Please join us for the 14th Annual Corporal Christopher M. Shea Memorial 5k

Where: Swartswood State Park, Swartswood, NJ
 
Corporal Christopher M. Shea was tragically killed in the line of duty when his cruiser was struck head on by a vehicle operated by a drunken driver on July 18th 2004.
 
The annual Corporal Christopher M. Shea Memorial 5k is a yearly event that was started in 2005 to raise money for high school graduates entering the fields of Law, Law Enforcement, and/or other Civil Service. All profit from the money raised is awarded as a scholarship to graduating seniors of Kittatinny Regional High School and other local area schools in honor of Corporal Christopher M. Shea.
 
The course is a double loop of the bucolic Swartswood State Park camp grounds. The race starts and finishes on the shores of Swartswood Lake. 
 
Awards for the top 3 male & female 5K finishers, and top 3 male & female finishers in each age group. Age groups: 13 and under; 14-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-39; 50-59; 60+. No duplicate awards.
 
T-Shirts to all pre-registrants, and to all post-entrants while supplies last (size not guaranteed to on-site registrants). Post race refreshments and prizes.
 
Event details and schedule
  • 11:30am - Bib and packet pickup starts; On-site registration open, pre-race refreshments and fuel
  • 1:00pm - 5k race
  • ~1:45pm - 1 mile fun run
  • 2:00pm - Awards and prizes; Post-race refreshments
        

 

 

 

 

 

The Beginning


Corporal Christopher M. Shea was born on Oct. 4th, 1972 to Maurice and Patricia Shea of Jersey City, NJ. He was the second child in a family of eight. Just before he entered into the 4th grade, the family moved to Union City, NJ, where Chris spent his youth days attending St. Joseph's school (4th to the 8th grades). The summer before Chris entered high school, the family chose to leave the urban areas of NJ, and raise the growing family (the 8th, Timothy, was just born) in rural Sussex County, NJ.

Chris attended Kittatinny Regional High School in Hampton, NJ. He ran cross country in the fall, played basketball in the winter, and played baseball in the spring. He loved imposing his techniques as a catcher on anyone that would listen. He graduated in 1990, with a full understanding of his career goals.

Chris' passion to become a police officer started when he was 12. In the eighth grade, Chris was nominated to spend a week at the NJ State Police basic training facility in Sea Girt, and this is what convinced him that this is what he wanted to do. As the end of high school approached, and Chris would have to choose his career direction, is when Chris would begin to turn this dream into a reality. He would first choose Wagner College in Staten Island, NY, where he attempted to study Criminal Justice. Realizing after his first semester that this studying "gig" was not for him, and knowing at the time that the only other path to becoming a NJ State Police Officer without a college degree was 4 years of military service, Chris chose to become one of the few and the proud and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.

 

The Marines


Chris served 4 glorious years in the Marine Corps. He worked as a security officer in what is now most likely considered Homeland Security. This was fortunate for him and his family, since it limited his assignment to a military base in Jacksonville, FL and he never had to do a global tour or serve over seas during Desert Storm.

Chris loved the Marine Corps, and he served his duty guarding nuclear missiles used on submarines with conviction and pride.

 

His Family


After Chris completed his tour in the military, he took a job as a security officer at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. This worked well, you see, because Chris had come to learn that the requirement for being accepted into NJ State Police had changed while he was serving his 4 years in the Marines. When he enlisted, the requirement was 4 years of military service OR a 4-yr college degree. At this point, the rules were now 4 years of military service AND at least a 2-yr associates degree. Chris quickly enrolled into the FDU curriculum to get started.

Chris knew he would get through this program and earn his degree (I'm not sure he expected to do it with honors), but what he didn't know was that a whole new part of his life would start to take shape at FDU, as well. Her name was Susan Cleaver, a varsity volleyball player at FDU. When she first laid eyes on Chris in the summer of 1995, she emphatically told her twin sister, Shannon, that "I'm going to get that man - you'll see". Did she ever.

Chris proposed to Susan in front of an entire gym of FDU volleyball players and fans. Quickly changing into a suit as the end of the match neared, Chris had his buddies display a HUGE sign reading "Susan, Will You Marry Me" as he approached Susan with roses and an engagement ring. Getting on one knee, Chris proposed and Susan gladly accepted.

Chris and Susan were married on May 15, 1999 in Lewes, DE. Their son, Christopher Jr., was born on January 16, 2001. Just like any other proud father, this filled Chris' passion to have a first born son. Their daughter, Elizabeth, was born on August 8 2003. The spitting image of Chris, she quickly became daddy's little girl.

