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Jordanís Run/Walk Veteranís Memorial 5K Goes Virtual This Year

This year's medal. (Courtesy Photo)

In these trying and unprecedented times many clever minds have surprised us over and over again with sheer initiative and creativity that inspires all of us to try and keep things as "normal" as possible.

In the spirit of keeping everyone safe and healthy, the annual Jordan's Run Veterans' Memorial 5K Run/Walk will be held virtually. There will be no official run shirts issued this year, however, a bib and instructions will be mailed to registered participants beginning July 20 for the event scheduled for July 26. If you are unable to walk or run on July 26 - no problem - this year you can complete at your own convenience. Relying on technology, participants can utilize the Strava free app, which will allow you to get to a true 3.1 miles.

You must register (at a reduced cost this year), and kids under 12 years old can participate for free. Registrants before July 25 can start posting their results beginning July 26 through August 2, and late registrants after July 25 will have to wait 24 hours to post results.

This annual event is in honor of Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter - USMC, a Sag Harbor native, who was killed, along with Corporal Jonathan T. Yale, while guarding their outpost in Ramadi, Iraq on April 22, 2008, when stopping a suicide bomber, saving 50 Marines and numerous Iraqi police and civilians. Born in Southampton and raised in Sag Harbor, Haerter was only 19-years-old. Both Marines were posthumously awarded The Navy Cross for Extraordinary Heroism, our nation's second highest award for Valor in Combat.

According to Haerter's mother, JoAnn Lyles, "Jordan's Run helps to keep Jordan's name known and his story of heroism shared so that he is not forgotten. It is a good fundraiser for In Jordan's Honor, Ltd. and helps us continue the awards to seniors who choose to serve their country through the Military or Law Enforcement as Jordan had planned after his service. It is a very scenic and family friendly run which is fun for the community with the special treat of being able to cross over and back on the flag decorated Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter Veterans' Memorial Bridge."

This year's race is being held virtually. (Courtesy Photo)

Continuing, Lyles relayed, "Jordan's Run is part of the Suffolk County Veterans Run Series. We joined together to help promote each other's runs, all for veterans causes. We will miss the energy and seeing everyone this year. It is a powerful and emotional day. At the end of the run, we ask a Marine who served with Jordan to read General John Kelly's speech, 'The Last Six Seconds.' This is an accounting of Jordan and Corporal Jonathan T. Yale's heroism. So this year, we included a video of his speech on the registration website, and I suggest everyone take a few minutes to listen to it"

Proceeds from the Run/Walk will support the memorial fund, In Jordan's Honor, Ltd. Additionally, some proceeds have been allocated to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry.

Lyles asks, "Where in the world will you run or walk Jordan's Run?" And, passed on that, "We also support the Jordan Haerter Veterans Transitioning Home in Greenville, SC. A stepping stone, hand-up for Veterans coming out of a VA Hospital who are not quite ready to be on their own, balancing a new job and civilian life. In Jordan's Honor, Ltd has provided awards to Pierson High School Seniors and on occasion, learned of a most promising Marine Poolee recruit from the Patchogue/Riverhead Marine recruiting station. Since 2008, we have awarded over $22,000."

Participants are urged to share photos and stats if you choose by using #JordansRun. There will be first, second and third place rewards in different age groups, and winners will receive their medals in the mail. Announcements will be posted to Facebook and the website as well.

For more information go to www.injordanshonor.com. To register, visitelitefeats.com.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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