Race to Remember Lee Academy Student Reaches Milestone

Catherine Pegram

Updated 2 years ago

Ten years ago Tuesday, 17-year-old Patty Corbin – a junior at Lee Academy — was killed in a car crash.Since then, the memory of the cross country runner has continued to live on in a yearly event called Patty’s Race.That race has reached a milestone — one her parents call bitter sweet.”Bandanas. Patty always loved to wear one. She got the rest of the team, when she was the only girl on the cross country team, she encouraged them all to wear bandanas. So it became sort of a signature, so to speak.” Robin and Mike Corbin say their daughter Patty left behind more than just a signature when she died 10 years ago.”I think of the word sunshine,” says Lee Academy Cross County Coach Todd Thurlow, “because when she came into a room, everybody says that, that she just brightens up the place.”The student from Carroll Plantation was known for her generous spirit and enduring smile, which is remembered by her community every spring. “I walk, I run, I remember. We don’t want people to forget about Patty but in remembering her, we need to know about who she was and what she was all about and she was that accepting person. It didn’t matter who you were, didn’t matter where you came from, how much money your parents made, what clothes you were wearing, she was going to be your friend,” says former classmate, Ty Thurlow.Now that friendship will extend to students Patty never even knew. The race that bears her name also supports a scholarship program for Lee Academy seniorsMike Corbin says, “Now we’ve reached the point where after this race, we believe we’ll have enough money in the scholarship fund so it will generate a scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship every year, to a graduating senior indefinitely.”With that feat, comes a new phase in Patty’s Race. “So we felt like it was time to maybe turn it over. But it’s with mixed emotions,” says Corbin.Todd Thurlow says the race, like Patty’s memory, will live on.”This is the 10th year and it kind of made sense that this would be the last time he’d be heading it up and was wondering if we’d be interested in continuing it. And I didn’t really have to think very long, as far as I was concerned.”The Corbins say it won’t be easy to let go of their involvement in the race that remembers their daughter. But they’re proud of what it’s become and even more proud of the girl behind it.”We love hearing about her, we love talking about her. And we want to keep her memory alive.”This year Patty’s Race is set for Sunday, May 20th at Lee Academy.Start time is at 1 p.m.For more information, including how to register, log on to www.pattysrace.com.


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