A firefighter in Pennsylvania recently honored his father in a big way and his family, friends and hometown were there to support him every step of the way.
On Sunday, Ryan Robeson participated in the sixth annual Scranton Half-Marathon, running 13 miles in full firefighting gear.
The gear — the jacket, pants, boots, helmet — weighed nearly 50 pounds. He also carried a tank.
“I hope that people can appreciate the amount of effort, not that I’m putting forth, but that our firefighters put forth. You know, when there’s an actual structure fire and the guys (are) going to a job, it’s much more taxing on the body than my half-marathon will be,” said Robeson, a former firefighter in Scranton, Pennsylvania, who now fights fires in York.
Robeson was born into a family of firefighters. His father, Scranton Fire Department Capt. James Robeson, was killed fighting fires in 2008.
“What happened with my dad kind of led me to where I am now in a lot of ways,” he said. “I had big shoes to fill so I’m trying to do that.”
He trained for weeks so he could complete the marathon and show others what his father did and loved and what fellow firefighters do every day.
On Sunday, as Robeson participated in the half-marathon in Scranton, residents, even children, cheered his name.
More than 2,000 runners and walkers joined Robeson in the half-marathon, ABC News affiliate WNEP-TV reported.
I had big shoes to fill so I’m trying to do that.
“When he approached me about that to help with the logistics portion of it, I said ‘Well, of course you’re gonna do that,'” firefighter and friend Kyle Savage told WNEP-TV. “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Robeson was assisted by his wife and family as they helped him switch tanks, which ran out about every mile, and helped him chug water.
He crossed the finish line a few minutes past his goal of 3.5 hours.