After 9/11 the country really came out to support public safety. One of things people who were on site at the Pentagon, in New York, and in Pennsylvania all talk about is the community spirit we had in September and October 2001.
Our own community came out in force to help and support Arlington public safety. We wanted to say thank you for their support but did not know how to do that. How can we have an event where public safety and the community can rub elbows together?
Before the inception of The Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial Race I traveled with other retired police officers to towns who hosted similar races. As we ran in those races we wondered, “Why don’t we have a local 9/11 5K?” The idea for the race blossomed from there.
The first Arlington 9/11 Race was held on September 7, 2002, with 2,600 runners, and raised approximately $40,000. We donated those funds to 9/11 charities and after a couple of years those charities were overfunded. Since then we have donated to various charities who support soldiers and those who serve our country. Funds from this year’s race go to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Pentagon Memorial Fund and the Shadow Warriors Project.
Our race and Pacers Running are a little bit intertwined. Around year two or three of the race the Pacers community approached us asked is they needed any help. Pacers shares their people with us to make it all work and they really had to direct us on intricacies of modern race management. Our race registration does not close until an hour before the race begins, we could not offer that without the support of Pacers Running. Pacers tie to the community helps us get runners, and we have to have the runners.
The team component of the event put us on the map and this year we have 200 registered teams. People want to be together, especially when it comes to an event like this. We have had over 30,0000 people run the race and have had participants from all 50 states. This is a family event, it is not about the beer, it is about coming together to remember. We put our hearts on the line to put on a quality event
I am very proud, amazingly proud, this race has made it 15 years. We have all stuck together for 15 years. We continue to come together, and in the Washington area where change occurs on the nanosecond, we keep this event alive. Our goal is to keep the race going for 20 years and to raise a million dollars for charity.
As Sean said race registration is open until an hour before the race. The race starts at 6pm tomorrow night, September 9th in Crystal City. For more information check out the Arlington 9/11 Race.