 

The Delaware State Police


Chris moved to Delaware in the winter in the early part of 1999, shortly after he graduated from Fairleigh. He worked a few odd jobs while waiting through the DE State Police application process -- a security officer at Ames department store and a corrections officer. He finally got his chance in 2000, when he was accepted into DE State Police Academy to be part of the 71st Delaware State Police Recruit Class.

Chris graduated from the Delaware State Police Academy on December 16, 2000. He was first assigned to Troop 5, in Bridgeville DE, off the Sussex Highway and about 30 miles west of where he and Susan lived. Saying he was excited to finally be "on the job" is an understatement. I'll always remember the countless hours talking to Chris about his dream job, or more preciseley listening to him ramble on with story after story of his daily routines.

On one particular call, we all got a BIG scare. Chris was leaving the Troop 5 barracks in response to a call, crossing over Sussex Highway as he exited the barracks. On his way out, his patrol car was broad sided by some sort of delivery van. I don't like to think of Chris as lucky -- instead I think of him as resilient. He ended up with a broken hip and he still managed to serve as a groomsman (well, on crutches) at our oldest brother's wedding. He kept a smile on his face, quick to say to anyone about to inquire that "No, he did not have to pay for the patrol car -- that's what taxes are for".

Chris eventually capitilized on an opportunity to transfer to DE Troop 7, based in Lewes where he and his family lived. Chris welcomed the short commute to work, and loved the idea that he was only a stones throw away from home. Chris was determined to work his way up the ranks, so he continued to accept overtime work whenever it was available, and the fact that he was now so close to home meant that he would make it home shortly after his shift was over. His hard work and dedication paid off in July of 2004 when he was promoted from Trooper First Class to Corporal. Chris was killed that same month.

It was July 18, 2004 at approximately 2 AM, and he was returning home from a late overtime job on his day off. The job was a routine criminal dropoff to the corrections facility in DE, north of Lewes. It was something he figured was a quick few hours of work, no problem. What he didn't expect to encounter was the unthinkable - a driver on the wrong side of the highway.

Chris was travelling southbound on State Route 1 near Route 206 just outside Milford. The other vehicle was headed northbound in the southbound lanes. The car was being operated by a drunk driver, and was fleeing the scene of an accident that occurred shortly before the fatal crash. Chris never saw it coming - he was taken to Milford Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead at 2:54 AM.

Corporal Christopher M. Shea was laid to rest on July 22, 2004 with full military honors. The funeral services were attended by family, friends, troopers and police officers from across the U.S. The services were powerful, like nothing I have ever experienced before and hope to never have to experience again.

Chris is a hero. A hero because he chose a career, a lifestyle, of helping others. He was never afraid of what he was doing, never second guessed himself for one second. During the funeral services, Chris' Academy classmate and friend of 4 years gave a personal and moving eulogywhere he gave, perhaps, the best reason for why Chris was a hero. He said "Chris, I believe you are a hero who saved the life of an unknown motorist who would have been travelling southbound on State Route 1 by forfeiting your own life. Your selfless service saved the life of someone you never even met."


 

Corporal Christopher M. Shea Scholarship Award Recipients

Year 

Recipient

High School

2016

Cortlandt S. Rohsler

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

2015

Jordan Lorenzo

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

2014

Blake E. DiGiaimo and Scott H. Sponder

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ 

2013

Jeffrey M. Chandler

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

2012

Conner T. Casterline and Jordan P. Murch

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

2011

Donated to the Ryan Senkier Fight Cancer Fund  

http://helpryanfight.wordpress.com/

Ryan was a 1992 graduate of Kittatinny Regional High School 

2010

Daniel McCarthy and Emileigh Galinski

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

2009

Jeff Latawiec and Stacey Norman

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

2008

Jacob Stark

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

2007

Zachary Virga

Kittatinny Regional, Hampton NJ

How the Run was Born

The Annual Corporal Christopher M. Shea Memorial 5k was started by Chris' youngest brother, Timothy, with the help of Guy and Laurie Gordon and the Bears Running Club in the summer of 2005, the year after Chris' untimely death.

Tim really wanted to organize some type of charity event that would not only keep Chris' memory alive, but give back to the local community in a way that would make Chris proud. When Guy Gordon suggested a charity running event, Tim thought this was the perfect idea. Chris was a Cross Country runner in high school and for a short stint at Wagner College, ran his heart out in Marine Corp training and the Police Academy, and continued to keep himself in the best shape he could by running locally, and in charity events such as when he carried the torch each year to kickoff the Special Olympics in Lewes DE.

Each year, the Annual Corporal Chistopher M. Shea Memorial 5k attracts runners from across the tri-state area to compete. Awards are given to the top 3 male and female finishers overall and in 7 different age groups: 13 and under, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and over.

