Athletes of the Week: RC Firefighter Combat Challenge

While area teams are gearing up for the high school football playoffs, one area team is taking their game to the *world* level.
Taylor Kauffman caught up with this week's Athletes of the Week.

Fire combat challenge

Marshall says, 'You have good friends and your buddies, but you get on the course and all you want to do is beat them.'

The Rapid City Fire Department is competing in one of the toughest sports challenges around.

Paco says, 'We're doing the firefighter combat challenge.'
Lee says, 'It's just maximum effort for two minutes, and you're completely taxed.'

It's a short course that takes a lot of physical *and* mental toughness.

Paco says, 'Nothing I've done football, rodeo, basketball, crossfit. There is nothing like this. There is truly nothing like the burn, nothing like the fatigue factor, the mental wear.'

Lee says, 'Paul Davis came up with it about 26 years ago, and it's basically a series of events to test your mental strength, physical strength, and endurance. In preperation for our job and what we have to do.'

The course consists of five real-life firefighting tasks.

Lee says, 'Climb five flights of stairs wearing our full gear, pull a hose roll up to the top and over. Run down the stairs, hit a keiser sled, run some cones, pull a hose and then drag a dummy 110 feet all the way to the end.'

Do you remember your first time running through it? Marshall says, 'I do and it was really tough.'
Paco says, 'For me the dummy drag is by far the hardest. It seems like a bunch of simple tasks, five flights up and then you walk back down, and the keiser sled is forceable entry. But, by the time you get to the 180 pound dummy you're mentally spent.'

Next week, the RCFD combat challenge team will be in Louisville, Kentucky competing at Worlds.

Lee says, 'We're doing everything we can to prepare ourselves to run that course as fast as we can.'

And they're not taking it lightly.

Marshall says, 'I think we're going to be pretty competitive at worlds this year. That's at least what we're hoping for.'
Lee says, 'We train three to four days a week, and outside of what we do for our jobs.'
Are you guys ready? Lee says, 'absolutely, absolutely.'

Best of luck to the Rapid City combat team, and congratulations for being this week's Powerade Athletes of the Week. For Black Hills FOX Sports, I'm Taylor Kauffman.>

The world firefighter combat challenge is from October 23rd through the 28th, and you can watch the competition on ESPN3.