Ever thought about running a marathon in full firefighter gear? Neither have we. But it’s an experience that fireman, triathlete and DSC member Jose “Fireman Joe” Zambrano knows full well. Of course, running with roughly 45 pounds of gear on your back sounds crazy, but Jose does it for a good reason—to raise awareness for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and to honor those lost in the line of duty.
Q: Do people stare when you’re training in your fire gear?
A: All the time. They typically ask, “Where’s the fire?”
Q: How hot does it get in your gear? Surface-of-the-sun hot, or just Death-Valley-at-high-noonhot?
A: Definitely like Death Valley at high noon.
Q: Do you immediately jump in an ice bath after the race?
A: I have a quick cold shower, followed by a warm shower.
Q: Does your wife think you’re crazy?
A: The other guys at the station do, but my wife doesn’t. In fact, she’s my biggest fan and supporter.
Q: Everyone calls you “Fireman Joe.” Do you feel you’ve achieved some level of celebrity status on the West Coast marathon circuit?
A: As long as I’m in my fire gear people recognize me, but I’m no Kim Kardashian.
Q: How does it feel when everyone is cheering you on that last stretch of a race?
A: It makes me feel like I just accomplished something big for my cause, and it gives me a huge sense of satisfaction.
Q: If you were running a race and you saw a fire, would you stop to put it out?
A: Yes, I’m always a firefighter whether I’m on or off the job.
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