Owensboro Community & Technical College will hold its 32nd annual Grant G. Talbott Memorial 5K Road Race Saturday.
Officials decided to cancel the race last year due to rain. While Saturday’s forecast looks to be better suited for an outdoor race, registration is low, according to Bernie Hale, director of marketing and communications at OCTC.
“We used to be the first race in the spring, but now there are so many races, and different types of races— with bubbles, foam, color, mud,” Hale said. “Participation is really down this year — in part due to spring break being last week.”
Despite low numbers, race organizers are focused on remembering who the race memorializes — Grant G. Talbott. A counselor at OCTC for 10 years, Talbott coordinated the OCTC Road Race from 1998 – 2007.
Talbott retired as a counselor from Owensboro High School and then started a second career at OCTC in the counseling center. Talbott died in 2007, but OCTC faculty and staff continue to remember their colleague.
“He was the perfect measure of humor, warmth, and tough love,” Hale said. “He was known to ‘make deals’ with students, sometimes even paying for their books, a class, or tuition. The usual deal was if you passed you didn’t have to pay him back. He never boasted or bragged about it, in fact we found out about more instances after his death from students and former students, who were very grateful for his gentle push.”
Barb Tipmore, director of counseling services, worked closes with Talbott, often calling him “GG.” Tipmore now organizes the road race, renamed in Talbott’s honor after his death.
“GG loved OCTC,” Tipmore said. “He loved the students, faculty and staff, but he particularly loved the students. GG did not have to work at OCTC, as he had retired from the Owensboro Public School System. But he came to work every day because of our students.”
The race begins at Legion Park on East Byers Avenue and continues around Veach Road ending on the Main Campus of OCTC. Check-in and late registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at OCTC’s main campus in the Administration Building. The race begins at 9 a.m. at Legion Park. A complimentary shuttle service from OCTC to Legion Park is available. Registration is $25 on race day.
Proceeds of the 5K go toward the OCTC Grant Talbott Scholarship, which is solely based on financial need.