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100 Miles, 25 Pounds of Gear, #CancerAwareness

From the Summer 2018 Issue

Nobody ever ran 100 miles in full firefighter gear. That is, until April 28, when Gwendal Le Tutour wanted to draw attention to the fight against cancer and decided to break a Guinness record in the meantime.

Growing up in France, Le Tutour wanted to become a firefighter. He also grew up watching American films featuring firefighters.

“American firefighters were so bad-assed,” he said. “I never thought I would ever live in America or become a firefighter.” He is a volunteer on the Selkirk Fire Department and has now earned his own bad-ass status after running 100 miles in 25 pounds of gear.

He and his wife wanted the run to raise awareness about fighting cancer and joined with the American Institute of Cancer Research.

Le Tutour finished the 100 miles in just under 29 hours. Buoyed along the way by fellow firefighters, runners, friends and supporters, the ultra runner athlete had to dig deeper to finish this challenge than he ever has.

“Almost everyone involved with this had to push limits,” he said to a crowd at the end of the run. “Together we did something that we never could have done without each other.”

A fellow firefighter suited up and completed 13 miles in turnout gear to help Le Tutour. Another firefighter, one with a prosthetic leg, rode along part of the journey on a bike. Erik Olson, an elementary school principal and family friend, stayed with Le Tutour the entire 100 miles, albeit in normal running attire.

This Frenchman carried an American firefighter’s flag the final one-third mile after pushing past his physical limitations and raising up a community to promote cancer awareness.

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