Amid the thousands of runners who will take part in the annual Beach to Bay Marathon on Saturday, one police officer will likely stand out, not necessarily for where he finishes, but rather for how he completes the race to honor fallen Police Chief Floyd Simpson.
Corpus Christi Police Assistant Chief Mark Schauer is running this race with one goal in mind: to honor his good friend.
The 43rd Annual Beach to Bay Marathon is a six-leg running event, in relay and full marathon format that totals about 26.2 miles. Traditionally it honors military servicemen and women on Armed Forces Day.
“I’m thinking when I first started running it, there might have been 5,000 and now it’s 10,000-12,000 something like that. It has grown exponentially,” said CCPD. Assistant Chief Mark Schauer.
Corpus Christi Police Assistant Chief Mark Schauer, who has been running the Beach to Bay event for 11 years, will be running his 3rd straight full marathon in honor of Chief Floyd Simpson and other fallen police officers.
“I run in his honor, but we also have had 6 police officers killed in the line of duty within the recent history here in Corpus Christi. So I also would like to run in their honor and remember them and pray for them throughout the race,” said Schauer.
Police Chief Floyd Simpson was killed in a motorcycle crash in Port Aransas in May of 2015 at just 51 years old.
“He had a great personality. His laugh is something you could not forget. He had a lot of life behind his laugh, and also, he was a good leader. He was very good at the way he led the department I thought, so he is missed,” said Schauer.
One would think running in memory of the fallen officers would give Schauer a heavy heart, but he feels just the opposite.
“It is actually a lifter upper. When I think of Chief Simpson, I think of the good memories. And when I think of those other officers, the ones I have known who have died in the line of duty, I think of the good memories of them,” said Schauer.
The Beach to Bay Relay Marathon is a full-scale relay marathon (a true marathon is 26.2 miles) that begins on beautiful and scenic North Padre Island, crossing the Laguna Madre along the JFK Causeway then traveling through Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and finishing on Shoreline Boulevard, with the bay as a backdrop.
The race culminates with a huge after race celebration and pizza party.
The very first Beach to Bay Relay Marathon was held in 1975, as a way for runners to gather and honor our nation’s military personnel.
Now, 43 years later the tradition continues, and the race is held on the third Saturday in May or Armed Forces Day.