Corbitt, Ted

Corbitt, Ted

(1920–  ) long-distance runner; born in Dunbarton, S.C. Called "the father of American distance running," Corbitt's exploits in marathon running and ultramarathons (distances longer than 26 miles, 385 yards) contributed substantially to the popularity of long-distance running in the United States. When few dreamed of running distances longer than the marathon, Corbitt trained for and ran in international races of 40 to 100 miles, often against much younger men, and almost always finished among the top five, often setting American records in the process. By profession a physical therapist, he maintained his fitness long after most have given up competitive efforts. His stamina and longevity are legendary and are not likely to be equaled. At age 54, he ran his 175th marathon in Boston in the time of 2:49.16, less than a minute slower than his first marathon 23 years earlier. (His fastest marathon time was 2:26.44, in 1958.) He held the American record at 25 miles, at the marathon distance, and at 40 and 50 miles.