Gearing up for a world record

Wearing steel-toed boots, fire-retardant gear and helmet, Noel D’arcy is gunning to smash a world record for the fastest marathon in a firefighting uniform at the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon in May.

Wearing steel-toed boots, fire-retardant gear and helmet, Noel D’arcy is gunning to smash a world record for the fastest marathon in a firefighting uniform at the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon in May.

The Olds volunteer firefighter has to beat 3:41:10, which was set by an Irish runner in June 2014.

D’arcy’s fastest marathon without gear is around three hours and four minutes. So the record isn’t entirely out of reach.

But the 30-year-old will be carrying 45 pounds of extra weight. Oddly enough, D’arcy took up running to drop a few pounds a couple years ago. His full firefighting gear is equivalent to his weight loss.

“I thought I would like to give it a try,” said D’arcy, who is originally from northwest Ireland in the County of Limerick. “Whether I can do it or not is yet to be determined.”

Training began after the Guinness World Records gave D’arcy the green light in mid-January. There’s a rigorous screening process before the record keepers officially allow someone to take a run at a record. D’arcy submitted his application in October.

He got the idea to do it after reading about his countryman beating the record in an Irish paper online.

The biggest challenge so far has been running in the heavy boots.

“I am trying to run in my turnout gear as much as I can,” said D’arcy. “The boots are cutting my heels. The first time I wore my boots, I went out and ran 2K and I couldn’t run for two weeks afterwards.”

The Olds Fire Fighter’s association chipped in to buy a more comfortable pair of boots. D’arcy has been taping his feet and he even went up a size in boots.

“Even though they are good boots, they are not designed for running,” said D’arcy.

In order to challenge the record, D’arcy must wear his full uniform. D’arcy expects he will get the boots sorted out before the race. He’s been hitting the gym hard to work on his strength.

“I fear the temperature that my body is going to get to,” said D’arcy. “For that world record, that gear has to be zipped up. That gear has to be done up.”

He is allowed to remove some gear at an aid station, for example, but he is not allowed to take a step forward. An official on a bike will follow with a video camera to record the entire 42.2K.

D’arcy says he doesn’t plan to stop too often to unzip because he does not want to lose time. Hydration will be key to his success.

“It is a really difficult record,” said D’arcy. “It hasn’t been broken in 10 years. Not a lot of people have attempted it.”

He is also fundraising for the Olds Fire Fighters Association in their campaign to raise money and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

To donate or to find out more, visit www.calgarymarathon.com

***

Send your column ideas, photos and stories to crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com. Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter and Instagram.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Council approved a $3 million grant and a $19 million loan Tuesday to help keep Westerner Park sustainable. (Advocate file photo)
Red Deer city council approves $22M to keep Westerner Park viable after emotional debate

It’s vital ensure future success for the huge economic generator, says mayor

Red Deer Rebels goalie Chase Coward tries to find a loose puck during WHL action at the Centrium earlier this season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Changes on the horizon for Red Deer Rebels next season

New coach, roster adjustments among top priorities for Sutter this offseason

Renovations and construction have begun at Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo contributed)
Renovations underway at Red Deer Dream Centre

Christian-based addictions treatment centre

Red Deer County's municipal planning commission gave approval for a new directional sign for a business located near Elnora.
(Image from Red Deer County)
Red Deer County garden centre and winery gets sign approved

Delidais Estate Winery and DA Gardens is located near Elnora

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Boston Bruins left wing Nick Ritchie (21) and Washington Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon (4) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Chicago, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Wheeler has two goals, two assists as Winnipeg Jets clinch third in North Division

Wheeler has two goals, two assists as Winnipeg Jets clinch third in North Division

Depleted Raptors drop a 115-96 decision to Leonard and Clippers

Depleted Raptors drop a 115-96 decision to Leonard and Clippers

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, tosses the ball for a serve to Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Diego Schwartzman at Italian Open

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime upsets Diego Schwartzman at Italian Open

Philadelphia Flyers' James van Riemsdyk (25) and Sean Couturier (14) celebrate past New Jersey Devils' Yegor Sharangovich (17) after a goal by van Riemsdyk during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Flyers drop from trendy East favorite to another lost season

Flyers drop from trendy East favorite to another lost season

André Gauthier is shown in a handout photo. Gauthier, a Canadian geologist who spent six years in and out of jail in Dubai after he allegedly uncovered fraud in a gold company, finally is back home in Quebec City after his release last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Detained in Dubai MANDATORY CREDIT
Canadian geologist detained in Dubai for six years is back home after charges dropped

Canadian geologist detained in Dubai for six years is back home after charges dropped

This undated photo provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department shows a group of bighorn sheep in North Dakota. Alberta's environment department has known for years that toxins from old coal mines are contaminating populations of the province's official animal, the bighorn sheep. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Bihrle/North Dakota Game and Fish Department via AP, File
Alberta government knew bighorn sheep contaminated with coal mine selenium: scientist

Alberta government knew bighorn sheep contaminated with coal mine selenium: scientist

Most Read