 

The Battle of the Badges

The "Battle of the Badges" is a unique race challenge that allows dedicated servicemen and women to demonstrate their commitment to their jobs and their community. The Battle of the Badges challenges the various civil service agencies to rally as many of their strongest, fastest, most committed and, most importantly, most competitive members to help remember a brother, serve a community and show everyone just how great they really are.

Agencies register as a team and compete against other teams during the race. Each teams results are scored using standard scoring methods for running events (top 5 times from each team) and the agency who achieves the best overall performance at the race will have their name engraved on the coveted Battle of the Badges plaque to be displayed at its headquarters until the following year when the Battle continues.

 

Battle of the Badges Winners

2016

Sparta Police Dept. 

Arlene Lippencott 27:26

Tim Lynott 31:09

John Lamon 37:49

Paulette Willey 41:17

Maribeth Hills

 

2015

NJ State Police 

Field Ops

Rob Rohel 18:53

Justin DeLorenzo 21:57

Andrew Stephanic 23:13

 

 2014

NJ State Police North

TEAMS

Rob Rohel 18:56

Brian Santos 19:36

Tommy Ferrigno 19:45

Brian Santos 25:55 

2013

 NJ State Police Troop B  

Washington Station

Brian Santos 19:32

Mark Moyna 20:01

Justin DeLorenzo 22:10

David Ortiz 25:47

 

2012

NJ State Police Troop B

Hope Station

Mark Moyna 19:21

Justin DeLorenzo 20:59

Andrew Stephanic 21:00

James Agens 23:07

 

2011

 NJ State Police Troop B  

Hope Station

Mark Moyna 20:00

James Agens 22:28

2010

 NJ State Police Troop B  

TEAMS

Rob Rohel 17:53

Tommy Ferrigno 20:10

Joe Trogani 21:56

 

2009

 NJ State Police Troop B  

Hope Station

Mark Moyna 21:29

Justin DeLorenzo 21:03

 

 2008

NJ State Police Troop B  

TEAMS

Rob Rohel 18:26

Tommy Ferrigno 19:37 

2007

 NJ State Police Troop D  

Tommy Ferrigno 19:55.1

   

 

We are always looking for ways to improve our annual event, the Corporal Christopher M. Shea Memorial 5K. There are several ways that you can help: Sponsor the Event, Participate, Volunteer at the event, or provide any other goods and services that will benefit the 5k race.

Sponsor the Event...

As an organization, we accept sponsorship of several types and we offer sponsorship levels to suit the needs of every company or individual that would like to be part of our cause.

By becoming one of our sponsors you will know your contribution is helping a mission that has a positive impact on the community - locally, regionally, or nationally.

The levels include both monetary and alternative forms of sponsorship -- i.e. goods and services. If you would like to help out and are unsure if you fit into one of the sponsorship levels, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

If you'd like to sponsor our event, donate online or download our application, complete the Application for Sponsorship form, and drop it in the mail today.

  • Gold Medalist ($1000): Have your Name or Business prominently listed on the welcome banner as a primary sponsor, on the race t-shirt given to all registrants, in ALL publicity, and on the race website as a Gold Medalist sponsor.

  • Silver Medalist ($500): Have your Name or Business displayed on the race course / park entrance, on the race t-shirt given to all registrants, and on the race website as a Silver Medalist sponsor.

  • Bronze Medalist ($150): Have your Name or Business listed on the race t-shirt to all registrants, and on the race website as a Bronze Medalist sponsor

  • Race Supporter ($50): Have your Name or Business listed on the race website as a Race Supporter.

  • Alternative Sponsorship: Have your Name or Business listed on the race t-shirt given to all registrants.

 

Volunteer at the Event

We are always in need of volunteers - in the weeks before the race, and on race day. You can help us publicize the event in the weeks leading up to race day, or volunteer your services on the day of the run. We are always looking for people to direct runners through the course, hand out gifts and goodies, assist the official timer, or help distribute prizes and awards at the end of the race.

We're open to ANY ideas you may have in this area. Do you have a specialty that will benefit our event on race day? Volunteer your specialized service and this will qualify you for our Alternative Sponsorship (see above).

Run, Run, Run...

The most obvious way you can help out is by participating in the annual 5k race. The entry fee is small - it may actually be the smallest in the Tri-state area. There are t-shirts for all pre-registrants (and onsite registrants while supplies last), food to fuel up before the race or to replenish after the race, water, goodie bags, and any new attractions that crop up in that year.

The course is a scenic double loop through the campgrounds of Swartswood State Park, in Swartswood New Jersey. The run is timed, and you are entered to compete against over 100 runners for overall, as well as against a group of your peers in 7 different age categories. Trophies or medals are awarded to the top 3 runners in all categories.

 

All proceeds benefit the The Cpl. Christopher M. Shea Scholarship Fund. Online registration is available through active.com or download our application, complete the Application for 5k Run form and drop it in the mail.