Taking on a half marathon isn’t enough for a Lichfield firefighter – he’s planning to run it while carrying a 20kg dummy on his shoulders.
Arturs Grotans will take part in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run in October in aid of Cure Leukaemia, Bloodwise and The Fire Fighters Charity.
The 30-year-old, who is originally from Latvia, said he had signed up after seeing a colleague’s girlfriend coping with a leukaemia diagnosis.
“It made me realise that she faces challenges every day – I have seen how difficult it is for them both and I decided I wanted to do something that would go some way to helping others in the same situation.
“It’s not about doing it in the fastest time, it’s about finishing and raising money for three charities that are all very close to my heart.”
Arturs said he discovered a love of running when he joined the army in 2007, but admitted carrying the dummy had meant changing his training habits.
“I improved very quickly and found I could run for quite a long time,” he said. “Now my job as a fire fighter means that I have to stay fit to carry out my duties and at work I get to train for an hour every day.
“I live ten miles from work so I often run to or from my shift and have slowly increased the weights I’m carrying. I also run with the dummy on the treadmill at the station and will be building up my distance over the next couple of months.
“I ran the Lichfield Half Marathon previously in full fire kit in one hour and 58 minutes – this time I will be in full kit but with the addition of a casualty dummy that weighs about the same as a teenager so I expect it will take me over two hours.”
The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run will kick off from Broad Street in Birmingham on October 14 before the 13.1-mile course passes the Selfridges building, Edgbaston Stadium, Cannon Hill Park and Cadbury World along the way.
People can support Arturs’ fundraising efforts online.