NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of British firefighters is showing their support for New York’s Bravest this week by attempting to run to each of the FDNY’s 252 firehouses.
As CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported, the four men from North Yorkshire, England, came up with the idea after hearing the story of Stephen Siller, the firefighter who abandoned his truck and ran through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel with all his gear toward the World Trade Center on 9/11. He was killed when the South Tower collapsed.
“That inspired me to come to America and to run to all the firehouses in honor of him and his 342 brothers” who died on 9/11, said British firefighter Justin Rowe.
Siller is also the inspiration behind the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk, which will be held Sunday.
The running firefighters routinely participate in long-distances races for charity in the United Kingdom. They are visiting about 30 firehouses a day and estimate they’ll have run about 300 miles this week — a challenge they’ll complete by participating in the Tunnel to Towers race. They also plan to lay a wreath at Ground Zero.
“Yesterday, we did 24 miles,” said Mark Naylor. “The day before that, we did 44.
“We’ve had some tough days, and we’ve just got to focus on what we’re here for, and that’s pushed us through,” Naylor added. “When you hit the wall when you’re running, when you get to 26 miles and your body wants to give up, you just keep thinking it’s only on a very small scale what we’re going through compared to some of the sacrifices our armed forces and FDNY brothers have put themselves through.”
The men stop at each of the firehouses to shake hands with their brethren and drop off badges noting their support for the FDNY.
“This is unbelievable,” said FDNY Lt. Jack Kielty. “Pretty humbling.”
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