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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.

— Chuck Aiken, a professional EMT with Wilton Emergency Squad, has assembled a team of 15 firefighters, EMTs and paramedics for the event.

“Everybody was excited to participate,” he said. He has also been a volunteer firefighter with fire departments in Gansevoort and Jonesville

“You never know what you’ll walk into … everybody’s life is at risk until you have control of a situation,” Aiken said of his work.

Aiken’s team is taking part in the 343 Wave, a race within the Hero Rush dedicated to emergency workers who perished in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Many of the runners had connections to workers who lost their lives and Aiken said taking part in Hero Rush is a way to honor them.

Diane Giles, marketing director for Hero Rush, said thatfeedback from previous races has been phenomenal.

“Everyone enjoys the fact that it’s a family-friendly atmosphere– from kids and spectators and runners. It’s a really good positive vibe,” said Giles.

Obstacles along the 5K route include a Towering Inferno that simulates a fire in a multi-story building. According to Giles, the obstacle will include a situation where a fire is being fought on a top floor or roof, with water pouring down the stairwells. She said that heroes will face a narrow, watery staircase that simulates that particular scenario.

Hero Rush employs seven full-time staff members, three race directors and an obstacle crew of around 10. As of press time, 225 runners affiliated with local fire departments and emergency personnel had registered for the event, including fire departments in Burnt Hills, Saratoga Springs, Queensbury, Valatie, Verona and Glens Falls, as well as many from Massachusetts. Several hundred more runners have also registered and organizers expect 1,000participants.

Online registration for the Hero Rush will be available until Wednesday, Sept. 5, at www.herorush.com/NY.Course preview tours are available on Friday, Sept. 7 by appointment.

Volunteer sign up is accessible at www.herorush.com/volunteers. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt, food and drink and access to the Inferno Midway. Organizations bringing 20 or more volunteers receive donations.

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