Community Spotlight: NYCM Employees Hit the Road in Support of the 2021 Pit Run - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Oct 1, 2021

Community Spotlight: NYCM Employees Hit the Road in Support of the 2021 Pit Run

NYCM Insurance prioritizes supporting community initiatives, and has been the Title Sponsor for the annual Pit Run for several years. The Pit Run is a challenging six-mile course that runs through the autumn hills of Oneonta, New York. The 10K  USATF (USA Track & Field) Certified course starts on the Main Street bridge between Market and River Streets, passes through the SUNY Oneonta campus, and ends at Neahwa Park. Continue reading to learn more about the Pit Run and what this experience means to some of our most passionate runners.


What Inspired the Pit Run?

Named after 34-year-old state trooper Ricky J. "Pit" Parisian, the Pit Run was created as a way to honor Ricky and the sacrifice he made for his community. Ricky loved his work and saw that it was his duty in life to make his corner of the world a little safer. One day in Oneonta while he was off duty and grocery shopping with his wife Deb, he attempted to stop an armed robbery. After making sure that everyone in the surrounding area was safe, he then confronted the robber. In the struggle, Ricky was shot, and unfortunately passed away as a result. Ricky was a hero and saved many lives that day. The Pit Run is a celebration of his ideals and his joy for life.


What Does the Pit Run Funding Go Towards?

The annual Pit Run is an activity created by the Ricky J. Parisian Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to establish a scholarship fund to provide financial assistance to a graduating senior of Oneonta High School. Each year, a $4,000 scholarship is awarded to a student who has demonstrated the ability to enhance their local community. The foundation will also allocate funds to support local education programs when possible.


A Community Event

“The Pit Run is a great example of how a community can come together to support each other year after year,” says Amanda Loitsch of our People Development Team. “It’s a really well-known race, especially for Oneonta locals. You can always expect to see a familiar face, some friendly competition, and a chicken dinner.”


Amanda has participated in the Pit Run several times. “We used to go when we were kids, and as an adult I’ve completed at least two 10k Pit Runs, one 5k, and in 2020 I participated in the virtual 100k during the month of October. My favorite part of the actual run is where you get to go downhill! It's a long climb up to the SUNY Oneonta campus, and it is so satisfying to get to the top! Of course, I also love the community spirit behind Pit Run. Each year I learn even more about Ricky and his family, hearing more stories from those who have personal connection to the cause.”


Overcoming Personal Challenges

Matt Johnson of our IT Infrastructure Team has completed the Pit Run three times.

“At first it was just a way of challenging myself,” he says. “I had never run a 10k race before and wanted to see if I could do it. When I found out more about what happened to Officer Parisian, and the scholarship program, it became much more meaningful.” Matt goes on to share his favorite part of the race. “Coming down the hill at SUNY Oneonta after the tough uphill run, AND the Brooks Chicken BBQ are two of the high points, but for me it’s really about overcoming personal challenges and coming together as a community to celebrate a man who saved so many lives!”


Community Commitment

For Colleen Witter of our Financial Services Team, the Pit Run is a means of supporting her law enforcement family. “I have completed the Pit Run four years in a row. I was really inspired by this particular race when I was just getting into running as a sport. My father was a police officer, so running in the Pit Run always helped me feel connected to him. The patriotism and loyalty behind this event really shows the support that our community has for its local law enforcement.”


Hitting Close to Home

“The Pit Run was a race everyone did when I was growing up,” says Liz Brigham of our Underwriting Team. “Although it was not until I met my partner who is also a state trooper, who had a personal connection with the family, that I really took pause to what the community event was all about. It stands as a good reminder to us all that, no matter the price, it’s important to do the right thing.” Liz continued, “My family and I run the 10k every year alongside my partner’s co-workers at the NYSP. This year we will be running with our daughter in her stroller and my son will be doing the kids’ run. It is a great way to keep Ricky’s legacy alive and to be mindful of his heroics on that day. I really like that this is a local benefit that directly impacts the community. You can see every dollar earned making an impact.”


To learn more about NYCM employees and their commitment not only to each other but to their community, check out the link below!