Wellington 5K race honors victims of 9/11

Posted at 7:58 AM, Sep 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-11 08:48:58-04

WELLINGTON, Fla.- Runners from across Palm Beach County are remembering the victims of 9-11.

The 9th Annual Jeff Annas Memorial Firefighters 5K Race kicked off at the Wellington Amphitheater at 7:30 a.m.

There were 1,100 participants. They honored the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11.

One person running was a former New York FD firefighter, Christopher McKnight.  

"This whole week it's all I think about," said McKnight. "Twenty-four hours a day. It's burned into my heart."

When the Twin Towers went down, McKnight jumped into action to help at Ground Zero.

"The site was massive, it looked like an Atom bomb dropped," said McKnight. "It was honestly the worst day of my life."

McKnight buried 25 friends that year.

"If I wasn't at the firehouse, I was either down in Ground Zero or at somebody's funeral," said McKnight.

Some participants like Stephanie Wilhelm, ran in firefighting gear. It's the least she says she can do to support our countries bravest.

"Firefighters and police and military do so much for us everyday to risk their lives for our community and its just my way to give them a tip of my hat to be able to thank them," said Wilhelm, whose husband is a firefighter in Tequesta.

All participants in the race received a medal. The winners in each category got a trophy.

Mitch Guitard won the race at 17:15. Jennifer Rapport had the best time for women at 20:08.

The cost to sign up was $35. All proceeds will go to charity and a scholarship fund for high school students who choose careers that give back to the community.

Road closures will affect Southshore Blvd with limited access from Forest Hill Blvd to Green Briar Blvd until 9 a.m.