“I do it for them:” Tunnel to Towers 5k returns, honors fallen heroes from 9/11


LEWES, Del.- “And it’s great running with the firemen out there. They’re all geared up and it kind of pushes you a little bit because there was a few times I wanted to quit,” Runner Ben Hollinger said.

Sunday, runners of all ages hit the pavement for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s 5k Run & Walk Series at Fort Miles-Cape Henlopen State Park to honor the legacy of Stephen Siller.

Siller was a New York City firefighter who tragically lost his life on 9/11. “Organizations like Tunnel to Towers do some much for the victims and families of the victims and that’s why we’re here today to represent that,” Delaware State Police PMAJ William Crotty said.

Racers also ran to remember all those who lost their lives that day back in 2001 and to rally behind first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice today.

Tunnel to Towers Delmarva Event Coordinator Brian Brubaker says that hits home even more now due to the recent loss of those on the frontline on Delmarva. “Two examples are Corporal Steven Ballard of the Delaware State Police and Corporal Glenn Hilliard of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office. They went to work that morning not knowing what they were going to face and unfortunately they did not return home,” Brubaker said.

“We have made a commitment to make sure that these individuals that lay their lives down on the line for their communities are never forgotten about.”

We got to the chance to catch up with one runner who’s number held a special meaning. “There was 343 of the New York City Fire Department that lost their lives in the towers during 9/11,” Firefighter & Runner Allen Jackson said.

“For all that serve. First responders, military, police, firefighters, EMT, I do it for them.”

The course distance is actually longer than your average 5k, sitting at 3.43 miles as a tribute to those fallen first responders.

Yet, those we spoke with say the distance was no match for the true meaning of the day and that kept their feet moving. “Everybody was cheering each other on when we were out there. So it was pretty awesome,” Hollinger said.

If you weren’t able to make it out to Sunday’s race you can still join in on the cause.

Tunnel to Towers continues their fundraising efforts and accepting donations.

To find out about of T2T events, click here

Categories: Delaware, Local News