Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's a difficult job but someone has to do it :)

Meet my new research partners! Which ones you ask? All of them :)  So ladies, do you want to be on my research team? Ya, I thought so. The really cool thing? You'll be surprised to learn that it isn't the charming firemen but the very cool youth mentorship program they run. I have the unbelievable fortune of joining this amazing team of fire fighters, addiction workers (my brother being the central therapist), other committed partners and now two other researchers, to move the program further along. We are applying for a major research grant this November which will give us 5 years of support to research and evaluate the program while supporting the program in general.

The pictures are of the Firefighter Challenge held this weekend in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. It is a course challenge that involves relay teams and single competitors. The top guys completed the course in just under 1:30 minutes. Pretty amazing!  Teams were from Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. 

Can you tell which competitors are women? There were two women who did the single competitor competition (the first photos of competitors in face masks and full gear). The circuit involves running up stairs with a 45 pound hose over your shoulder, pulling a 90 pound hose on a rope up 4 stories, hammering a large weight backwards, running an obstacle course, dragging a hose with 300 pounds of pressure and hitting a target with the spray, and then dragging a 180 pound dummy backwards to the end of the course. The women both did it in just over 2 minutes. Pretty remarkable. The youth mentors did their challenge at the very end and it was great to see them completely "pumped!" after they finished. They're already planning for next year's challenge! 

So how difficult is this competition? Apparently it is one of the most strenuous fitness circuits in the world.  They have Canadian and North American competitions and some of the Prince Albert firefighters are pretty competitive. And how is my training going for the half marathon in Vancouver? I haven't run since Thursday evening. Every time I planned to run this weekend something happened. I will run tomorrow AM and each day until Friday which will be a day off. I'll take a short run Saturday (2 to 3 miles) and I should be ready for Sunday's run. Great way to start the second half of my 1000 miles.  

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