Tonopah’s Paul Robb this framed Fireman’s Helmet Shield after placing first in the 9/11 Mt. Grant Memorial Challenge.

Setting a new hiking record for the 9/11 Mt. Grant Challenge, Tonopah’s Paul Robb proudly displayed this year’s framed Fireman’s Helmet Shield, framed within a custom shadow box. This handmade piece was made by local artisan Jeremiah Keyes, who has made previous winning keepsakes for the Challenge’s first-place participants, with other custom pieces being sent all over the world.

Robb, a water company industrial mechanic, explained the importance of not only this hike, but his commitment to Mineral County.

“I truly love this area. I have historic tie-ins here that date back to when it was Esmeralda County, then Mineral County. My great grandfather, Daniel Robb ran the mines at Candelaria and at one time held the position of sheriff here,” Robb shared.

Sharing his personal memories of water skiing on Walker Lake or venturing out with his father to check on the water-guzzlers that assist the sheep throughout the mountains, Robb embraced this hiking experience as a chance to enjoy all the changing views within the Mt. Grant experience.

Completing a 17 mile “run” in just three hours and 49 minutes, Robb shared that he is a hunter first and a runner second. While participating in other running events, Robb almost missed out on this being his third year in the 9/11 Challenge.

“My wife and I happened to be driving home along Highway 95 and I saw the “9/11 Challenge Starting Line” board sitting here. I had to get home and quickly go online to register, realizing it was just a week away. That was a close call, but it was just meant to be that I was here again this year.”