Friday, January 9, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

As we ring in the new year, 8 of our Team Firefighter athletes are starting off on the right foot.
Eight TFFers are down in sunny (but cold) Florida running in the annual "Dopey Challenge" at Walt Disney World. In no particular order:

Jazz Zombo, Running in firefighting gear with Air-pack
Jamie Champion
Jim Williams
Dave Dushkin
Luke D. Lewis
Mike Pozika
Mark Cowderoy
Jeff Patrow

The races take place over 4 days and consists of a race each day, getting progressively longer. It starts with a 5K, then goes to a 10K, a Half-marathon, then a Marathon. As you can see, the collection of medals for the weekend is quite impressive.

Day 1: The 5K

As you can see from our pictures, spirits are high on the first day, even though the races start at the literal butt crack of dawn.
Everyone had a great time before, during, and after the race.

We will keep you all updated on their progress as the days go on with a final recap after the maraton on Sunday! Stay safe and warm, brothers and sisters!

Jazz, Jeff, Dush, and Jamie

Jazz and Jamie

Jeff finds a way to combat the wind chill

Below freezing is shorts and t-shirt weather for Canadian Mark

Luke packed all the essentials
Team Photo

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Aloha everyone! Today is the Ironman World Championship race from Hawaii! Team Firefighter is proud to have member Brendan Corcoran representing in this years race.

Brendan qualified for the "Big Island" race at Ironman Mont Tremblant this year, coming in 5th in his age group!

We are all extremely proud of you and are sending our best wishes for a great race!

To follow Brendan or any other athlete, go to and use the link below to watch the live stream starting at noon EST.

#teamfirefighter #iaff #fire #ironman #kona

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 6 and 7th, 2014

Another great weekend for Team Firefighter!

Florida member Jazz Zombo completed the Stephen Stiller Tunnels to Tower 5k in her full firefighting gear with airpack.

Marius Laursen from South Dakota completed a Half Marathon with a time of 2:16 on Sunday.

+Benjamin Racho completed the Westport Kiwanis Sprint Triathlon run by +Trifitness   in 53:46 and shaved 7 minutes off of his previous time on the same course.

All in all a great weekend for racing!

#firefighterfitness #fire #triathlon #teamfirefighter #tunneltotowers #westport  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

     Team Firefighter would like to welcome +LifeProof as one of our newest sponsors! #Lifeproof makes the best protective cases for your iPhone, iPad, and Samsung smart phones. 
     Make sure you check out their products which are some of the highest rated in the industry at and check out some of the pictures and videos taken with lifeproof cases. The underwater ones are amazing!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Race report from Waconia HITS full Tri. 

     I went into this race with the mind set to actually race and not just do it to finish so I had no idea how it would turn out. Rachel Zambrano you inspired me to do this n you will remember when I explain. In Austin when we ran the Marathon Rachel had gut problems from pre-race dinner. Well she was talking with my wife at some point when I was not around n asked my wife if I was holding back n had more left. Not sure what my wife said but I believe Rachel said his race results never reflect that. Which is true. So I decided to race it. Thanks Rachel for helping me PR. I PR'd by one hour twenty two minutes.
     August weather here can be brutal n humid so when I got up n got to be time for swim start it was cloud cover n fairly decent temp. Swim went well. Nice clean lake n calm. It was a two loop swim n they had us come out of the water n run a ways on the beach n back in at the start for our second loop. The half started at the same time. My swim time was 1:17:58. 9 minutes faster then IM WI last September. I was very happy with my swim. T1 3:12 n off on the bike.
     The bike is my strongest leg. It was a four 28 mile loop coarse. Went out hard and kept it going for two loops. Third loop was still hard but toned it down a bit. A few of the roads were bumpy n had no shoulder so traffic had to go around you. Roads kept rattling my bottle cages loose and I lost a full bottle of nutrition n almost lost my second one but noticed it had fallen out n went back about 100 yards to pick it up. This happened on my third loop so I really needed that nutrition as miles were adding up. Nice thing about 4 loops you went by your special needs bag three times which was nice. Other than having bottle cage issues bike went well. 5:20:14. I ranked 19th in the swim and 1st on the bike. I had no idea out on the coarse because they ran the full n half together. Wish they would have had a way on bike n run to identify half n full athletes. Passed a lot of people n never got passed by anyone. I was nervous I had gone to hard on the bike n would have nothing left for the run. My running is not fast n I need to work on that.

