Kicking off in September, Travis Manion Foundation will host its 13th annual 9/11 Heroes Run 5K Race Series. Typically held in more than 90 locations across the country and around the world, this year’s race series will have a much bigger focus on the opportunity for runners to participate virtually. The race series is dedicated to uniting communities to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost on 9/11, as well as to honor veterans, military and first responders who dedicate their lives to serving others.
In 2019, Philadelphia, Doylestown, Pennsauken and West Chester hosted the 9/11 Heroes Run, which has taken place in those communities for the past several years. This year, following state and local safety guidelines, the races will take place virtually, and the public is invited to register to participate individually. The virtual runner option allows participants to choose their own date, time and location where they can run, walk or ruck the 5K at their own pace. Registration details and more information about the virtual 9/11 Heroes Run can be found at 911heroesrun.org.
To ensure the safety and well-being of all participants, volunteers, Spartans and members of the community are a top priority, TMF has been working closely with local and state officials. The majority of races across the country have transitioned to virtual participation, with a small number of cities scheduled to still host physical races with designated safety protocols in place. In the Philadelphia region, there is a physical race still scheduled to take place following protocols at Russell E Elliot Memorial Park, 152 Buck Road, Feasterville, on Sept. 12, starting at 9 a.m.
The run was inspired by Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who was killed by an enemy sniper in Iraq in April 2007 as he selflessly pulled his wounded teammates to safety. Before his final deployment, Manion visited Rescue One in New York City – famous for losing almost all of their men on 9/11 – and returned home with a deeper passion about why he was fighting in Iraq. At its heart, the 9/11 Heroes Run is a tribute to a personal commitment to never forget the heroes of that day. The run will also acknowledge the hard work of the nation’s frontline healthcare workers, who especially this year, have continued to serve selflessly and valiantly during a time of uncertainty against an invisible enemy.
For the 2020 race series, TMF has again partnered with GORUCK for a ruck division. Rucking is moving with weight on your back and is the foundation of Special Forces training. It combines strength and cardio, is adaptable to anyone’s goals based on the amount of weight carried, and is a popular, empowering activity for those who hate to run or find it boring. As part of the marketing campaign for the 2020 virtual 9/11 Heroes Run Series, TMF has released a video to inspire runners and walkers of all ages to participate, which can be seen here.
“While in most communities we may not be able to stand side by side this September, now more than ever I challenge all Americans to join our Spartans as we honor those who stepped up when our country needed them the most following the events of 9/11. We’ll also run to honor our frontline workers, who exemplify that same bravery everyday as they risk their lives battling an invisible enemy,” said TMF president Ryan Manion. “The sense of unity displayed in the days following 9/11 and during our current crisis exemplifies the strength of our national character, and inspires us to honor the legacies of those lost, as well as those who still lead the charge.”
Visit 911heroesrun.org and travismanion.org for more information.