Athletes to climb Mt. Bonnell 44 times on Sept. 11 anniversary

The public is invited to join Mike O'Hara as he climbs Mount Bonnell 44 times on Sept. 11.

The public is invited to join Mike O’Hara as he climbs Mount Bonnell 44 times on Sept. 11.

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City each rose 110 stories from the ground.

Ninety-nine steps lead to the top of Mount Bonnell.\

Participants will climb the equivalent of both Twin Towers.

Participants will climb the equivalent of both Twin Towers.

The way Austin trainer Mike O’Hara sees it, each trip to the top of the Austin landmark is the equivalent of climbing five stories. That means it would take 44 trips up the stairs to climb the equivalent of both Twin Towers.

This Friday, O’Hara, who owns Bigger Faster Stronger Training in Manchaca, will charge up the steps in honor of those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He’s inviting the public to join him.

The group will meet at the top of Mount Bonnell at 7 a.m., before starting the fifth annual Memorial Mt. Climb. They’ll pause for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the exact time the plane hit the first tower in 2001.

There’s no entry fee, but participants are encouraged to make a donation to Wings for Warriors, a non-profit organization that supports military service members wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. To donate, go here.

If doing it solo sounds too tough – and O’Hara says your calf muscles will be screaming before it’s done – you can gather some friends and form a team and divide the workout.

O’Hara comes from a military family. His brother served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was wounded there.

The event starts at 7 a.m. Friday at Mount Bonnell.

The event starts at 7 a.m. Friday at Mount Bonnell.

“I have a heavy heart for military and first responders,” he says. “This is a way to get the community together and push each other. It’s not easy.”

In the last few years, local firefighters have participated, wearing nearly 50 pounds of fire gear while they climb. O’Hara wears the cumbersome gear, too. The struggle of carrying it up and down the hill is his way of paying tribute.

Mount Bonnell is located at 3800 Mount Bonnell Road.

For more information about Bigger Faster Stronger Training, go here.


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