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Firefighter to burn up marathon course

PUBLISHED: 11:43 02 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:22 12 August 2010

A FIREFIGHTER is hoping to break the world record for running the London marathon in full fire gear. Beckenham-born Stuart Crispin, 32,

A FIREFIGHTER is hoping to break the world record for running the London marathon in full fire gear.

Beckenham-born Stuart Crispin, 32, who is based at Soho fire station, has been training hard for the challenge in aid of his friend Mark who died from Cystic Fibrosis in 2001.

The money he raises will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust which funds research in to the condition, the UK's most common life threatening inherited illness.

Mr Crispin said: "I'm confident I can do it but my training partner did it last year and his boots were full of blood after three miles.

"I've been doing a few short runs but not in full gear. The main thing is the heat- we wear Gore-Tex tunics which are like duvets. I tried running in the gym with all the windows closed and with the heating on, after two miles I thought my head was going to explode."

Mr Crisipin, who won London's fittest firefighter in 2002, will run in his uniform including breathing apparatus, tunic, boots and helmet. Guinness World Records have accepted his application to try and beat the current record of five and a half hours.

His girlfriend, Cheryl Gorga, 25, is also running the marathon and will race alongside her other half on the day.

She said: "Normally I hate running with him because he is so much faster but I'm hoping this will be the one time I beat him. I'm going to sprint ahead at the end.

"I'm all for the all the challenges he sets himself because it's all for charity. He's a nutter though, he is addicted."

The super fit couple ran the Himalaya 100 in November last year, a 100 mile stage race over five days in the world's highest mountains.

But Mr Crispin has set himself an even harder challenge for September when he will attempt to run 110 miles non stop across the Yorkshire moors in less than 36 hours.

He said: "I do sometimes question my sanity when I'm doing them but I hope I'll never stop. Our bodies weren't made to sit on the sofa all day drinking beer."

Cystic Fibrosis affects over 8,000 people in the UK. It affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus which makes it hard to breathe and digest food.

Each week, five babies are born with Cystic Fibrosis and three young people per week die from it. The average life expectancy is around 31 years, although improvements in treatments mean a baby born today could expect to live for longer.

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