9/11 Memorial Run Across U.S. Begins

The "Tour of Duty Run" began at the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles on Aug. 12 shortly before 9 a.m., aiming to arrive in New York City on Sept. 11 after 4,600 miles and 31 days.

According to the group's website, American and Australian firefighters, police officers, military personnel and emergency service personnel are banding together to run across the U.S. from coast to coast.

"The firefighters and emergency service workers of America and Australia will come together as allies to remember our fallen colleagues, our brothers and sisters, our family," the website states. "We run to remember them."

The Melbourne, Australia members of the Tour of Duty Run team have been participating in and organizing road running events since 1983, claiming the World record for marathon relay road running while circumnavigating Australia in 1983 (15,600 km), then again in 1991, increasing that record to 17,500 km.

Monday at 2:30 a.m., members ran across the Bullhead City/Laughlin Bridge in Arizona, meeting up with Bullhead City Firefighter Mike Villagran and Public Information Officer Larry Tunforss.

Villagran (in an ambulance) and Tunforss (in a department SUV) escorted the running team up Highway 68 to the top of Union Pass. Tunforss reports that the Arizona Department of Public Safety is assisting in the escort while the group is running through Arizona.

At the top of Union Pass, members from the Golden Valley Fire Department took over escorting the team to Kingman, Tunforss said.

The team's Web site provides GPS tracking as the group heads to New York, as well as bios of the American and Austrian participants.