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Firefighters to run London Marathon inside mini fire engine

By Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent

If running 26.2 miles was not hard enough, two firefighters will be running the London Marathon inside a mini fire engine.

They will be joined in the race by firefighters from across the UK, with some even tackling the challenge in full fire kit and carrying breathing equipment weighing 15kg.

The money they raise on October 3 will be going to The Fire Fighters Charity, which offers lifelong support for members of the fire service community

Richard Green from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service said the idea to take on the challenge inside a mini-truck “exploded”.

He said: “We all worked together when we first came up with the idea, on White Watch at St Mary’s in Southampton.

“Ideas all just exploded and we came up with the idea of doing it in the truck.

“This is actually about the third costume we’ve made – the first one was huge! Luckily it’s made out of plumbers’ plastic piping, so you can cut it all down to make it as streamlined as possible.”

The 44-year-old will join fellow firefighter Matt Hooper, as well as friends Pete Larcombe and Keith Burton, inside the truck on race day.

Paul Weller, a firefighter from West Sussex, has seen first-hand how the charity can help with both physical and mental health concerns.

He said: “In the fire brigade environment, people are often worried how it looks to admit what they see as weaknesses.

“But with recent attention on mental health, people are opening up a lot more.

“We need to do that. If I could go back in time and talk to myself back then, I would tell myself to ask for help sooner.

“Everyone is struggling, so we all have to admit when we need help. I’m so glad I did.”

Royal Berkshire firefighter Nick Middleton, who is running the London Marathon in full fire kit, said: “I know so many people that have used the charity for things like shoulder injuries and problems with sleep.

“I would hope that if I ever needed to use it that I’d been able to contribute to it, or even more so, if any of my teammates needed help… we need to carry on supporting the charity. I want to do my part.”

Kerry James, fundraising manager at The Fire Fighters Charity, said: “After what has been a particularly difficult year for fundraising and training, it’s amazing to see so many runners going the extra mile to support us this year.

“I wish all of you an amazing experience. Enjoy every moment of the crowds cheering you on and a huge thank you to all of you for raising these much-needed funds, which will go directly towards supporting the health and wellbeing of our fire service community.”

For more information about The Fire Fighters Charity visit:

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