Royston firefighters raise �14k for NY marathon

FIREFIGHTERS from Royston have raised more than �14,000 for charity but face a gruelling marathon in the USA for their troubles.

A team of five runners are set to compete in the New York Marathon next month, and have been working hard in the community to raise money for The Firefighters Charity, which helps injured servicemen and bereaved families among others.

The idea for Royston’s firefighters to compete in the tough 26-mile run, to be held on November 6, came from firefighter Nigel Etherington.

The 39-year-old, who has never run a marathon before, said: “The Hertfordshire service over the past few years has been unfortunate to experience some fatalities.

“The Firefighters Charity does quite a bit of work rehabilitating firefighters who experience any sort of injury on duty and they work very closely with families of firefighters, including those who have been killed on duty.

“It’s more than just a bit of help – it’s a complete support network.”

Royston’s runners will fly out on November 4 and will have the chance to visit their American counterparts and also Ground Zero – a trip made even more poignant as this year marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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First time marathon runner Keith Brown, 33, said: “I’m proud that we’re raising money for the UK Firefighters Charity.

“However, it is also the anniversary of 9/11, and out of all the emergency services the firefighters lost so many more.

“I had a good deal of respect for people who had done a marathon, and now having done the training, when I meet anyone who has run a marathon it’s ‘blimey well done’.”

Also taking part will be Del Hutton, Spencer Calvert, and Sean Commerford.

All the fundraising and training has been done in the firefighters’ spare time and the runners’ efforts have impressed station commander Les Jones.

“It’s the most I have seen raised, and I have been here 25 years. It’s very impressive,” he said.

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