South Yorkshire firefighter and SAS: Who Dares Wins champion to take on London Marathon in Guinness World Record attempt
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Mark Peart, aged 35, from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, is attempting to break a Guinness World Record by completing the full 26-mile run in under seven hours while completely kitted out in fire safety gear weighing a whopping 25 kilograms.
The breathing apparatus set will see Mark’s colleagues from across the UK support him by helping to swap the air cylinders at regular intervals along the course.
Mark, who works at Dearne Fire Station, says the seven-hour goal is “very generous” and believes he will be able to get to the finish line up to two hours sooner on Sunday, April 23.
Mark, from Brampton Bierlow, Rotherham, said: “Physically, it is a hard challenge, but I do feel like I'm more than capable of doing it. It's more the logistics of changing the cylinders. And if I'm not using the cylinders to breathe then I can't move, so if there's ever a fault or anything like that, I will have to stand still until it gets sorted.
“I've probably got a bit excited, but the hope is it will be under five hours, or around about that mark, based on what we've gauged with the pace I can hold with the consumption rate of the cylinders. But that’s only if everything goes to plan.”
Mark is no stranger to physical challenge after 15 years in the fire service since joining the RAF Fire Service in 2008. As a fitness enthusiast, he has run multiple marathons, up mountains, and in 2019 he even won Channel 4’s gruelling SAS: Who Dares Wins.
The challenge comes as part of a fundraiser for The Fire Fighters Charity which supports the health and wellbeing of serving and retired fire and rescue service personnel, their family, and other eligible members of the UK fire services community throughout their lives.
He said: “I’ve known about The Fire Fighters Charity throughout my career and I was part of a team that cycled the length of the UK in aid of it too. It’s a cause very close to my heart, I know a lot of people that have used the services and it’s such a valuable thing for us to have if we ever need it – for physical or mental health.
“I feel extremely fortunate that I get to do a job that I love. A lot of people now get stuck in jobs and they're not happy and I just think to be able to say that you do something that makes you really happy, I feel very lucky.
“With some of the things that we experience and see in the job, and the traumatic things we have to deal with, we’re fortunate to have that support there that if we do have any physical or mental problems that we have a network of people that we can speak to.”