Alicia Arnold, director of the YMCA, Lee County Branch, outlines the planned route for the 911 Heroes Run in Leesburg. The event is held in association with the Travis Manion Foundation and honors military men and women fallen in the line of duty.
LEESBURG, Ga. — A community run of 9.11 kilometers is planned for Feb. 23 in Leesburg to honor all military personnel, local and national, who have fallen in the line of duty.
Specifically, the run will honor Lance Cpl. Steve Sutton, a Leesburg native who was killed in Afghanistan last year.
The event is in association with the Travis Manion Foundation, formed to assist military veterans and the families of fallen heroes.
“No nation achieves greatness without noble sacrifice of its sons and daughters,” Lee County Commissioner Greg Frich said, “and the Travis Manion Foundation seeks to preserve those qualities in our nation’s communities.”
Frich is also program manager for Raytheon, the run’s sponsor and one of the nation’s largest defense industry contractors.
According to Alicia Arnold, director of the YMCA’s Lee County branch, the 9.11-kilometer run (about 5.66 miles) will begin at the Lee County Courthouse and make a loop past the high school and other schools, including Lee Elementary, the county’s Ninth Grade Academy, Kinchafoonee Primary, Twin Oaks Elementary and Lee Middle School, before ending back at the courthouse.
Event officials said there will be a 1 p.m. military ceremony at the city’s Veterans Park to unveil a memorial honoring Sutton.
At 3 p.m., the Lee YMCA branch will kick off the 9.11k run and a shorter .911-mile “run run.” T-shirts and race packets will be given to all pre-registered participants.
Race participants may register in advance at the Albany or Lee YMCA branches, online at www.911heroesrun.com or at the event beginning at 1 p.m. in downtown Leesburg.
Entry fees are $9.11 per person for the .911k fun run.
The 9.11k event is $20 per person or $10 for a student.
Families to four may participate for $40. Checks should be made payable to the Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run.
“The 9/11 Heroes Run focuses on students and family,” Frich said. “The community is the fabric of our nation. If you have strong communities, you have a strong nation. This is a strong community, and we seek to keep it strong, preserve it and pass it on to future generations.”