Jordan’s Run Returns for a Second Year

JoAnn Lyles, photographed in her son Jordan Haerter's room in her Sag Harbor home. Michael Heller photo

On the day before what would have been Jordan Haerter’s 30th birthday — July 29, 2018 — friends, family and Sag Harbor locals will gather at Pierson Middle High School for the 2nd Annual Jordan’s Run: Veterans’ Memorial 5K Run/Walk. The Express spoke this week with Jordan’s mom, JoAnn Lyles, to discuss her excitement about the upcoming event.

This will be the second year for the race. To start, how was last year’s race?  

Last years’ Jordan’s Run, as our inaugural run, went off without a hitch. The weather cooperated, we had a great turnout and great support and sponsors. Our timer, Long Island Timing, was a great resource and helped to lay out the course. He was instrumental for our early start up and gave our race committee helpful insights.

What new improvements have you made for this year’s race?

This year we will have a free photo booth and introducing “Middle of the pack” award. Anyone, a runner or a walker has a chance. We listened to our runners and will add more arrows on the race route and additional signage, so a runner finds the door for registration and knows where the start line and finish lines are.

What are some of the challenges of running a big event like this, especially in the summer?

This year in particular, with the new village code in place, the steep extra charge for anticipated police coverage that we didn’t have at all last year was a surprise. A larger portion of our sponsorship donations will go toward that. And even harder than that, this time of year is very challenging to find affordable places to stay for out of town guests that are coming from too far away for just a day trip.

You give a scholarship to a Pierson grad who is going into the service. What is it about and what made you want to do that?

The LCpl Jordan Haerter United States Marine Honor, Courage, Commitment award is given to graduates; celebrating those who choose to serve their country through the military or law enforcement. Jordan’s plan was to be a police officer. It is only 2 percent of our nation who serve. I want to help people recognize their service.

What are some of the other benefits of the event?

For me, it gathers friends and family for a good cause. 1/9 Marines come to honor Jordan and you can feel their camaraderie. Semper Fidelis, the Marine motto, meaning Always Faithful, trickles down to Marine parents and Marine wives. This year, like last year, Marine parents, wives and their children of 1/9 Marines are coming on the weekend of the run. Classmates from Pierson try to make sure they are in town. The fundraiser aspect supports In Jordan’s Honor, Ltd with the awards given to Pierson grads. And we hope to extend our reach to nearby schools.

We also support the Jordan Haerter Veterans Transition Home in Greenville, South Carolina. A home to give a hand up to veterans coming out of the VA system but not quite ready to be on their own.

How does this event help keepJordan’s memory alive?

Sharing Jordan and Cpl Jonathan T. Yale’s stories keeps their memories alive. Each runner receives a bio card about Jordan. We hold a Gold Star Family ceremony where we call out Last Roll Call for the East Ends fallen. We ask a 1/9 Marine to read aloud General John Kelly’s moving speech about these two young Marines. The day helps civilians with no military in their own families see the strength of these two Marines who were everyday Americans.

What other things will be going on for the weekend aside from the 5K?

Early registration or t-shirt pick up if you registered online will be on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pierson High school.

Jordan’s Run will take place on Sunday, July 29, with check-in beginning at Pierson High School at 7 a.m. The race is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Online registration is $35 at Registration on the day of the race is $40, payable by cash or check only.