How will you mark the day?

Today is International Firefighters Day. 4th May used to be a traditional Firefighter’s Day in many European countries, because it is the day of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters.

There is strong link with firefighters and running. One of the requirements of the job is that the firefighter is fit as they need to be able to run, climb, lift and carry whilst wearing fairly heavy protective clothing. Firefighters need good physical and mental strength, flexibility and endurance; in fact all of the fitness components needed to be able to run well. They also need to be able to fight fatigue as they have to work in emergency situations at any time of the day or night when the body may normally be programmed to sleep.

It is no surprise then that they usually do pretty well in running events. This weekend the crews from Bathgate and Tollcross fire stations ran the Great Edinburgh Run to raise money for a fund set up in memory of their fallen colleague, Ewan Williamson. The London Marathon saw 56 London Fire Brigade firefighters raising thousands of pounds for 39 charities and good causes including the Firefighters Charity, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundations and Help the Heroes. Wayne Geen from Ruislip raised money for the National Autistic Society by running in full firefighting gear including leggings, tunic, helmet and breathing kit. Of course this is designed to stop the heat from getting in but, as a result, no heat can get out, making the run even more challenging.

There are also some pretty good runners out there who spend their working life putting out fires and then burning up the track in their spare time. One of the best of those must be Paul Dugdale of Kendal Athletic Club who ran 10,000m in 28:22. He did this on the track in Oslo way back in 1993 but since then has been doing plenty of trail and mountain running events, often crossing the line first in the over 40 category.

So if you’re thinking about your target race for the summer why not mark the day by registering your entry into the Seaford Marathon that takes place on 22nd August? The Fire Fighters Charity is the beneficiary of 75% of all funds raised through entries.

If you need any help with training you may want to check out the fire service fitness section on their website for information on running, swimming, circuit training, weight training and more. You don’t have to be a firefighter to use it!

Source: Run Britain, UK.