Hero Half Marathon Honors All First Responders

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) --  The Hero Half Marathon started in 2014 as a 9/11 memorial to honor the sacrifices all first responders made then and make today.

One of the events at today’s race was the firefighter challenge where firefighters put on all their gear, which weighs about 50 pounds, and run either 13 miles from Lake Fayetteville to the Walton Arts Center or one mile.

Fayetteville firefighter Bryce Skordal finished first in the half marathon with all his gear on.

“It was a good day for a run. The run is real nice because it’s all on the trails, so you’re off the traffic and you kind of zone out,” said Skordal.

He said he just found a good pace, stuck with it and tried not to pay attention to how far it was.

“It’s my second year and I think it’s my last year…I beat my first years’ time and I think I’m good enough…I’m done,” said Skordal.

Farmington firefighter Andrew Patton was the first firefighter to complete the one mile race.

“It’s a lot of weight on you but I enjoyed it because you get out here with the community and people supporting the fire department and people supporting your community…it’s just a win-win either way,” said Patton.

There was also a regular half marathon that anyone could run.

Matt Martin came in first and said he can’t imagine running as far as he did with gear on.

“These are the kind of races that make it a lot of fun, you see your friends and neighbors out here cheering for you,” said Martin. “I saw some college buddies along the way that work for the fire department and they were cheering for me," he said, "so it just makes you feel good and it’s exciting to come out and do this."

The proceeds from this event went to several charities including the Fayetteville Firefighters Scholarship fund, the Spark Foundation and Arkansas Special Olympics.