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Tunnel vision: Thousands run through Battery tube to honor fallen 9-11 responders - Brooklyn Paper

Tunnel vision: Thousands run through Battery tube to honor fallen 9-11 responders

Honoring heroes: Firefighters waving American flags dashed past the Red Hook starting line of the Tunnel to Towers run on Sept. 30, which organizers stage each year to honor Park Slope firefighter Stephen Siller’s journey on foot through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers on 9-11.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

It was a run to remember!

More than 30,000 do-gooders from around the world descended on Red Hook on Sunday for a 5k walk-run fund-raiser that honored those firefighters and other rescuers who lost their lives responding to the 9-11 attacks 17 years ago.

This year’s Tunnel to Towers run, whose route through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Manhattan commemorates the journey Park Slope firefighter Stephen Siller took to the Twin Towers on foot while wearing 60 pounds of gear that fateful day, drew droves of big-hearted Brooklynites, international participants from England, some 2,500 cadets from upstate U.S. military academy West Point, and runners representing Gold Star families who lost kin in battle — a contingent that turned out in bigger numbers than ever before, according to an event rep.

Athletes, many of whom carried flags or ran in gear like Siller, started their trek on Richards Street, before turning onto Hamilton Avenue and then heading through the tunnel to the finish line near the World Trade Center.

The event, which organizers have staged every year since the 2001 terrorist attack, also attracted notable spectators, including former mayor Rudy Giuliani — who was in office when the horrific incident occurred, helped the city recover in its aftermath, and now works as a personal attorney for President Trump.

Following the main event, participants mingled at a post-race celebration that included a free barbecue, performances by country musician Darryl Worley and West Point’s Benny Havens Band, and watching attendee Katelyn Traut walk away with keys to a brand-new car she won for collecting more donations than any other person in this year’s competition.

The run raised more than $2 million, according to a rep, which went toward the Siller Foundation, an organization the late firefighter’s family established after his death that provides financial aid to families of heros who dedicate their lives to serving their country.

Reach Deputy Editor Anthony Rotunno at arotunno@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303.

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