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Barrow fireman runs Peachtree in full gear

POSTED: July 11, 2014 8:41 a.m.
Special photo/For the Barrow County News

Barrow County firefighter Sean Gluth ran the Peachtree Road Race wearing his full firefighting suit for the second consecutive year last Friday.

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It didn’t take long last Friday morning for competitors to begin raving about how cool the weather was, comparatively, to last year’s Peachtree Road Race through the heart of Atlanta.

Barrow County firefighter Sean Gluth was one of those very happy with the slightly cooler temps, and for good reason: He ran the 10-kilometer race wearing around 60 pounds of firefighting gear.

"It was a nice race, I couldn’t ask for better weather," he said. "The humidity last year was awful."

And this is from someone who regularly does long laps around his neighborhood in Auburn or at the firehouse wearing the gear in 90-degree heat.

"You sweat a lot," he added.

Gluth, 42, has been exercising and running in the full turn out gear for two years now in an attempt to get back into shape and be better prepared for when running around in the gear in a lot of heat could be a life and death situation.

Last Friday was his second consecutive year running the Peachtree, the longest race he’s done.

He said he also plans to once again run in the local 5K Summer’s End Race and the run to support the BCES burn foundation.

When he first decided to wear the gear while exercising, he said it was spurred on from him realizing he was no longer in the kind of shape from his younger years in which he regularly ran 5Ks. Adding the gear for him was only natural.

"I wanted to get in better shape for work," he said. "If I’m going to train to be a stronger firefighter, why not do it in the gear?"

"Walking around in 90 degree weather builds tolerance."

He started by simply walking in the gear, including helmet and air pack in addition to the suit, first one mile and then two miles and so on. Then he started running.

After two years of his unique exercise regime he said he’s never felt better.

"I’m getting a little older, but I feel a lot better than I ever have," he said. "I feel like I’m in my 20s."

The running isn’t just for him, however, he also runs for causes. He said two years ago for the Peachtree he was running in remembrance of the firefighters who died out west in a bad forest fire that claimed 19 lives.

For this past race, he said he was running to recognize his fellow Barrow firefighters who came to his aid after he had shattered his knee and couldn’t work for awhile.

"I wanted to thank the guys, because they came to my aid after I got hurt," he said. "I just wanted to honor them for all my help over the past year."

He said it was a long road to get back in condition to run again after the injury, but he still managed the 10K in 1 hour, 45 minutes.

His fastest 5K: 38 minutes at the Dacula Memorial Day race prior to his knee injury.

He said he’s also planning on doing that one again next year.

In the meantime, he’ll continue running around the fire station or around his neighborhood in Auburn, and reassuring the occasional new neighbor that no, there isn’t a fire nearby, Gluth is just exercising in style.



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