RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - WLBT News caught up with the athletes as they received their awards for the Ttri4Life Triathlon at Pelahatchie Shore Park Saturday morning. They completed all the hard work before it got too hot. "A third-mile swim, 12 mile bike ride, 5k run," says race organizer John David Smith.
Most of those who participated wore shorts and sports tops. But not the firefighters.
"I think I'm probably toting an extra 40, 45 pounds it feels like," said Josh Swales, Deputy Chief with the Reservoir Fire Department.
The firefighters completed most of the race in full firefighter gear.
"We obviously couldn't do the swim (in full gear), but the swim was a third mile. As soon as we came off the swim we put on our full firefighter gear. We did it in honor of the fallen firefighters of 9/11. They went through a lot harder time than we did, a lot of them didn't get to come home. We did it for them," Swales said.
The quickest athlete finished in 59 minutes. The firefighters in gear rounded out the event, wrapping it up in just over two hours. With activities for the children, high spirits and good company, turnout for the Tri4Life Triathlon was better than expected.
"Usually a first-time event has 100, 150 people. We ended up getting over 225, that's a huge deal for us," Smith said.
Organizers hoped to raise $10,000, and ended up raising about $15,000. The cash will benefit the Center for Pregnancy Choices, which provides resources on alternatives other than abortion.