By Janee Law
Hon. Jerry Asher, a Huntington resident, has been running the Great Cow Harbor 10K Run each year since it began 40 years ago. Each year, he sets out with the goal to complete the race in the time relative to his age – an idea that first came to him from a friend 32 years ago.
This year, at age 76, he tried to clock in under 76 minutes. He nearly did it, running Saturday’s race in 1:16.01.72.
“It’s a huge event for the Town of Huntington, especially for the Village of Northport, and Northport has embraced it and it’s grown to be a national and even an international event, in terms of the runners that it attracts,” said Asher, a state Supreme Court justice based in Riverhead.
He said the race has grown throughout the years, from 1,002 in 1977 to nearly 5,000 this year.
“It’s grown enormously and even though that’s the case, it still retains a small town flavor with a lot of local runners.”
A 1959 Huntington High School graduate, Asher said he was very active growing up, playing on sports teams for high school and college.
“As I got into my middle 30s I needed to do something else to maintain some type of physical fitness so when I saw the race advertised I wanted to see if I could run 6.2 miles,” he said, adding that he was 36 years old his first time and completed the race in 45 minutes. “I thought it was a great race and I kind of made a promise to myself that I’d try to run it every year.”
Along with Asher, Marc Krieg, of Dix Hills, and Bill Oehrlein, of East Northport, have been participating in the race since its inception. Marc Krieg, 74, finished the race with a time of 1:34:35.06, and Bill Oehrlein, 52, finished the race with a time of 54:28.52.
For those who are active and interested in staying in shape, Asher said: give the race a try.
“It will be an exciting and a really good experience, seeing how many people support others in a race,” he said. “But here’s the caveat, make sure you know what the course looks like because there’s an awful lot of hills and you may have to do some walking.”
This year, Alex Kramer, of East Northport, and Marissa Cossaro, of East Northport, finished first among local males and females respectively. Kramer came in with a time of 32:23.29, while Cossaro came in with a time of 36:40.41.
U.S. Olympian Donald Cabral, 27, of Hartford, Connecticut, and Natosha Rogers, 26, of Littleton, Colorado, were the overall male and female winners of the race. Cabral completed the race in 29:24.24 and Rogers completed the race in 33:23.57.