In remembrance of the events that transpired on September 11, 2001, and in recognition of the 20th anniversary, The Valdosta Fire Department will host a 9/11 Memorial 5K Run on September 11, 2021. The event is meant to pay homage to those who lost their lives or the lives of loved ones and to acknowledge all the brave first responders on scene that day.
Members of the Fire Department hope to make this event an annual occurrence to honor all the fallen public service members. “Twenty years ago, our lives were forever changed. We wanted to create an event that would help remember the lives lost on 9/11, acknowledge those who are still impacted today, and showcase the pride we have for our country,” said Valdosta Fire Corporal Melissa Roe.
The effects of September 11th extend far beyond the day of the attacks. According to the Never Forget Project, over 2,000 active duty Fire Department personnel (Firefighters and EMS) are still facing health problems related to the attacks.
The Ray Pfeifer Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization that assists all 9/11 first responders, firefighters, and police with medical needs not covered by insurance. Proceeds from the 5K event will go towards aiding the Pfeifer Foundation in its mission. The foundation was established in memory of Ray Pfeifer, an NYC firefighter who died on May 28, 2017, from 9/11 cancer.
“On September 11, 2001, we promised that we would Never Forget. With this 5K we want to show that we haven’t forgotten. We hope to have a big turn out,” said Valdosta Fire Lieutenant Justin Ply.
The race will have a patriotic theme, and the Fire Department encourages community members to show their support by lining the racecourse with decorated signs and/or costumes.
The race will take place in Downtown Valdosta. A complete course will be announced at a later date.
The racecourse will be set up differently from a traditional 5K as it will have two finish lines. The first is the official timed 5K distance for any runners using the race as a qualifying event and a second ceremonial finish line that will be a total of 3.43 miles to account for the 343 firefighters of the New York City Fire Department who lost their lives.
All participants that register on or before August 31 will receive a 9/11 Memorial 5K Run T-Shirt on the morning of race day.
Registration and Entry Fees:
- Now to August 16 – $20.00
- August 17 through August 31 – $25.00
- September 1 through day of race – $30.00 (t-shirt not guaranteed)
Family Discount $52 (deadline August 16 for t-shirt) $70 through August 31. After August 31, there is no more family discount – regular registration fees apply. Family discount for Parent/s children 16yrs of age or under. Waiver must be signed for all runners.
Pre-registration may be made through https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/Valdosta/911Memorial5KRoadRace or at www.valdostacity.com. Registration is available online only. Checks/cash will only be accepted on race day applications. 100% of proceeds will go to the Ray Pfeifer Foundation.
During the morning of the event, runners should check-in at the registration table to receive their number and T-shirt. Day-of registration will start at 7 am. The race will officially begin at 7:59 am, the time that the first plane departed the airport.
Awards: Trophies to overall male and female winners in the Open and Masters (40+) division Awards to the top 2 finishers (male and female) in the following age groups: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+ – special award to the Youngest and Oldest.
Though dressing up is not required, it is strongly encouraged as VFD will award the most patriotic runner.
Refreshments: Water will be provided before, during, and after the race for everyone.
Please visit https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/Valdosta/911Memorial5KRoadRace to register. As a symbol of those that were called to action that day, all first responders will run free, provided they run in full gear/uniform. First responders please call 229-259-3548 to register.