Chapel gears up to host 9/11 memorial run

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

The Tinker Chapel Community is hosting its second annual Run and Ruck Memorial to honor the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The run, which will take place at 7 a.m. Sept. 9, will include a 5k run as well as a 2k ruck walk.

The theme “United, Remember, Defend” seeks to continue to encourage and strengthen resiliency for Airmen and their families. Chaplain (Capt.) Bill Mesaeh said that they are trying to better promote building resiliency by having first responders, both from on-base and the greater Oklahoma City area, to remind Airmen of the community which stands behind them.

“We want people to leave feeling invigorated and supported by their community,” Chaplain Mesaeh said.

He hopes the route, which is still to be determined, will be lined with supporters cheering on and encouraging the participants. Additionally, Chaplain Mesaeh said parishioners from the TCC congregations will be invited to hold up promising messages for the Airmen.

In its 2015 berth, the race rounded up around 600 participants. Chaplain (1st Lt.) Kory Capps said this year the goal is to have at least 1,000 participants. All members of the Tinker community are invited to partake and support the event. Chaplain Mesaeh said this year participants will have the option of running the course individually or with a team, with the hopes of engaging more participants and strengthening the spiritual pillar among Airmen and their families.

A kick-off luncheon will be held at the Tinker Club at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 8. Tinker’s own Airmen will share personal tributes and stories of remembrance, followed by motivational thoughts from the chaplains.

Registration is now open. Individuals and teams can sign up at ​www.tinker911.eventbrite.com. There is no fee to register, and the first 800 registrants will receive a complimentary dry-fit tee shirt and “swag bag.” And, all those partaking in the endeavor will receive a commemorative coin. Run packets can be collected at the chapel the week prior to the run.