CHATHAM, NJ - R.J. Eager recalls the time five years ago when his good friend Jaime Pinaire talked him into running in a physically grueling Spartan race.
"He said it was only eight miles and that I could walk if I wanted to," Eager said. "I had no idea what I was getting into."
Eager isn't big on Spartan races anymore, but there was no coaxing necessary on Saturday when he ran in the second annual James A. Pinaire 5K race in honor of his Chatham friend, who was tragically lost in a car accident four years ago.
Eager wore the T-shirts Pinaire made for the Spartan run "Vini, Vidi, Mudi," which loosely translates to "I came, I saw, I muddered."
Pinaire died on his return trip from a tutoring session with a student at Robert Treat Academy. Students from the Newark school came to support the race, which benefits students in need with education scholarships. The James A. Pinaire III Foundation has added a Chatham High student to its scholarship list. The student will be named at the high school graduation on June 19.
"He was a good teacher and he helped me with a lot of math skills," Jazlyn Santiago, a Robert Treat Academy student, said. "It was devastating when he passed away. Everybody in the whole school felt it."
More than 200 participated in the 2nd annual James Pinaire 5K race and Fun Run
Pinaire was a 2008 graduate of CHS, where he was a pitcher and right fielder on the Cougar baseball team and a quarterback of the football team.
After he obtained his math degree from Muhlenberg College, he returned to Chatham and taught as a substitute teacher at Chatham High and the Chatham Middle School. In his free time, he played on the Chatham All Stars Men’s Softball team and ran Tough Mudder and Spartan obstacle races, earning his Spartan Trifecta medal in 2014.
In August 2014, Pinaire started teaching math and was a 7th grade homeroom teacher at the Robert Treat Academy, a charter school in Newark. He was involved in a fatal car accident in December 2014 on his way home from tutoring a young student.
Race results from the 2ns annual James A. Pinaire Foundation 5K Race
Laura Kapilow - 1st
Leigh McCaffrey - 2nd
Samantha Poillucci - 3rd
Stuart Haynes - 1st
John Romano - 2nd
Kyle Brogan - 3rd
Girls 13 and under -
Samantha Poillucci - 1st
Alison Barton - 2nd
Jasmine Delgado - 3rd
Boys 13 and under -
John Sutton - 1st
Alex Krack - 2nd
Emre Kusmin - 3rd
The Pinaire’s formed the James A. Pinaire III Foundation in 2016 in Jaime’s memory to raise monies to promote educational opportunities, including scholarship awards to assist recipients with tuition and expenses related to high school educational institutions and graduating student-athletes with financial need who intend to pursue a college degree in either math or education, including graduating students from Robert Treat Academy and CHS.