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

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

EDMONTON — Alberta’s COVID-19-era budget made a hard landing Thursday with an… Continue reading

The expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has been discussed for over a decade. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital expansion gets about $6 million in 2021 provincial budget

According to the government’s three-year plan, the project will get $59 million by 2024.

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell is hoping to pick up where he left off last season as the 2020-21 WHL season kicks off Friday in Red Deer against the Medicine Hat Tigers. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels set to host Tigers in WHL season opener

24-game WHL Alberta only season kicks off night Friday at the Centrium

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano tries to help goaltender David Rittich stop a shot from Ottawa Senators right wing Drake Batherson during first-period NHL action Thursday, February 25, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

Team Saskatchewan skip Sherry Anderson reacts to her shot against Team Quebec at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

FILE - New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in New York, in this Sunday, March 1, 2020, file photo. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 5-3. Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sit out the upcoming NHL season because of a heart condition, announcing the news a little more than two months after joining the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist posted a written statement and a videotaped one on social media Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, saying it was a "pretty tough and emotional day." The 38-year-old from Sweden was bought out by the New York Rangers after 15 seasons and signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal with Washington in October. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa holds up water collected from Neskantaga First Nation, where residents were evacuated over tainted water in October, during a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Most Read