6th Annual Lt. Szczerba 5K – Fun on the Run


Liam Furlong, Editor

On April 26, over 600 runners participated in the 6th annual Lt. Joseph Szczerba 5K. Athletes of all ages came out to Salesianum to honor Lt. Szczerba, graduate of the class of ‘85, who died in the line of duty. Runners donated to Lt. Szczerba’s memorial scholarship through a night of fast paces and smiling faces to not only help make Salesianum more affordable through the memorial scholarship, but to honor a fallen officer & alumnus of Sallies. The 2018 Szczerba 5K raised a grand total of $25,000.00 for a cause that literally gave participants a run for the money.
On September 16, 2011, Lieutenant Joseph Szczerba responded to a backup call from another officer who was searching the Penn Acres Park for a disorderly suspect. Szczerba located the man, and after a short chase on foot, the struggle began, and the subject pulled out a knife, and stabbed Lieutenant Szczerba in the neck. Other officers took the man into custody, but Lieutenant Szczerba succumbed to the wound before arriving at Christiana Hospital. Szczerba had served the New Castle County Police Department for eighteen years before he passed away, but he is far from forgotten. Lieutenant Joseph Szczerba was post-humanly promoted to Lieutenant and was awarded the department’s Medal of Honor. Most importantly, his legacy lives on through his wife and family. By participating in the annual Joseph Szczerba 5K, he can live on through us as well.
The Szczerba 5K, to put simply, was a blast. Over fifteen local sponsors came out to renovate a race into a Salesian festival. “The atmosphere was pretty hype and energetic,” said freshman runner Brendan Clerval. “It was a great bonding experience with a lot of my friends, and I would definitely run this race again.” From the high energy crowd to the food trucks to the live music, this was a race that runners won’t soon forget.
While all of these activities were fun, the main event of the Lt. Szczerba 5K was, well, the 5K! The weather could not have been better, and runners of all speeds gathered to run this memorial race. “I was feeling pretty confident, said Clerval, who placed sixth overall. “I’m part of the cross country & track team, so I knew the route and how to run it. Throughout the race, I kept pace with my friends, too, which really helped to ease the tension.” Another freshman runner, Gabe Torres, remarked that, “I’d only run one 5K before, and I was really young, so I really didn’t remember what to expect. But while it was good exercise, it was a lot of fun, too. It proved that you can do something big, like run a 5K.” In short, everyone who ran the race had a great time, and the life and legacy of Lt. Joseph Szczerba was honored that day by friends & family coming together and having a good time, getting some good exercise, and supporting a great cause. It was all fast paces and smiling faces at this year’s Lt. Szczerba 5K!