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Rigsbee wins age group, raises money at NYC Marathon
Running

Rigsbee wins age group, raises money at NYC Marathon

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Morganton native Finn Rigsbee wears his age group medal and “Team Tillman” shirt after completing the New York Marathon on Nov. 7.

Patton High School 2020 graduate Finn Rigsbee, who’s now a sophomore at Wake Forest University, ran in the 50th New York Marathon on Nov. 7.

Rigsbee ran the marathon, which was his fourth taking part in, with his Wake Forest roommate, Chris Ouida and Chris’ father, Jordan Ouida, who are from New York City and have a family connection with 9/11.

The three were part of “Team Tillman.” They entered the marathon after raising more than $7,000 for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which “identifies remarkable military service members, veterans and spouses, empowering them with academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development opportunities and a diverse, global community of high-performing mentors and peers,” according the group’s website.

Pat Tillman was an NFL player turned U.S. Army ranger who was killed while in active duty in 2004.

Rigsbee ran the marathon in a time of 2 hours, 57 minutes and 18 seconds, an average of 6:46 per mile over the 26.2 miles, as he finished first in his age group. His time in the race, which spans all five boroughs, was 11 minutes clear of a personal record.

Rigsbee did so impressively despite a broken left wrist he suffered in an intramural flag football game just before he was set to fly out. He had it casted two days after the marathon.

The Rigsbee family, including Finn’s father Keith and mother Traci, attended, and Keith said they made it to three locations during the course of the marathon via subway and “some pretty pathetic sprinting.”

“We had “fatheads” of Finn and Chris’ faces (courtesy of Chris’ mom, Heather Ouida), and cow bells to cheer them on,” Keith said. “The crowd all along the race route is packed, loud and quite stunning.”

Keith said Morganton residents Eddie Wall and Susan Hall plus her sons, Sterling Hall and Bennett Hall (who are college students at Princeton and Yale respectively), also made it to New York to cheer and support Finn and his co-runners.

Rigsbee was a two-time all-conference and all-county basketball player at Patton who also ran cross country, outdoor track and indoor track with the Panthers. He is the Patton record-holder for the indoor mile.

Before he graduated from Patton, near the beginning of the pandemic in late March 2020, Rigsbee set up his own “first annual Finn Rigsbee Marathon,” down and back the Thermal Belt Rail Trail in Rutherford County after his first planned marathon, the Asheville Marathon at Biltmore Estate, was canceled.

The News Herald sports department can be reached at sports@morganton.com.

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