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  •  History 




    On Thursday August 12th 2010 at precisely 8.46 AM the Tour of Duty run will make its way from the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles, aiming to arrive in New York City on September 11th 4,600 miles and 31 days later, it is a journey that we are very much looking forward to.

    The beginnings of this run, this event, go back many years. The Melbourne members of the Tour of Duty team have been participating in, and organising road running events since 1983, claiming the World record for marathon relay road running whilst circumnavigating Australia in 1983 (15,600KMs), then again in 1991, increasing that record to 17,500KMs. It is a long and proud History.

    More recently members of this group have participated in the organisation and running of the "ANZAC" runs, 2005, 06 and 07, from The Australian War Museum in Canberra to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 1,100 Kms covered in three days, culminating on Anzac Day. The Anzac (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps ) runs were held to pay respect to the fallen soldiers that have given of their lives to defend our country and heritage. A natural progression of these runs was "The Great Anzac Run" (visit www.thegreatanzacrun.com), the groups first International run, an event to raise awareness of "The Anzac Spirit" this run conducted in 2008, covered over 4,000kms, from Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, Turkey to The Australian War Memorial, Hyde Park Corner London. More so than ever, as much as these events are about raising financial funds to assist people in need, there was also an emotional attachment, the awareness. To have run from Gallipoli and travelled through France, to have witnessed the battlefields, the cemeteries and monuments, to see first hand the sacrifices these people made decades before, to see the love and respect that these people are still accorded to this very day, to see Australia’s History overseas and the impact that the service of ordinary people, thrown into extraordinary circumstances made on the World was all at once, a humbling and proud experience.

    This journey through Europe could not have been achieved without the assistance of the global community of fire-fighters, it is a family like no other. Throughout Europe we shared the hospitality and kindness of fire-fighters that made that event possible, we learnt that fire-fighters across the globe are so very much alike, in so many ways. Quick to lend a hand, share the load, a joke and a laugh. The willingness to serve and the call to duty is universal.

    We also remember that on September 11, 2001, that we sensed and felt the pain of our brothers on the other side of the globe, that part of our family was hurting, that the good people of this World that choose to serve were being transgressed sinfully, tragically. That men and women that answer the call to duty, that live their lives selflessly for others every day, that believe it is their duty is to serve, would fall on this day, would not go home, would leave behind loved ones, would make the ultimate sacrifice. It is this awareness of family and the understanding of the wider global community of people that sacrifice their lives through service that initiated The Tour of Duty.

    The Tour of Duty Run is an emotional statement. It is the coming together of Australian and American fire-fighters, police officers, military personnel and emergency service workers. We run to remember the people of 9 11, to honour their sacrifice, their courage, their devotion and commitment to duty. Every step of this run is a part of our statement, however humble, that their commitment to duty, to service, will never be forgotten.

    We run,  We remember………


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