By Amber Rosado Daily American
A highly dedicated group of runners will be running 93 miles through Saturday night from Pittsburgh to the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel near Shanksville. The runners will arrive at the chapel at 9:11 a.m. on Sunday morning as part of the 93 Mile Relay Honoring Flight 93.
Kate Bielak, Team Red, White and Blue chapter captain for western Pennsylvania, said the team is a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans through physical fitness and community service. This year, the group is raising money for the chapel. Flight 93 was hijacked on September 11, 2001, and crashed in a Stonycreek Township field. All 40 passengers and crew were killed. The chapel has become a destination point for people visiting the crash site.
She said the group was welcomed at the chapel by Bishop Al Mascherino last year. Mascherino died in February.
“We were saddened to hear about his passing. The chapel is an intimate portrait to the lives lost on Flight 93,” Bielak said. Archbishop Ramzi Musallam, Catholic Church of the East, has taken over at the chapel.
Bielak said there is a service planned in the chapel Sunday morning for the group and community. She said it will be a celebration to veterans and their families. Bielak encourages the community to run to the chapel as one group, carrying American flags.
First-time runner Mike Weaver is participating with five others from Indian County.
Weaver heard about the relay through his work with veteran outreach programs in Indiana County.
“It’s a healthy organization that helps and gives back to veterans,” he said. During the relay, Weaver plans to run around 15 miles.
He said this race is a worthy cause that needs more community support.
“There’s this misconception that to run the race you have to be an ultra marathon runner or a veteran. In the race, there’s a wide variety of participants,” Weaver said.