T2 2:30 and off and running. As soon as I got off my bike the sun came out n it got hot n humid. Run was brutal. Out n back twice for the full. 6.55 miles. I decided to not wear my fuel belt like I did in WI. The aid stations were not as often as Ironman events n I needed more at some points in the race. Quads started cramping about two miles into run n I thought oh well swim n bike went well. Kept running n that went away. Pounded water n coke at every stop. Crammed ice in my Tri top n used the sponges to wet head n neck down. I always try not to get my feet wet but it was impossible not to. I had a fresh pair of socks n shoes in my special needs bag half way. That felt awesome for about 4 miles n they were soaked with everything dripping off me from trying to stay cool. Was in third place till around mile 22 then got passed. Finished run in 4:57:04. Need work on my run. Ended up 6th overall n 5 th in the males. 1st in my age group. Total time 11:41:01. Very happy with my race.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What a weekend for Team Firefighter! This past weekend we had two of our firefighters complete full distance triathlons.

Firefighter +Pat Hamler competed in the #HITS triathlon series in Waconia, MN. His results were amazing, nabbing 1st in his age group and 5th place overall!

Our other story is about Firefighter +Brendan Corcoran, who was at Ironman Mont Tremblant this weekend. His performance in the race earned him a 5th place in his age group, which also has qualified him to compete in the +Ironman Triathlon World Championship at #Kona !

Congratulations to both of our athletes on amazing performances this weekend and Team Firefighter will see you in Hawaii!

A big thanks to all our Team Firefighter sponsors whose support has helped our two firefighters achieve such amazing feats this weekend.
+XTERRA Wetsuits +Road ID +David McQuillen +TrainingPeaks +Mt. Borah Custom +TriSports Tempe +SolRx CA +Rudy ProjectUSA +Duro Tire, Honey Stinger #HSHIVE, Boston Common Coffee, Infinit Nutrition, Flexr Sports,, RaceDay Transport, and Running Warehouse

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ricardo Alamo - Ironman Louisville 2013

Race morning came quick. It was 4 am and I was up before any of the 3 alarms that I set went off. Get it done! I told myself and then began with my pre race routine shower, PB & J sandwich and some coffee.

I was feeling good about my race the weather had been good the entire week that I was in Louisville and I had scoped out the course so I knew what to expect. I grabbed my swim cap, goggles and woke Mina up to let her know I was off she said she loved me wished me luck and that she would be there to see me come out of the water. 

I made my way to the transition area which was a half mile walk from the hotel to set up my bike and nutrtion. The walk was quiet even though there were hundreds of triathletes and spectators on the narrow road along the river. Everyone looked focused and serious. I tried to smile strike up a few conversations but nobody was really wanting to have small talk.

Finally I made my way into transition found my bike checked the tire pressure and added my race day nutrition then walked another mile to the swim start. 
The swim start is different than any other Ironman it's not a mass start rather you line up single file and jump off a boat dock one at a time, last year it took about 45 minutes to get all the athletes in the water, so they encourage the slow swimmers to line up as early as possible. I heard of some athletes arriving at 1 am to stand in line but I didn't think that I needed the extra time so I decided to take a risk get some extra sleep and try to arrive at the swim start by 5:30 am hoping to end up somewhere in the middle.

When I got to the swim start the line was really long and  I was starting to get a lil discouraged because I didn't want to be the last person in line.  I made my way towards the back of the line and was trying to count how many people were in front of me so that I could get an idea of were I was. Then finally I reached the end of the line, a sigh of relief, my risk worked I had positioned myself in a good spot. While I was standing in line, I saw Lito walking by and it was great to finally see a familiar face. "hey Lito buenos dias man let me get out of line y me espero con togo" I spoke span english to Lito. I met Lito while dinning at the hotel he had a short build to him looked very athletic and had a heavy accent he was from Puerto Rico and was here to complete his first Ironman. We had shared a few meals together and talked about our journeys his home and the Ironman course. So I got out of my position in line and walked maybe about 20 yards to the end to stand in line with Lito. It was about 6 am and the start was about an hour away. 

Because of how far away my position was from the swim start it was hard to hear any announcements. I remember thinking this kinds sucks I won't hear the national anthem or any of the morning opening ceremonies. Then I heard a loud BOOOOM! the sound of the start connon and Ironman Louisville had officially started. The line was moving pretty quick and as I approached the swim start I looked over at Lito and gave him a high five and said  "lets kick some ass" he replied "lets get it done man." As I approached the dock the music was playing and the crowd was gathered around the athletes making their way towards the jump off spot. I felt like a fighter making my way into the ring with the crowd lining the path and the other athletes as my entourage. Then finally I jogged down the walk way towards the end of the doc and jumped into the warm Ohio River. 

