Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

One trained for six months and ran around the streets in his full kit.

The other joked, “I put stones in my pockets as I ran to the pub.”

But they matched each other for cruelty and determination for a cause that stood near them.

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Firefighters Ryan Jones and Andy Ball both completed the Manchester Marathon – wearing full fire safety equipment and respirators.

The 34 kg extra weight consisted of pants; fire coat; respiratory protection tunic; a zippered cap and gloves in the pockets; helmet; and a BA on the back.

But yesterday, despite swarming in the autumn sun, they both crossed the border to raise thousands of pounds for dementia and Alzheimer’s charities.

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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services’ Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel had joined the couple for a training session in August.

The trio ran 6.6 miles the distance from Hindley to Atherton station and back while wearing their fire equipment.

Firefighters Ryan Jones (left) and Andy Ball with County Fire Officer Dave Russel. The trip warmed 6.6 km to the Ryan and Andy Marathon.

Ryan, 33, who is based at Hindley Fire Station near Wigan, said: “We’ve both never run a marathon. The boss fixed us some gear and I’ve been training for about six months in my kit. I got some fun looks.”

He was inspired to take up the challenge after seeing the tragic way dementia affected the grandmother of his fiancée, Demi Blakely.

“Demis nan, Lynne Blakely has been working for 30 years as a prison officer, and is only 61 years old. It’s so sad to see how the disease has changed her. I have known her for about four years and when we first met her was “For the last two years she’s gone downhill and now she does not know who people are.”

Firefighter Ryan Jones in full fire gear on his way to the Manchester Marathon

Andy, 36, who works for the Fire Investigation Department in Stretford, said: “My grandfather, Derek Pearson, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s ten years ago. My grandmother, Maureen, has cared for him all that time. They are both now in their 80s. Now my grandfather is in a home.It has been embarrassing for both of them.My grandfather is physically fit for his age he served in the merchant navy.But it is his mind that is affected.

“Between 16 and 22 miles, when it was really hard to run a marathon, I thought about them and what they had been through – the pain I felt in comparison was nothing.

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“I kept singing Oasis songs, bad, that were on my speakers, and having a laugh with spectators – it also took my mind off the pain. I just kept saying to myself, reach 25 miles, and the last mile will be fun. When I finished, it was dark. “

Firefighter Ryan Jones and fiance, Demi Blakley. He ran a marathon in full firefighting equipment to raise money for a dementia charity. Demi’s grandmother, Lynne, suffers from the disease.

Andy finished on a heroic 7 hours 40 minutes. Waiting for him at the finish line were his wife, Faye, and sons Stanley at four and Charlie at two. As his father hit the final 100 yards, Charlie ran into his arms and Andy carried him across the line.

“I filled my pockets with rocks every night and ran to the pub to work out. Ryan was a little more serious. But nothing was able to stop us both,” said Andy, who lives in St. Louis. Helens.

Ryan finished in six hours six minutes and 58 seconds. “It was hot and hard. The first 16 kilometers I ran most of the way, then I hit a wall. My dad, John, was cycling along the route, and and he kept me going. I would not have finished without him. The set became very heavy with sweat and blisters appeared. The support from the public was fantastic. “

Donate to Andy and Ryan’s fundraisers here and here.

Ryan had hoped to raise £ 5,000 for Dementia UK and has already passed £ 7,000. Andy had a goal of £ 1000 for the Alzheimer’s Society and has reached £ 2,700.

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