MOONACHIE, N.J. — Thomas Mulvaney of Moonachie wil be one of 343 people to run the New York City Firefighter Stair Climb March 13 to symbolize the firefighters who died during the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center.
Mulvaney, a Moonachie firefighter, will run up 72 flights of stairs carrying 60 pounds in gear to raise money for Team Red, White, and Blue, a non-profit dedicated to helping veterans connect to their communities.
Mulvaney said he's honored to be one of the 343 competing in the event.
"When i'm training for this and I get tired ... I try to remember I'm doing this not just as a representative for my local firehouse but as a repesentative for one of the 343 people who sacrificed their lives on 9/11," he told Daily Voice. "So if they can do that, they can enter that hell on Earth, I feel like i can suck it up for 20 minutes to just run up and down a bunch of stairs."
The run itself still won't be easy though. Mulvaney ran marathons, 5Ks and a mud race in the past but said the stair climb will be the most difficult yet.
In his practice runs he clocked in just over 19 minutes. His goal is to beat the time of last year's winner of 15 minutes, 49 seconds.
Mulvaney, a Paramus Catholic High School grad, went to Rutgers University and will soon start a new job in legal support. He joined the Moonachie Fire Department three years ago.
He said he wants to represent his department well, but also felt inspired when thinking of the 343 firefighters honored by the race.
The climb is held in March so that those lost can be remembered in more than just one month, Mulvaney said.
"I see it as a source of inspiration for people who go through life constantly searching for a reason not to do something," he said. "I look at what they did and what they accomplished as an inspiration to improve."
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