Since 1995, the Ricky J. Parisian Memorial Foundation has contributed $160,000 in scholarships to area students and another $148,000 to local youth programs.
“It’s not only the scholarships, it’s different grants and our criteria for giving grants is anything to do with kids,” said co-race director Steve Parisian, Ricky’s brother. “We donate to the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and different school clubs.”
As for the running, the 10K is the feature event.
Men’s and women’s winners can earn up to $900. The men’s and women’s champions earn $500, and $100 bonuses are given to the men’s leader after miles 1, 3 and 5, and to the women’s leader after miles 2, 4 and 6. Another $100 will be awarded for course records.
Last season, LoPiccolo finished 11 seconds behind five-time winner Alemtsehay Misganaw, a native of Ethiopia who lives in New York City. Misganaw, who earned consecutive Pit Run titles from 2006-09, finished in 37 minutes, 6 seconds.
Assuming Misganaw is back to defend her title, LoPiccolo, 29, said she expects to be in contention.
“On any given day, anything can happen,” said LoPiccolo, a standout distance runner for Ithaca College. “You can’t control who shows up and the amount of work they’ve put in. I’ll do my best. I feel good and I feel confident, but you can’t control what other people do. I’ll run my race. If she’s there, I’ll keep my eyes on her and see what happens.”
LoPiccolo, the first local woman to win Pit Run 10K in 2010, with a time of 36:20, said she plans her strategy around the massive ascent midway through the race.
“The first two miles are relatively flat,” she said. “I always try to remind myself that the climb starts at the two-mile mark and ends at 3½. You try to prepare and be as chill as possible, and then from 2-to-3½, you have to man up and be tough. Everyone has to run it. It is what it is. I’ve done the hill a lot, so I know it like the back of my hand. Once you get to the top, then you just have to maintain.”