Heroes for History 5k honors 9/11, local first responders
Galena Stair Tribute welcomes runners, walkers to historic downtown Sept. 7
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A firefighter runs in full gear as fellow racers support first responders through the Heroes for History Stair Challenge 5k in historic downtown Galena.


GALENA, Ill. – The Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society, in partnership with Galena-area first responders and many local businesses and private donors, will hold its fourth annual Heroes for History Stair Tribute 5K, on Saturday morning, Sept. 7, in historic downtown Galena. The event commemorates the 18-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks while also honoring the brave, selfless men and women first responders who protect us every day.

Registration is now open at History5k.org.

The Heroes for History Stair Tribute is a 5K competitive run/fun walk with Galena’s iconic Green Street staircase as the defining, and most challenging, feature. Those steps were built nearly 100 years ago and were designed to be “one of the most beautiful places in the city,” stated a Sept. 11, 1919 Galena Weekly Gazette article.

At a previous year’s race, firefighters from four states climbed those stairs – a poignant reminder of the incredible bravery first responders demonstrated as they scaled the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Net proceeds from “Heroes for History” will be split between the Historical Society and Jo Daviess County-based first responder agencies. Neighbors from communities throughout the area are invited to participate – as race/fun run participants, “ghost” fundraisers or spectators. Many will want to be there simply to say “thank you.”

To complete the “Heroes for History” competitive course, competitors will be doing seven laps – that’s up the Green Street steps starting at Bench Street, turning right and running along Prospect Street all the way to Hill Street, back down to Bench, and south back to the Green Street steps. Repeat six more times! Some training is advised to manage this challenging course.

The fun run/walk is not timed and is just one lap… but walkers still have to scale the stairs once!

Event sign-in and staging will take place at the 100 block of Green Street, between City Hall and the Old Post Office.

Entrance fee is $35 for the timed competition, $30 for active first responders, $25 for fun run/walkers. Each paying participant will receive an event T-shirt and refreshments. Runners will be professionally timed and race awards will be presented to men and women – under 15, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70 and older.

Participants are encouraged to secure pledges, and prizes will be awarded to the top three fundraisers. Because this is a fundraising event, participants are asked to secure pledges of a minimum of $50. New to this year’s race: each participant will receive a unique URL once they are signed up on the registration site. This URL can be used to send invitations to join teams, invite runners and to raise funds.

Any and all participants also are invited to dress up as their favorite hero.

All race participants will gain free admission to the Galena Fire Department Street Dance, being held later in the evening on the Green Street Plaza and in front of City Hall. There will also be children’s games and a bounce house.

The Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society thanks the DeSoto House Hotel for becoming the Gold Title Sponsor of this event once again.

Registration deadline is Aug. 29. Watch for more details on the Historical Society website, www.galenahistory.org. Go to History5k.org to register.