean, a hand sanitizer created by the Cooperstown Distillery to help combat the hand-sanitizer shortage that is being distributed for free.  Handing out the 4-ounce bottles at the Cooperstown Beverage Exchange at Main and Pioneer is the distillery’s new marketing director, Tamara Sines, a SUNY Oneonta grad. As of a few minutes ago, only 10 bottles were left of the 200 filled today. A new batch is expected to be ready some times next week. (JIm Kevlin/
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