Truly … A Race to Remember

District of Columbia Councilmember Mary Cheh was there, speaking eloquently and passionately about the importance of honoring fallen law enforcement officers and remembering the families they leave behind. Her brother-in-law, Rahway (NJ) Police Officer John Jimmy Burns, was killed in the line of duty in January 1971, his name engraved on Panel 62-West of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

DC Metropolitan Police Sergeant Nicholas Breul and members of his family were there, too. As his department’s historian, Sergeant Breul works to preserve and share the proud history of the lead law enforcement agency in the nation’s capital.

And approximately five dozen members of Session 235 of the FBI National Academy came out as well – law enforcement leaders from across the country who took a break from their studies at the FBI training facility in Quantico, VA, to support a cause they deeply believe in.

For more photos, new video and commentary, check out Elvert Barnes’s blog, Freedom.

These were among the approximately 550 people who got up early on Sunday morning, October 19, to participate in the inaugural Race to Remember: the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial 5K, in Washington, DC. Organized by the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC, the race raised thousands of dollars for the NLEOMF and its project to build the first-ever National Law Enforcement Museum.

During the pre-race ceremony, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig Floyd and Councilmember Cheh thanked the runners and wished them well on their 5K run, which began and ended at the Memorial and took runners past the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, National Mall and other landmarks. Chief Lanier noted that three of her assistant chiefs – Pat Burke, Al Durham and Pete Newsham – were among the many MPD members and their families who participated.

After the race, Craig Floyd handed out awards to the top runners in 10-year age categories and to the top three male and female runners overall. Andrew Duncan, of Las Vegas, NV, ran the course in 15 minutes-57 seconds, beating out Antonio Eppolito, of Albuquerque, NM, by just two seconds. Demonstrating that age is no barrier to physical fitness, the top three male runners were all in the 40-49 age group.

The top female runner was Dionis Gauvin, of Alexandria, VA, who had an outstanding time of 18 minutes-30 seconds. Craig noted a special connection to two of the top runners. His executive assistant at the NLEOMF, Mary Brown, was the top female runner in the age 60 and over age category, and his wife, Veronica Floyd, placed second among women in the 50-59 age category. (Click here for complete race results.)

But for the vast majority of runners on Sunday, it was not about race times and awards. It was about fun, exercise, fellowship and, above all, supporting a great cause. The NLEOMF is in the middle of an $80 million capital campaign to build the National Law Enforcement Museum. The Museum will be located adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC’s Judiciary Square. The money raised in the inaugural Race to Remember will help meet that goal. And Chief Lanier, Assistant Chief Burke and Officer Marcello Muzzatti, who coordinated the race, plan to make it an annual event.

The NLEOMF thanks all of those who participated in the Race to Remember, especially our generous sponsors: Fraternal Order of Police, Metropolitan Police Labor Committee; Fraternal Order of Police, Jerrard F. Young Lodge #1; Police Federal Credit Union; and District of Columbia Protective Services. We couldn’t have done it without your and the help of all of our supporters.