Hero run participants warm up despite the cold rain

9/11 Hero Run participants greet organizer and Lee County Commissioner Greg Frich before the race's opening ceremony / Colby Gallagher

Runners lined up in front of the Leesburg City Hall on Saturday for the 9/11 Heroes Run to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

Despite the rain, organizers say the turnout is strong because of the message of patriotism and supporting our country's heroes, whether they're firemen, marines, police officers or more.

Lee County Commissioner Greg Frich whose business partnered with the Travis Manion Foundation to offer the run says organizers held the race because they couldn't think of a better way to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice than to give a little sacrifice of their own by enduring a run.

The event began with an opening ceremony that included a plaque and statue dedication to the town in honor of Lance Corporal Steve Sutton who was killed in the line of duty last May. Frich says Sutton's statue will be placed in the town square on a concrete stand for all to see when they drive in.

Runners are currently warming up to run either 9.11 kilometers (5.5 mile) or .911 miles. The race begins at 3 p.m. in front of the city hall.

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