Fire Department Members participate in 5K race  (May 9, 2009)

Several of Schooley's Mountain firefighters ran the 5K race at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Leonardo today. The "Fear the Pier" annual race is run on the world's largest Navy Pier. The race draws amateur and professional runners to the Earle waterfront complex for the opportunity to run an official race on the 2.5-mile long Navy pier that extends into Sandy Hook Bay.

"This is always a popular event, not only for the runners, but for spectators who enjoy watching the meets," according to Mary Borree with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office at Naval Weapons Station Earle.

The station's Pier Complex is one of the longest "finger piers" in the world. The pier stretches 2.2 miles into the Sandy Hook bay and comprises 2.9 miles of pier/trestle surface area.

The station – named after RADM Ralph Earle, the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance during WWI – was opened in 1943 to help with the war effort. When a pressing need developed during World War II for an ammunition depot in the greater New York area, a site in Monmouth County, New Jersey was chosen. The waterfront location provided ships with a safe and operationally advantageous port to take on ammunition, while an inland storage area, safe from possible submarine bombardment, provided access to commercial rail facilities with lines coming from the west, where the majority of ammunition shipments originated.

Firefighters and family members participating were: FF Kevin Strawn, FF Julia Adams, FF Andrew Boho, FF Emily Elsasser, FF Dean Harrington (team organizer), Technical Rescuer Ellen Pierce, FF Al Pierce, Doris Harrington, FF Tom Derasmi, Chase Derasmi, and FF Ryan Welch.

Results of the race will be posted shortly at raceforum.com.