The water felt warm at 82 degrees and as I was slowly resurfacing after my jump…..Bam! Someone had jumped on top of me and pushed me back down. It caught me off guard and I began to panic as I fought my way back to the top of the river to get some air. When I finally resurfaced I gasped for oxygen and caught my breath. My neck and back were not feeling good and I was a lil shook up. But I just started to swim. I remember doing breathing drills during my swim workouts and I just treated this as a breathing drill till I could compose myself and get into a groove. About 500 yards into my swim I looked at my garmin and I was moving super slow. It was discouraging. But then I realized that I was swimming up river and that when I hit the turnaround spot my splits would get better as I would be swimming down stream. The swim went ok the rest of the way. My neck and back were in pain from getting jumped on but I was able to just get it done. 

Finally, I arrived at the swim finish and exited the water made the short jog over to the transition area and glanced into the crowd looking for my lil Mina but didn't see her. I grabbed my gear bag made my way into the tent, changed, grabbed my bike and off I went on my 112 mile journey. The bike ride has a lot of rolling hills and a few climbs. However, the first 10 miles are pretty flat. I felt good but decided to not push hard rather just take it easy and get into my cycling groove.

About an hour into the bike ride I made it to the first climb and was doing good staying on top of my nutrient and my hydration. Wasn't going for a bike PR rather just a smooth ride and my focus was to have a good marathon. At about mile 20 I came up to the first aid station cooled myself, the heat was starting to raise and so was the humidity, got fresh water and gatoraid and kept riding. Shortly after while descending I hit a pot hole on and my water went flying and there was no way that I was going to be able to get it back. This was not good because I was probably about 45 minutes to the next aid station. So i conserved my gatoraid and used it to hydrate. I made it to the next aid station and filled up with water and continued on. But my stomach was starting to feel funny because of the gatoraid and I could not get any food down. I decided to just focus and hydrating and evaluating my digestive system at the next aid station.  

At about mile 56 I finally started to feel caught up on my fluids and my stomach started to settle to the point were I could get some food down. I got through the next 14 miles pretty smooth and I was starting to relax and settle into a groove.
Before I could get comfortable a really sharp pain started on my left foot and felt as if the side of my foot was about to snap off. I could not tolerate my foot inside my cycling shoe. Somehow the clips shifted forcing my foot sideways and I was using the side of my foot to push down on the pedals. I had no choice but to pull over and try to figure out what was going on. I could not bear any weight on my left foot. So I decided to ride with my foot outside my shoe and try to power through to see if the pain would subside. It was a slow push. The heat and humidity of Louisville were slowly creeping up on me as well.

I made a decision to stop and try to regroup because I also started to feel dehydrated, fatigued and I was still a distance from another aid station. After a few minutes I just  decided to try and pedal through the pain and keep moving forward. The only way to continue was to start taking it one minute at a time sometimes 15 seconds "ok just tolerate this pain for 15 seconds and you can pull over" "Ok I can hang another 15 seconds" "give me another mile" I kept talking myself through the pain the fatigue and the thirst. Because I had spent so much time focusing on my foot I had run low on my hydration and nutrition. Finally at about mile 80 I made it to an aid station and pulled over to try and regroup. I felt like shit I was limping and could not put any weight on my left foot. I knew that I also had to hydrate and get some food down.

Then I began to doubt myself and gave myself an out: I thought you can give up there is no way your going to run a marathon with your foot feeling this way why finish up the bike just tap out. I began to cry and then I thought of a quote by Eric Thomas " don't cry to give up keep going! don't cry to quiet! Your already in pain get a reward from it!" I wiped the tears and got on that bike and rode. 

My foot was hurting really bad but I had hydrated enough and ate enough at that aid station that I was no longer fighting dehydration and fatigue just foot pain. I began to again take it minutes and seconds at a time and before I knew it I was at mile 90. Only 22 miles till the bike finish and again the heat and humidity had sucked the water right out of me and the fatigued made it difficult to pedal up the short rolling hills. But I kept going and pushing through the  Ironman war zone. I could see the casualties on the side of the rode laying next to their bike tapped out done for the day. I kept asking "you Ok" and I would get a nod or a thumbs up. I just kept fighting. I fought for every inch and every pedal stroke and again I would take it minutes even seconds at a time. "ok ride for 15 seconds and you can pull over and lie down if you want" "come on get it done! get it done!" and just like that mile 110 came up and I began to sob. . I had been broken down so much mentally and physically and pulled through it that I was overcome with so much emotion. 

