COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's not just another running race. It's not just an event with a starting line and finish line. It's an experience, an experience that transcends time and reminds any and all who participate that September 11, 2001 is much more than a date on the calendar.
The Fifth Annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk will take place on September 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Hundreds of first responders and military service members will take part in the fourth annual event. It's your chance to run or walk alongside them and support a most worthy cause.
The run/walk serves as a living memorial to honor the life and legacy of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller. The father of five was off-duty on his way to Long Island to play golf with his brothers when he heard what was happening at the World Trade Center on September 11. He called his wife to tell her that he had to help those in need.
Siller drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel which had already been closed. He then strapped on 60 pounds of gear and ran the 3.1 miles from the tunnel to the World Trade Center. Siller was among 343 firefighters who died when the Twin Towers collapsed.
The first Tunnel to Towers race was held in September 2002 in New York City. Now, it takes place all over the country, including the Columbia event, which is the only T2T run/walk in South Carolina.
The 3.1 mile USAT-certified course begins near the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Lincoln Street, crosses into West Columbia on the Gervais Street Bridge south on Alexander Road into Cayce and back over the Congaree River on the Blossom Street Bridge to Lincoln Street and the finish line.
In previous years, participants included more than 800 Fort Jackson soldiers running in formation, South Carolina first responders, law enforcement officers, military service members from all branches of the Armed Forces, avid runners, families and teams from businesses and organizations. More than 2,000 people participated. Many more are expected this year.
There will be an opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and an after party with an awards ceremony, music, food, beverages, vendor booths and family friendly activities after the race.
Proceeds from the event go to The Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The foundation supports its programs by using $0.83 of every dollar for charitable causes such as building specially adapted homes for our nation's most catastrophically injured military service members.
A portion of the funds raised will also benefit South Carolina first responders, service members and their families.