FireFit entertains valley | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2024 3pm

FireFit entertains valley

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    After the last team made their way through the FireFit course, a team from Medicine Hat made one last trek up a stairway.

    This was not the tower on the course, but inside the World’s Largest Dinosaur. Once at the top they unfurled their team banner for a once in a lifetime photo opportunity.
    This was the impression the valley made on the 112 firefighters who came to the valley to participate in the Southern Alberta Regional FireFit competition in the shadow of the World’s Largest Dinosaur. The competition made an impression on the valley too, as the bleachers were packed with spectators for three days taking in all of the competition.
    “It was a great turnout for the weekend,” said Duane Bolin who organized the event. “I have heard nothing but great things from FireFit itself and the whole town really.”
    Friday night was the corporate challenge, where teams of local residents took on the course in a team event. The field was strong with about 20 teams signed up.  Youth won out over experience as the Strad team with Gavin Pittman, Mitch and Kyle Smith and Brandon Gruber wrested the top prize from the Steven Wade team, which featured Drumheller firefighters.
    “I think it gave them a taste for what we do as firefighters,” said Bolin.
    On Saturday morning, the individual competition took off. The course took its toll on a few competitors, but the crowd was alive when organizer Duane Bolin took to the course in the third run of the competition, finishing just a hair over two minutes.
     While he finished in first place in the over 45 category, he wasn’t the fastest on the department.
    Jordan Harper finished with a 1:53.04, good enough for 39th spot. Merv Smith finished with a 2:15.83, Trevor Scott who was competing in his first FireFit ever was on track to posting a strong time, but tumbled a few feet short of the finish line and posted a 2:18.15. Brandon Buell had a 2:20.77, Kyle Suntjens had a 2:22.09, Matt Bolin had 2:30.99 and Mitch Farmer posted a 2:33.58.
    The day belonged to Graham Mackenzie. Despite a bit of rain, the world record holder from Kamloops was only about three seconds off his record-breaking pace, posting a 1:18.72.
    “He is just a machine,” said Bolin.
    Overall, the Kamloops team won. Drumheller #1 came in 11th place and Drumheller #2 came in 16th. On Sunday the relay event took place, and Kamloops again topped the leader board. Throughout the event, spectators were also treated to the TopCop Challenge where peace officers made their way through a gruelling obstacle course to be named TopCop.
    “It was awesome support from the whole town, the valley was behind it, there were tons of volunteers and lots of fans came out,” said Bolin. “The president of FireFit and every competitor there thought it was an awesome venue, and we put on a great show.”
     He adds this was the best participation in a FireFit from the local department. There is a chance they may continue to compete, as nationals are in Medicine Hat this year.
    “All these years of me pressuring them finally paid off,” laughs Bolin.
    He is planning on heading to the nationals September 15-18, and possibly to competition in Edmonton just a couple weeks before Medicine Hat.

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