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Former NYPD officer takes on 9/11 Tower Challenge from local gym stair master

Posted at 6:27 AM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 13:44:43-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Just like pretty much every other event, the 9/11 Tower Challenge is virtual this year, but that's not stopping one man from honoring those lost on that day 19 years ago.

Shaun Pfund is a former NYPD officer who moved to southern Arizona years ago and joined the law enforcement community here.

Pfund told KGUN9 just like many other Americans, he remembers exactly where he was when he learned about what was happening in New York City on September 11, 2001.

“This particular day on 9/11 we had just come back from a run and we went into the cafeteria because it was our meal time and the whole cafeteria was empty except for one little TV cart like you have in high school with this little black and white TV and I grab one of the younger recruits as he was going by and I said what’s going on and he said a plane just flew into the World Trade Center," said Pfund.

That's when Pfund said he went straight to a television.

“Just as I come into recognition of what I’m looking at, in comes plane number two," he said.

In 2017, Pfund told KGUN9 he started taking part in the 9/11 Tower Challenge, completing it twice every year he took part.

“I always did it twice because I did it once for the living and once to remember the deceased," said Pfund “Last year was interesting because I was literally the last person to finish."

When he heard this year's event would be virtual, Pfund said he reached out to Tucson Strength, a local gym, for some help.

“I approached the owner Danny and I said would you be willing to allow me to use the stair master because what I would like to do it physically do the challenge on the stair master to match what I would normally do in the stadium during the 9/11 Tower Challenge," said Pfund.

Pfund plans to start climbing the stair master Friday morning at 6 a.m. He is also raising money for the 9/11 Tower Challenge Foundation. To donate to the cause, click here.