As I rode into transition I saw Mina standing on the side of the rode by herself. Her face lit up and she was so happy to finally see me. "OMG dad where  have you? Ive been trying to find you all day" as she ran along the rode trying to snap a picture. It felt good to finally see her too. She had no idea what I just went thorough and seeing her was my reward. of course I began to cry. With tears running down my face I pulled into transition and the volunteer grabbing my bike said "don't cry your in a good position you didn't miss the bike cut off and you have plenty of time to finish" I replied " I almost gave up out there it was a fight to get here and I just saw my daughter I'm just overcome with emotion right now." he high fived me and told me to keep going. 

Getting of the bike felt so good they could of told me that they were dumping the bike in the garbage and I would of been ok with that. I slowly made my way to the changing tent and my left foot was throbbing really bad. I could barley walk. I thought how the french Im i going to run a marathon like this, changed into my running gear and made my way out to the run course. Lil Mina was standing at the run start. I think she could see the look on my face that I was thinking of throwing in the towel because she didn't even give me a chance to say anything to her. She said "dad if you only knew what I went through today to try and see you on the bike! Ill see you at mile 13 ok dad bye" and off she went. So she didn't leave me with any other options other than to at least make it to mile 13. The first mile was painful feeling defeated and I had 25.2 to go.

How could I finish in time walking a 17 min mile pace and the clock was not on my side. Cross the finish line in under 17 hours or it doesn't count. I had about 6 hours and 40 minutes to get it done. Then I thought about fireman Rob. He walks these marathons in full turnouts and moves quickly. I remember watching him walk in Arizona so I knew that walking a marathon at a good pace was possible. So I just started to walk fast. I looked at my garmin and it was reading 4.4 miles per hour. I figured if I kept this pace id be able to make the cut off. My foot was still in pain and I was fatigued from the bike ride but I kept walking.

The marathon is a 2 looped course 8 miles out the first loop then back 6 out 6 back 6.  When I made it to mile 4 I saw Lito walking back on  the  other side. "hey Lito" I was happy to see him I thought he had a great day and was on his last lap heading to the finish area. He had this look on his face as if he was in pain he looked at me and said "it hurts man" I told him "dale dale sige moviendote!" go go keep on moving. Seeing a familiar face gave me some inspiration and  I kept moving forward as well at a fast walk. At mile 8 I heard the beep from the tracking device and I thought of everyone at home fallowing me how they probably were on the edge of their seats cheering me on. I was at  the first turnaround and I was heading back towards mile 13. I tried to run but it aggravated the blisters on my feet. So i just kept walking fast. 

Finally made it to mile 13 and Mina was there to great me with a sign and a smile. "Hey dad smile" as she took a picture. "Dad do you need anything can I get you a coke?" "no honey I'm good" I replied. "Ok dad see you on the other side" and I kept walking I knew that I was racing the clock and that I didn't have much time to talk. At this pace If I continued Id be able to make the cutoff and finish. At about mile 16 the blisters on my feet were so bad and painful that I started to slow down. I could not hold that fast walk anymore. Then the doubt came back. Well this is it your done then I saw Lito I thought oh man that last loop was his first loop he is also having a tough time. He said something but I couldn't hear him and I yelled at him "just keep moving"   again he gave me some motivation and I refused to give up not after what I conquered on that bike ride.

So i began to fight. "ok walk for 15 seconds and you can take a break" then I knew I had to start running to make up some of the lost time from walking to slow. Ok run a quarter mile then you can walk slow. Inch by inch I fought and fought and made it to mile 20. It was dark out and all you could see were neon lights that athletes had around their neck and I was no longer looking at a marathon ahead of me. All that was between me and that finish line was a 10k and I had 90 minutes to get it done. I felt that I could finally take a gamble and just run. So I started to run. Id run for about half mile then walk a quarter mile then run half a mile till I made it to mile 24. 
I couldn't believe that I had made it this far. I thought "I'm gonna get it done" At this point I started to jog and I felt like everyone who was watching me at home, were on the side of  the lonely streets of downtown Louisville cheering me on bringing me home. I could see your faces it was a surreal experience.  

When I turned the corner and I could see the bright lights and hear the crowd.  . I had reached my destination and  I began to cry because I thought of the time 2 years ago when I was 310 pounds, couldn't stop drinking and wanted to end my life. I was so happy that I chose to live that I chose to change my lifestyle most importantly I had realized that even though life growing up wasn't the greatest I had one of the greatest blessing in the world my lil Mina and I couldn't wait to see her at the finish line. I made my way down the shoot and enjoyed the crowed. It was loud and high fives everywhere. When I crossed the finish line, I took a bow because it was a great performance and pointed to everyone at home watching me to thank them for the support and I raised my arms up in victory!

 "I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.
Vince Lombardi"