Health & Fit: Runners Take On Relay From Pentagon to Ground Zero to Honor 9/11 Victims - PressFrom - US
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Health & FitRunners Take On Relay From Pentagon to Ground Zero to Honor 9/11 Victims

22:25  11 september  2019
22:25  11 september  2019 Source:   runnersworld.com

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Runners Take On Relay From Pentagon to Ground Zero to Honor 9/11 Victims© Courtesy of 9/11 Promise Run Since 2016, relay teams have run 240 miles to honor the civilians and first responders lost the day of the attacks of September 11.
  • On September 9, a three-day running relay began to commemorate and honor the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • The 9/11 Promise Run will start at the Pentagon and finish at Ground Zero on Wednesday evening. It will stop at firehouses along the way to thank first responders.
  • A bike relay will also take place at the same time going from the Pentagon to the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania.

The tragedy of 9/11 changed our country in countless ways, and members of one relay are doing their part to make sure the victims will never be forgotten: They are running from the Pentagon to Ground Zero to memorialize the events that took place and the lives lost.

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The idea for the 9/11 Promise Run started in 2016 while founder and president Jennifer DePoto was training for a half Ironman. She had felt called to do something to remember the victims, but she didn’t know what. Then, something came to her.

“I come from a family of first responders and people in the military,” DePoto told Runner’s World. “I’m a big believer that sports can be very healing and also unify people. So, I felt my heart getting called to help the greater good and take the gifts I have and raise money for charities.”

Thus, the run was born. It debuted the days before the 9/11 anniversary in 2016, with one team of seven people running the entire 240-mile distance from Washington, D.C., to New York City. That year, they raised money for two foundations: Tuesday’s Children and the FeelGood Foundation. Both organizations were born out of 9/11.

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From there, the event grew. In 2017, the event brought in 27 runners from three teams who raised money for Operation Homefront, Hope for the Warriors, and the American Red Cross (for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas).

For last year’s relay, 65 people ran for Hope for the Warriors.

“As you look at it, in year one, we did charities right out of 9/11, then charities for the military, and then the future of our country last year,” DePoto said. “That really inspired us to create a nonprofit this year, so now all of the money we are raising is going to scholarships to the children of first responders and military who have either died or become injured (to include PTSD) and are not able to return to work.”

That is the goal this year as dozens of runners make the trek to raise $100,000 for the first batch of scholarships, which will be distributed for the 2020-21 school year. This year’s relay started at 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning, and the runners hope to make it to Ground Zero by Wednesday evening.

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In the relay, every team carries both a Flag of Honor—which contains the names of all those who perished in the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon, United Airlines flights 175 and 93 and American Airlines flights 11 and 77—and a Flag of Heroes, which includes the names of the emergency services personnel who gave their lives so that others could live.

Runners are free to run as far as they like, as there are no designated transition spots, and they can change runners at any point. Mileage is front-loaded on the three-day journey—98 miles the first day—to allow runners to share a special run to the Ground Zero Memorial on 9/11.

Teams also stop at firehouses along the route to thank first responders. In addition to the shared Ground Zero run, all runners also completed a 3-mile section in Philadelphia alongside a Philadelphia Fire Department escort with the department’s current recruiting class. The run ended at the firehouse near City Hall.

“The whole event is just incredible,” DePoto said. “More firehouses have gotten involved each year and more random communities have as well. As we hear every year, this is a life-changing experience for our runners.”

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In addition to a run, a bike relay was added this year that started at the Pentagon and rode to the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. There were 17 cyclists for the inaugural ride.

“We always wanted to honor Flight 93, but could never figure out how,” DePoto said. “Then, a couple of guys who ran it last year had the idea to bike it, so we have two events now going at the same time.”

The bike ride finished Tuesday night in Bedford, Pennsylvania, three miles from the Flight 93 memorial. The cyclists will attend the annual 9/11 ceremony at the site this morning.

The runners are still going as they make their way to New York City. Once all teams are assembled, they will run together to the memorial at Ground Zero. They plan to arrive there around 6:30 p.m.

If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.

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