Running in honor of fallen 911 victims

By Crystal Price - bio | email

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - A group of first responders from the United States and Australia are embarking on a cross country run in honor of the fallen victims of 911.

The group consists of 36 firefighters, policemen, and paramedics began their journey in Santa Monica, California on August 12th and plan to arrive at the World Trade Center site on September 11th.

While the runners have covered approximately 2,300 miles thus far, they plan to cover 4,600 miles across 20 states in 31 days.

The 36 runners are separated into three different groups that take turns running every two miles.

While the group is thinking of the fallen victims with each run, they also set aside a certain part of everyday to reflect on the national tragedy.

"Every morning the run stops at 8:46 a.m. and we read 16 names of the victims of 911," said Sergio Reynoso, a firefighter captain from the Las Vegas Fire Department.

The charity run referred to as the "Tour of Duty" charity run also raises money for a variety of charities, including the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, among others.

The Australian first responders who participated said they were happy to be a part of the "Tour of Duty" run.

"Firefighters are firefighters all over the world," said Rob Frey, a first responder from Australia. "When you hurt one of us you hurt all of us. This is the least we can do as Australians is to join our American firefighters."

While the miles may get to them, the runners said there is definitely something that keeps them going.

"Once we get to New York City after 31 days of running on the highway it will definitely be one of the most adventurous things I've ever done," said Loewen. "Everybody's been dreaming about getting to the final destination point on September 11th."

If you would like to make a donation to the Tour of Duty charity run, click on "Tour of Duty" to the right.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.