Tunnel to Towers runners climb steps at One World Trade Center, raise $500k

Emotions ran high after runners completed the Tunnel to Towers Tower Climb at One World Trade Center Sunday.

“When I was running up all I could think about is all the people who were trying to run down to get out of the building,” said Tricia O’Hara, one out of a thousand runners from around the globe who ran up 2,226 steps to the 104th floor. “I’ll never forget that phone call, wishing me happy birthday. And then five minutes later, my friends says 'turn on the TV, a plan has just run into the World Trade Center,'” she said with tears in her eyes.

One of the most unexpected stories for Lydia Mazza was a marriage proposal from firefighter Jim Busch, after they finished the stair climb together.

“I had no idea this was coming at all, it’s very special, very memorable,” she said.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation honors the memory of Stephen Siller, a NYC firefighter who lost his life on 9/11 after strapping on his gear and running through the Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.

Money raised goes to first responders, service men and women in need, and their families.

More than $500,000 was raised this year at the stair climb - it will go towards a smart home for a service member who was seriously injured at war.