VIRGINIA BEACH - More than 15,000 runners are expected in Va. Beach this weekend for the Travis Manion Foundation event to honor the more than 9,000 men and women who gave their lives on 9/11 and have died since then.

Virginia Beach Race Directors Jennifer Strickler and Jessica Fernandez both volunteered with the 1st Annual 9/11Heroes run in 2012. Jessica has a personal connection to Travis Manion as her husband attended the US Naval Academy with Travis. Jessica was a previous race director for an overseas race while deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. Jennifer Strickler is very involved with raising money for several foundations that support the military and their families.

The runners will take off Sunday at 9:00 a.m. from the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. One Team, One Fight and Vigilant Watch is the local community partner for 2013.

People can learn more and runners can register at on the event's Website. There will be day-of race registration onsite as well.

'The world has learned Americans are stronger and more resilient than our enemies expected,' former San Diego Race Director and head of the Travis Manion Foundation's San Diego office Amy Looney said. 'You can knock us down, but we're going to get right up again stronger than ever - with a passion for doing the right thing. That's why I've been a part of the 9/11 Heroes Run in San Diego from the beginning - running to honor not just Brendan and Travis but all the great Americans who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.'

Amy's husband Lt. (SEAL) Brendan Looney was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

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