Firefighter embarks on 420-mile run in honor of fallen first responders

LA PORTE, TX (KTRK) -- A La Porte firefighter plans to take off on a 420-mile run across Texas tomorrow.

Tony Constanzo said he'll start his run at the Texas State Fire Museum in Beaumont. He plans to make his way through Houston, before heading northwest to Waco, and then end in Austin. In all, he expects to run on average 38.1 miles over 11 days. Contanzo also plans to stop at nine memorials along his way including the Houston Firefighter Memorial.

Constanzo has been a firefighter for the past 31 years. He told Eyewitness News the journey is to pay tribute to all fallen firefighters who've been killed in the line of duty.

The ultra-run is also to help kick off fundraising efforts for his newly launched "Footsteps for the Fallen" charity. The organization plans to award scholarships to children of any firefighter or paramedic in the state.

"The race doesn't really start until around mile 80...You just want to stop. You want to quit. It hurts so bad so you have to drive past that mental block," said Constanzo. "I've lost friends unfortunately in the line of duty over the 30 plus years now so it does hit home what this organization stands for, our mission statement and what this run is all about. It's going to be very emotional. It has been already."

Constanzo will be wearing a satellite tracker during the run. To follow his progress and to learn more about "Footsteps for the Fallen," visit their website.
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