A few hours after the last Team Chris runner crossed the finish line at the 2016 Marine Corps Marathon last Sunday, Tim Scherer opened the floor by asking, “What has the last nine years of doing this meant to you? Does anyone want to share?”
People began sharing their thoughts. They reflected on how and why we all wound up here — consuming cold beer and colder pizza in the conference room of a five star hotel (two stars for the hotel itself, three more for its proxmimity to race start and finish).
While seemingly everyone in the room shared their sentiments, I sat silent. I hate public speaking. I also hate to dance. (There is probably a correlation there, but I digress.) So while the others were sharing those thoughts, I just listened, nodding in full agreement.
As I listened, themes emerged: service, sacrifice, friendship, family, commitment …
Service and sacrifice — of CPL Christopher G Scherer, whose service and sacrifice sadly lead to so much good.
Friendship and family — well … there is no real separation here. Run for Team Chris. You’ll see for yourself.
Commitment — best illustrated this year by Katie Scherer who, after crashing and burning in last year’s marathon, committed herself to its completion this year. Mission accomplished. Chris would be so proud of his little sister.
As I listened, I thought about my 30+ year friendship with the Scherer family, how much it means to me and how much I’ve gotten out of it.
I also thought about the many friends I’ve made through Team Chris over the last nine years, and the friends I invited into the Team Chris family.
And I thought about Tim, specifically. The man with the spreadsheet and red solo cup (filled with a post race Bloody Mary, in case you are wondering).
Over the past nine years at Team Chris MCM weekend, Tim made sure everything came together. From runners getting registered, to hotel reservations, to pre and post race meals, Tim got it done. He left nothing to chance. He even put together a spreadsheet to help Team Chris spectators be at the right place at the right time to cheer on their runners. (Tim has a spreadsheet for everything, actually. Even his bowel movements, I suspect.)
I also thought about the fact that even though 30 years have passed since the Mets beat the Red Sox in the 1986 World, Tim never passes up the opportunity to play for me the video clip of the baseball trickling between Bill Buckner’s legs in game six. (for the record, I forgive both Tim and Bill Buckner.)
Nine years ago Tim and Uncle Ken signed Team Chris up as a Charity Partner at the Marine Corps Marathon. The goal was simply to keep Chris’ name alive. But the partnership took on a life of it’s own.
In those nine years, Team Chris has raised about a quarter of a million dollars to support our troops and for veterans causes. The money has gone to material support of troops in the theater of war, and the training and placement of service dogs for wounded warriors. Partnering with Service Dog organizations in the NY area and California, Team Chris is looking to expand its efforts in the Boston area.
This might (or might not?) have been the last Team Chris MCM weekend, but it is just the beginning for Team Chris.
Many thanks to my Boston (and TechTarget) Team Chris runners and the many who have supported Team Chris financially.
I’ll have more images from the weekend, but below are the most meaningful.
Here is Katie (dark blue) beating the bridge with her marathon pacers and friends, Dave (light blue) and Eva (pink). Brother Tim (left) provides encouragement.
Katie post race. For Chris and Uncle Ken.