Fastest course in the west.

Firefighter Ready to Look the Part at CIM

11/16/2011, 8:34am PST
By CIM

Folsom’s Hamilton hopes to help charity, inspire others

Nov. 16, 2011
For immediate release

As he makes his way from Folsom to the state Capitol in the upcoming California International Marathon, Kyle Hamilton is a safe bet to stand out.

While most runners will don shorts and T-shirts for the 29th annual race on Dec. 4, with an extra layer handy for the early miles, Hamilton plans to cover the 26.2-mile course wearing his firefighter gear.

His wardrobe will include turnout pants and coat, a self-contained breathing apparatus and a firefighter’s helmet, all part of an effort to raise money for charity and inspire others to get out and get moving.

The 35-year-old firefighter is making one concession. He’ll wear running shoes, not his regular work boots.

“I don’t want to kill myself for the next year,” he said. “I have to work the day after.”

Hamilton, who works for the San Rafael Fire Department, normally competes in triathlons. He ran CIM last year, finishing in 4 hours and 1 minute.

When he saw someone running a leg of Ironman Wisconsin on Sept. 11 in firefighter gear, Hamilton decided to try running the full marathon in his work clothes.

“It inspired me,” Hamilton said. “I was already signed up for CIM. I was really interested in going for a P.R.

“Then I figured I’d try to raise some money for disadvantaged kids.”

Hamilton is a member of Team Firefighter, which raises money and awareness for charities. Team Firefighter’s current charity is More than Sport, which provides a way for athletes to invest in communities of need.

Hamilton’s routine includes workouts on the fire station treadmill wearing a 30-pound vest. As he trains, he sees his efforts inspiring some of his fellow firefighters.

And that’s important to him.

“They say, ‘If you can do it with all that stuff, maybe I can do it,’” Hamilton said. “I’ve seen people suddenly sign up for a 5k.

“We tend to not live as long, just because of the inherent risks of the job.”

Hamilton, who is married with two children, hopes to finish in around 5 hours.

“A lot of it depends on how well I can shed heat,” he said. “It depends on how my back is and how hot it is.

“God forbid if it rains.”

Founded by the Sacramento Running Association, the CIM is presented by Kaiser Permanente.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.