After 18 months of planning and hundreds, possibly thousands, of training miles run the ‘Fire House Run’ Team are almost ready to depart.
On Saturday the 21st September 2013 at 10am, four UK firefighters from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service -Station Manager Andy Blades (Scarborough station), Station Manager Mark Naylor (Whitby station), Firefighter Terence Gregg (York station) and Watch Manager Justin Rowe (Malton station)- will attempt an endurance run to the 225 fire houses in the 5 boroughs of New York.
The team will start at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation HQ on Staten Island, and then run through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. In order to achieve this, they expect to be running for 7 days and running an average of 30 miles per day. As this is the first time that this event has been done, it is being regarded stateside as a ‘world record attempt’.
The team are all serving members of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and have completed several endurance running events in the past including pulling a 100kg trailer from London to York and last year and running with the same trailer from coast to coast following the Trans - Pennine trail. These events have raised thousands of pounds for various charities and the challenge in New York is another opportunity for the team to raise funds.
This event will be raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity and Macmillan Cancer Trust in the UK and The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation in the USA.
Once their historic run is complete, the team will also visit the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero, and then lay a wreath of poppies at Engine 10 Ladder10, Liberty Street on behalf of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Finally the team will take part in the annual 5km Tunnel to Tower Run; Honour of Brooklyn Firefighter Stephen Siller from Squad 1, who returned to duty on 9/11 and headed towards the World Trade Centre when they were attacked. Stephen was prohibited from entering the Brooklyn Tunnel in his truck so he raced, on foot, towards the site with 60lbs of gear strapped to his back. He was last seen on West and Liberty Street where he, more than likely, went looking for his squad, all of whom perished. The Tunnel to Towers Run retraces Stephens’s footsteps on that fateful day.
The team are self-funded, however they have been kindly sponsored by; North Yorkshire based company McKecknie Rosti who have assisted with the cost of the flights, Sweatshop Running and Whitby Seafoods are kindly supplying the team with running kit, and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Lt Jack Kielty (Fire Department New York) are assisting the team with logistical support.
The team are currently training hard both individually and together, with monthly team runs taking place. This will shortly see them doing back to back marathons around city centre locations with the aim of replicating the terrain and the distance that they will experience in New York.
To support the team and make a donation to The Fire Fighters Charity visit their fundraising page;
You can find out more about The Fire Fighters Charity and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation at www.firefighterscharity.org.uk and www.tunneltotowersrun.org/ and more about the team here http://www.northyorksfire.gov.uk/news-events/charity_events/fire_house_run