The 10-year anniversary of 9/11 has prompted a lot of memorial services, days of remembrance and other commemorations coming up. The fact that Sept. 11 this year falls on a Sunday means that a lot of people who might otherwise have to work can participate.
In Baltimore, there's an event that is really close to my heart - the Run to Remember, a 5K that begins at the Baltimore Police Department headquarters at 8:46 a.m., the time American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. In addition to the city's regular running crowd, the race includes special categories for law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel, and it always draws a huge following, including several firefighters running in full gear (if that's not dedication, I don't know what is). The race benefits the Baltimore City Police Foundation (in particular, the Mounted Unit and the Explorers Group) and the Baltimore City Fire Foundation.
Photo by Bill Lear
It's always an overwhelmingly emotional day, paying tribute to the 68 Maryland residents who died on Sept. 11, 2001. The huge tide of runners flowing through the streets - folks wearing red, white and blue, groups of runners with black armbands or other items that commemorate lost loved ones - is impossible to watch without choking up.
A lot of local health clubs have brochures and posters for the race at their front desk, and I know of at least one boot camp class that signs up en masse and runs every year. It's a great opportunity to show support, but an equally good way for participants to challenge themselves. The whole emotional aspect is incredibly motivational.
Baltimore isn't the only city with a commemorative 9/11 5K. A quick Internet search turned up a dozen such races on the first page alone, and I know there are a lot more events of different distances, different types and more. And I'm sure other clubs are tying into them and encouraging their members to participate.
What is your facility doing? Anything? I'd love to hear about some other special events to memorialize a day we wish we didn't have to.