Wigan firefighters dig deep in marathon challenge to raise thousands for charity

Two firefighters have raised thousands of pounds for charity after completing a marathon while wearing full fire kits.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:55 am

Andy Ball and Ryan Jones, who both work at Hindley fire station, took part in the Greater Manchester marathon on Sunday to raise money for Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Research.

They decided to challenge themselves after their families were affected by the conditions.

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Wigan firefighters prepare for marathon challenge wearing their full kit

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Ryan celebrates with partner Demi

Ryan completed the marathon in six hours and six minutes, while Andy made it to the finish line in around seven hours and 40 minutes.

The kit they wore as they ran through Manchester’s streets included heavy breathing apparatus, two jackets and a helmet.

Crew manager Andy, 36, said: “It was a grind, it was very difficult. My game plan was to get to the finish line. The weight of the cylinder and the heat made it very hot.

“There was a brilliant atmosphere, I met some fantastic people. The community was just really great. I didn’t come last but I was not far off!”

Andy running the marathon in full fire kit

Firefighter Ryan, 33, said: “It was tough. The support we got was amazing from the public, runners and everybody there, it was a really good atmosphere.

“Both myself and Andy have personally been affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s and we wanted to do something to raise as much as possible to support research into the disease.”

Andy and Ryan have raised more than £16,000 and continue to encourage people to donate what they can.

Dave Russel, chief fire officer for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Well done to Andy and Ryan, what they have achieved is really impressive and goes to show how Greater Manchester’s firefighters go above and beyond to support charitable causes. The amount they have raised will help support both of these very important charities.”

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