A 4-mile run in honor of a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq in 2007 will wind through the streets of East Northport one last time this year.
Tim and Janet Scherer, parents of Cpl. Christopher Scherer, said that they will wrapping up the I Did the Grid race, this Memorial Day weekend after 15 years.
The race course follows a grid pattern through the East Northport neighborhood where the Marine grew up. The night before the race, hundreds of residents, veterans, Marines, first responders and others gather for a poignant ceremony that includes the placement of a field of small American flags and the simultaneous reading of the names of service members killed in the line of duty.
Every race bib race bib carries the names of four service members killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The run, which consists of a competitive 4-mile race, a one-mile fun run and a 4-mile recreational run/walk, concludes every year with runners ringing a bell after they cross the finish line in honor of service members.
Scherer said the family had concluded that it was time to bring their race to a close.
“I’m convinced this the right decision. It’s a fit for us now,” Tim Scherer said. “You can’t change the bad and a lot of good comes from it. As the president and dad, I have to weigh what’s best for everyone.”
The race supports active military members and as well as scholarships for local students.
When the idea for the race first formed, Scherer said, “We wanted to do a scholarship. We wanted to make scholarships for the general student population and scholarships awarded to male and female lacrosse players.” He said that if this year produced a good turnout, “We’ll get over $1 million” total for the awards.
The number 15 has a special resonance for the Scherer family. In addition to representing the number of years they’ve held the race, it is also the number of the Northport lacrosse uniform worn by Tim, his older son, Timmy, and then Chris.
Tim Scherer helped put in motion the Suffolk County Veterans Race Series, pulling together the many veteran-oriented races around the county. The Scherer race has always been the first race of the series each year.