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Pair pay homage to a fire hero with US run
TWO firefighters have paid homage to a hero by running a special race in New York in full fire kit.
Simon Beard, aged 26, and Gareth Taylor, 35, both from Droitwich, followed in the footsteps of a hero when they took part in the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers run in New York.
The pair raised more than £2,000 for the Firefighters Charity when they took part in the event on September 29. Thousands of firefighters from around the world joined them in the 5km race to celebrate the lives of those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers 12 years ago.
Among them was 34-year-old father-of-five Stephen Siller who had finished his shift when the first plane hit the towers, but that didn’t stop him racing back to his fire house, throwing on heavy equipment and heading off to help.
When he reached the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel it had already been closed to traffic, so he abandoned his truck and ran through on foot with 60 pounds of gear strapped to his back.
Mr Beard, a firefighter for nearly five years, said it was an emotional day.
“Everyone was having a good time at the beginning, all the way through the tunnel everyone was helping each other along, cheering,” he said. “It’s when you got to the other side – the parade of firefighters was there. It got emotional. The parade hits home how many people were killed. There were lots of family there too.”
The pair, who self-funded their trip to New York, completed the race in full kit.
“The day was absolutely brilliant but the run, even though it was fairly short going through the tunnel, was so hot,” said Mr Beard. “It was really good, I’m glad I did it.
“A big thank you to staff at Barclays in Droitwich for their help and support and Nicol and Co estate agents who made a donation.”
To sponsor the pair, visit justgiving.com/911tunnel2towers or e-mail sbeard@hwfire. org.uk.
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