Firefighters train for the marathon, and help a boy in need
The B. Somebody running team is a group of Douglas County volunteer firefighters running to make a statement. The team of Grandma's Marathon runners is trying to tell people there is a critical need for rural firefighters and first responders, an...
The B. Somebody running team is a group of Douglas County volunteer firefighters running to make a statement.
The team of Grandma's Marathon runners is trying to tell people there is a critical need for rural firefighters and first responders, and Thursday they were needed on a quiet road in Poplar.
The group was out for a training run when they encountered a boy who had just rolled his ATV.
With shouts of "Go, go, go!" they sprang into action to aid the 12-year-old boy.
They sat him down and looked him over. He had some abrasions on his arm and on his back, and he was pretty shook up, they said. But he was OK, and the team helped him get back home.
Then it was back to the pavement. They're preparing to run 26.2 miles and challenging themselves for a campaign they believe in.
"There is a big demand for volunteers in most of our communities right now," said Mike Ross, assistant chief of the Highland Volunteer Fire Department. "It's a demanding challenge, but the rewards are great."
The running team is made up of 21 volunteer firefighters from the Highland, Bennet, Brule, Oakland, Parkland and Lake Nebagamon volunteer fire departments.
"Got all sorts here and we all love running, so it's a good group," said Justine Ross, junior member of the Highland department.
At 16, Justine Ross is the youngest member of the team.
"When you live out in the rural counties, it's very difficult to recruit," said Dawn Ross, also of the Highland department. "It's also very difficult to get young people to volunteer their time."
The team has been doing their long training runs together every Sunday since March.
"I'm actually really excited," said Melanie Gehl of the Highland Volunteer Fire Department. "I think I have a pretty good base and I've been training with some really great people."
Lake Nebagamon Assistant Fire Chief Dan Morey said he lost 15 pounds training for the marathon.
"This is awesome," he said. "Grandma's is a world class marathon, so it's kind of fun to be a part of that, and if I finish then I feel like I won."
At 68 years old, Highland volunteer firefighter Marvin Landreth is the group's oldest team member.
"I'm not a runner per se but I can jog a little," Landreth said. "I'm feeling good. Whether I make it the whole way, I'm going to go as far as I can."