What started nine years ago with a few people has grown into an event that draws people together to work out in memory of the 412 first responders that laid down their lives in New York during 9/11.

Traditionally held on the Friday closest to Sept. 11, 45 people participated in the morning and afternoon sessions of this year's 9/11 Memorial Workout, Sept. 9.

Each did 412 reps.

The event was created nine years ago, explains Cochrane resident Jeremie Hoult, who is a firefighter with Calgary's Lincoln Park Fire Station No. 20. It's free of charge to join, thanks to the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.

At the time, he noticed several memorial workouts being held and wanted to start one here in Cochrane.

"We asked the Spray Lakes if we could use a corner of the gym to do a workout and they liked the idea and asked if their boot camp could join us. The boot camp came with us, and it's been going ever since."

"To start it off, we did 343 reps for the 343 firefighters that died, but we only did that for only the first two years, because we have medics and police officers so we ended up doing it for all first responders who died," he explains.

He was pleased to see how it has continued to grow.

"It doesn't make it easier, but a little more bearable when you have more people doing it with you. It makes it a lot more fun. The big thing is doing a rep for everyone and thinking about why you're doing it, while you're doing it."

It's the fifth year of participating for Stephanie Marrello, fitness and wellness coordinator for the family sports centre. She draws her inspiration from a friend who was on the scene in New York.

"One of my good friends, Lisa, was one of the first paramedics on site after the tower went down. She's my inspiration and she's why I have a passion for it."

It wasn't just adults there. Adam, three days away from his third birthday that day, joined his mom, firefighter Sarah Flimmon. Sarah says Adam is her workout buddy.

The 10th annual 9/11 Memorial Workout is next year, and Marrello is encouraging people to keep it in mind.

"Mark your calendar, and come out next year. I promise it's not as terrible as it looks on paper."

She reminds people that the free November Sweat for Vets workout is also coming up on the calendar. It's free a military-style boot camp class in support of our veterans.