Fireman runs marathon in kit
‘‘I was worried it might get too hot and I would cook myself - which I almost did anyway.’’
Always keen for a challenge, Frankton volunteer fire fighter Marc Manderson popped his head out the window on Saturday morning and decided the day was ripe for running a marathon in his fire brigade uniform.
Donning his level 2 gear, helmet and running shoes he headed to the start of the Queenstown Marathon and completed the 42km race in an impressive 4 hours and 45 minutes - about an hour behind the time he set last year - without the uniform.
‘‘I was worried it might get too hot and I would cook myself - which I almost did anyway,’’ he said afterward.
Volunteers at aid stations helping him fill his Camelbak and support from other runners and spectators kept him going while he sweltered inside his uniform, he said. ‘‘I really had no idea what it was going to be like because I’ve never run that distance with gear - my aim was just to finish.’’
He had to do that in a tight time frame, as he had a flight booked to Christchurch to get to his brother’s 40th birthday party.
‘‘I had a quick five minute stop [after completing the race] ripped the gear off, raced home for a shower and rushed to the airport.’’
Manderson, who has a day job as an aircraft engineer, said he did it as a personal challenge but also because he was considering entering events such as the Sky Tower Stair Challenge in future - where firefighters run the 51 storeys of the Auckland Sky Tower carrying their full kit - including breathing apparatus.
The marathon was won by Auckland-based Irishman Donal Sheehy, with the women’s event taken by the West Coast’s top cop Mel Aitken.
For Sheehy and second placed Richard Ussher it was the first stand-alone marathon they had run - although both had completed full IronMan events in the past.
Queenstown-based professional triathlete Jason Hall, 24, broke the half marathon record by about two minutes recording 1.12.23, after winning an age group Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba in September.
The Block star Emma Diamond, of Dunedin, was happy to finish the 10km race in 1.09.54 after doing very little training.