Monday, October 31, 2016

Guinness World Record: Fastest Mile in Firefighting Gear

Guinness World Record: Fastest Mile in Firefighting Gear
Justin Stewart (Springfield Fire Department)
October 28, 2016  4:00 p.m.
Springfield, Illinois
Sacred Heart Griffin High School Track Facility

Time to Beat: 6:43.24 (Marcos Munoz-San Antonio Fire Dept.)
Official Time: 6:23.06

I was working on shift one day looking at a training video on a firefighting website, when on the home page I saw a story about a man in New Jersey who broke the world record for the fastest mile in fire fighting gear.

I have been a runner ever since I was in elementary school and I have been on the Springfield Fire Department for two and half years now. I am always trying to push myself both physically and mentally. What better way to do that than to combine the two passions of mine and go for this record. I wanted to go for this record back in April but it just didn't work into my racing schedule and I ended up waiting until late October to give it a go.

In order to get ready for this attempt I really didn't change too much. A couple times in the weeks leading up I ran a few miles in my boots around the station. I also ran in different combinations of gear around the station. First in just boots, not going all out, in 6:00 flat or so. Then I'd run in boots, coat, and helmet. It wasn't until two weeks out I went to the same track I did the main event at and put on all the same gear I wore for the record attempt and went for it to see what I could do before the actual record attempt day. I wanted to at least post one all out effort before I actually had a bunch of people come out to watch. I wanted to make sure I had a decent window there so that even if I didn't feel great I could still get under the current mark of 6:43.24. On my test run I went 6:22 so I knew I had a 21 second gap there which made me feel good. I think also if I actually trained specifically over a couple months I could knock even more time off.

IL Fire Store Globe Cairns RSX Gear

I know a lot of firefighters and people in general will say that what I was wear is not full firefighting gear. I would agree with them. But Guinness World Records considered helmet, hood, coat, pants, and boots full gear. I contacted them and even asked and told them full gear actually includes SCBA tank, mask, and even gloves. Which if this were the case it'd be a whole new ball game. So I was just wearing the amount that Guinness required. I was wearing a total of 20-22 pounds of gear. I weigh roughly 152 and weighed in around 172. My splits were pretty even for the most part. I went 1:30, 3:05 (1:35), 4:43 (1:39), 6:23 (1:40). It was somewhat windy on the homestretch that day about 15 mph winds. The 3rd lap was tough. With all that gear on its not like actual running, it was more of a high knee running and once you had a pace you were pretty much set there. It was hard to pick up the pace at all when you wanted to.

Start of the mile

I had great stewards that came out to help verify that all my gear was NFPA stand structural gear. I know I might get some comments about my lace up boots, but they were still in fact structural boots compliant with NFPA 1971, 1977. I also had a great timing crew and video crew and about a dozen other witnessess. And yes the mustache is real and compliant with all national firefighting standards, I think.

News Channel 20 showed up

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