FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — As many as 5-thousand South Florida runners will lace up their running and walking shoes Saturday, September 13th to benefit military personnel who were catastrophically injured in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 4th annual Tunnel to Towers 5K run in Ft. Lauderdale.

The run is patterned on an event in New York that has grown to include 20 thousand runners.

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The Tunnel To Towers 5K Run & Walk honors and celebrates first responders (fire, police, EMT’s, paramedics) and military service personnel who serve, sacrifice and protect us every day. Proceeds benefit the most catastrophically injured personnel including quadruple and triple amputees who have made extraordinary sacrifices to defend our freedom.

The competition is inspired by the late FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller who was off duty when he learned of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers on 9/11. He went to his station, gathered his gear and tried to drive to the scene but found the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was closed.  Undeterred, he donned his bunker gear and ran through the tunnel to reach Squad 1 at the Twin Towers.  He was one of the 343 FDNY firefighters who lost their lives that day.

The Ft. Lauderdale event is the 2nd largest of nine 5K events conducted across the country in support of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Fort Lauderdale’s Tunnel To Towers 5K Run and Walk will take place at 7:30 a.m. on September 13th at Huizenga Park.

CBS4 is a proud sponsor and anchor Rick Folbaum and Traffic reporter Vanessa Borge will emcee the event.

The proceeds raised by the run, through registration fees and donations, are given to the foundation in Siller’s name.

Through the Building For America’s Bravest program, “Smart Homes” are built for military personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Smart Homes are custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Using “adaptive technology” these homes help these severely injured heroes’ live better and more independent lives.

For more information on the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run & Walk, please visit http://www.T2Trun.org.

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Celebrating our community heroes, the Ft. Lauderdale event will feature a new team competition among fire stations and fire departments.  Each team of  will consist of five runners in turn-out gear to retrace Stephen’s heroic footsteps and show that their fire department has earned the honor of South Florida’s “Strong as Steel” fire house!  The winning South Florida fire department will bring home the Stephen G. Siller 9/11 Steel Award, a beautifully hand-crafted award created from actual ground zero steel.

An additional challenge has also been created for other first responders and military, The Stephen G. Siller Heroes Award, which will be a roving award for the winning team to defend year after year.

There will be road closures and traffic delays ahead of and during the event.

4:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.: East Las Olas Boulevard will be closed from Andrews Avenue to Southeast 3rd Avenue. Las Olas River House traffic will be allowed intermittent access when needed.

4:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M.: Southeast 1st Avenue will be closed from Southeast 2nd Street to Huizenga Plaza.

6:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M.:

  • Eastbound traffic on Broward Boulevard will be merged into a single lane beginning at the intersection of Southwest 1st Avenue.
  • Southbound traffic on North Federal Highway, at the intersection of Broward Boulevard, will be detoured west onto Broward Boulevard and then south onto Northwest 7th Avenue.
  • Eastbound and westbound traffic on Davie Boulevard, between South Federal Highway and Southeast 3rd Avenue, will be merged into single lanes.
  • Northbound and southbound traffic on Southeast 3rd Avenue, between Davie Boulevard and Southeast 6th Street, will also be merged into single lanes.

10:30 A.M. / 11:00 A.M.: Projected time that all listed detours and closures will be re-opened and returned to normal operations.

Event organizers have placed electronic message boards throughout the route to inform motorists of the above closures.

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