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Fired up for Hero Rush

National firefighter themed adventure race comes to Saratoga County

Hero Rush events include obstacle courses to simulate what firefighters face every time they answer a call. From extinguishing flames to hauling hoses and climbing ladders, participants put themselves through a sweaty and dirty endurance course. Submitted photo.

Hero Rush events include obstacle courses to simulate what firefighters face every time they answer a call. From extinguishing flames to hauling hoses and climbing ladders, participants put themselves through a sweaty and dirty endurance course. Submitted photo.

— First responders face danger and physical extremes every time they answer a call.

Their work is serious stuff, but to give people on idea of just what firefighters, EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and other emergency crews endure — but in a fun setting — two lifelong firemen from Hyattsville, Md. bring emergency-themed obstacle courses to venues throughout the country.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, the Ellms Family Farm at 448 Charlton Road in Ballston Spa will host Hero Rush, a 5K race with up to 20 obstacles simulating scenarios presented at emergencies. Gates open at 8 a.m. with the first run set for 9 a.m. Adult races ($74 entrance fee) and a Junior Hero’s Race ($15) are slated along with entertainment, food and a midway. Spectators can watch for free.

“Hero Rush is a new take on the adventure races and mud runs that have become popular over the last few years,” said co-founder Dave Iannone in a statement.

Iannone, along with Christopher Hebert, have been bringing Hero Rush to about two locations every month since January, with many more expected in 2013. Proceeds from the event will support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. According to Hero Rush organizers, the foundation “honors the nation’s fallen firefighters and works to reduce line-of-duty death.”

“The Saratoga event will showcase the farm’s diverse landscape, from tree farms and pumpkin patches, to trail runs through the woods,” said Iannone in the statement. “Our Heroes will face a real challenge when they tackle the mixed terrain of the Ellms Family Farm.”

Garth Ellms said the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau approached the farm about Hero Rush.

“We feel this is a great event for the area, it brings some awareness to firefighters and fire safety and it has a positive economic impact on local businesses. Our 2012 theme for the farm is fire safety and firefighters,” said Ellms.

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