Courage & Valor 5K
Since I have been promoting firefighter fitness and personal wellness to others through the website, I decided to run in the 2014 Courage and Valor 5K this year. I had participated in this event during the 1st annual run in 2012, but did not participate last year. The first year there were around 200 runners that participated, and this year the event had grown to nearly 1,000! As a RIDE BACKWARDS Athlete, physical fitness is an important part of who I am and what my career requires. While this was my 3rd 5K that I have done, it was the first one that I had ever completed in gear (TECGEN Xtreme to be exact.
I wasn’t sure what to expect or how much it was slow me down, but I knew that with the encouragement of others and keeping my goal in mind…it was something that I could do. While I didn’t wear my turnout gear, I did wear TECGEN XTREME gear. This gear is lighter weight and very breathable, so during the run, I was able to stay cool with the breeze flowing into the gear. Brother Paul Hasenmeier from First Due Tackle is part of the First Due Racing team, and also completed the run. He was able to start with me and was cheering me on as I crossed the finish line. Average Jake‘s Robbie Owens and his wife also ran the 5K, and I saw several other familiar faces.
I completed the 5K in 25:26.
While this wasn’t a record for me, it was surely an accomplishment that I am proud of. I’m very appreciative of all of the words of encouragement that I received from my friends and family before/after the race, as well as those from complete strangers during the run. This is an event that I look forward to participating in for years to come!
First Due Tackle also covered the event in his article: 5K at FDIC and 5K in Sandusky, Ohio.
Brian Hackenburg and Brent Bronner are two of the brothers that ran in the Humane Society 5K in Sandusky. They are also part of the First Due Racing team, and not only completed the race in gear…but also in airpacks. As a proud supporter of my brothers in Ohio, they showed my support by adding my “Model City” decals by BDDTB Productions.
NFFF Stop, Drop, Rock ‘n’ Roll
The NFFF Stop, Drop, Rock ‘n’ Roll is always THE event to attend on Thursday night during FDIC. The event is always held at the Indiana Ballroom, and is always a great time. This year with the assistance of the auction that was held, an estimated $80,000 was raised for the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation! The event’s entertainment this year was Confederate Railroad, and they did not disappoint! They even finished up with one of their more popular songs, Trashy Women!
We arrived a little late for the event, but were still able to enjoy a few drinks, great music, and the brotherhood! I even met a few of Tennessee boys from Pigeon Forge Fire who were in town for the conference. If you missed this event, be sure to add it to your schedule next year.
NFFF 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb
Another great annual event that I always look forward to participating in put on by the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. The 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb is an event that takes place every year at FDIC, and is conducted in the Lucas Oil Stadium. This was the third time that I climbed, and I know I will continue to climb every year that I am able to attend.
Physically, I still have decided if it is more difficult than the stair climb events in the high-rise buildings due to the lack of rest periods in them. The one unique feature is that you are having to not only climb up, but also climb down the steps as you climb throughout the stands. The climb snakes through the escalators of the arena, and up through the end zone. At the 78th floor, there is a member of the Honor Guard standing with a bell that the firefighters ring on their 3rd and final lap through the course.
This year, I carried two names along with me (besides those from years past in my helmet), and they were: Firefighter Dennis P. McHugh (Ladder 13) and Captain Thomas Farino (Engine 26). The reason that I carried two names this year was because one of my sisters, Danielle Celii, was unable to make the trip. As always, I tell any of my friends/followers that if they are unable to travel or make the climb, I will always be glad to climb for them. I plan on taking some time to learn about each of the members of the FDNY that I climb for, which is what I always do following the climb.
The climb has grown in numbers every year since I have been climbing. This year they stated that there were over 500 climbers that participated during the climb. I believe that it is not only an emotional event, but also very physically taxing. Many of the climbers wore full turnouts w/ an airpack, and there were also many climbers in gym clothes. This year, I decided to once again wear the TECGEN Xtreme gear as I took every step. They once again issued everyone that participated a limited edition numbered challenge coin to the first 343 climbers. I was able to once again see many familiar faces during the climb including Chief Reed Johnson, Average Jake’s Robbie Owens, and Shane Lester (with his Springdale brothers from Tennessee).
The National Fallen Firefighter Foundation released this video coverage of the event, and even caught me on camera toward the end of the video:
The 2014 Firefighter Turnout
“If you build it, they will come”…and COME is what they did!
The largest fire service blog network in the world, First Arriving Network worked with the sponsors and hosts to create an event that everyone would enjoy! The event was held at The Crane Bay, an event venue within walking distance of The Lucas Oil Stadium. The event was a collaboration of many different things going on at once. As guests entered the venue, they were given a “casino card” loaded with money to use on the Roulette table or the Blackjack tables. The first 500 people through the door also received a free drink ticket. Within no time, the venue was packed full of people. The tables stayed busy the majority of the night, and the food was excellent.
Thousands of dollars in giveaways were raffled off throughout the night including products from many great companies. The guests were given give-away tickets upon entering the door, and were also able to cash in the “casino” winnings toward more give-away entries. Several of the giveaways throughout the night included the new Paratech tool, Jodi Monroe’s Firefighter Art, FireCam Helmet Cameras, TECGEN Xtreme gear, and Black Diamond Boots. Former Charleston, SC Firefighter turned comedian Travis Howze even showed up to perform a skit on stage. The highlight of the event was when The Renegade Pipes and Drums showed up and put on ONE heck of a show!
The event was SPONSORED by Paratech Fire & Rescue Equipment, Amkus, TECGEN XTREME, Black Diamond Fire and FireCam. It was also HOSTED BY The Fire Critic, Wooden Ladders and Iron Firemen Blog, STATter911.com, Boron Extrication, The “Model City” Firefighter, Firefighters Worldwide, PhillyFireNews.com, SConFire.com, First Due Tackle, Firefighter Wife, Call the Cops, FireNews.net, Firegeezer. The hosts and sponsors both had special VIP areas that they were able to enjoy during the event.
We would like to thank all of those who came out to the event, and let us know what we could do better next year. It was a pleasure to once again meet several fans, give away a few t-shirts, and host the event. Be sure to keep check on the FirstArriving.com for future coverage of the events.
-The “Model City” Firefighter