Jamie Town, a firefighter from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will be running the Great West Run in full fire kit as well as attempting to break the world record for the fastest half marathon, which currently stands at two hours and 38 minutes. 

Based at Danes Castle fire station in Exeter, Jamie said: "I've run this event seven times before, the first time was in 2002 and I've only missed two since. Running in full fire kit will add an extra 20% to my body weight, and consists of leather boots with steel toe caps, leggings, tunic, helmet as well as full breathing apparatus on my back.

"I'm supporting the Lord Mayor of Exeter's charity and The Fire Fighters Charity which is a cause close to my heart, as many of my colleagues have benefited from using it."

The Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Marcel Choules said: "I welcome the fire services involvement and I wish Jamie all the very best.

"I do appreciate that my charity 'Wonford & St. Pauls Youth & Community Project' is involved. This is an age group of children between the ages of five and twelve that get excluded from youth clubs because they are not old enough. I wanted to raise funds with the specific purpose of funding a additional youth worker to liaise with families, schools and the community if there are any problems at home or at school."

To assist Jamie's training the local rugby team, Exeter chiefs have loaned a weight vest. This will save him hauling 20 kilos of bricks loaded into a rucksack during his demanding training routine, which involves running 50 miles a week.

"I think the club must have taken pity on me because I had to make up the weight in my training runs using a heavy backpack," he said.

"I'm not allowed to use my firefighting gear when I go out running on the roads. It can only be worn on the day of the race, so I was forced to improvise. The chiefs offered me the weight vest like the ones used by the players during their training. It's a godsend.

"By running the race in all my equipment I'm hoping to get into the Guinness Book of Records for carrying the highest weight for a half marathon."

The Great West Run takes place on May 1, and is in its 27 year and still going strong. The half marathon will start and finish at Exeter Arena, Athletics Stadium and follow a two lap course taking in Exeter City Centre.

Five of Jamie's colleagues from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service will be running alongside him to encourage him, as well as friends and family cheering him on from the sidelines.


Posted: 11.37am, 30.03.11