SAN ANTONIO - On Sunday morning, more than 20,000 runners will hit the streets to participate in the 10th annual Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Out of all those runners, only one will be running the race in full firefighting gear.
San Antonio firefighter Charles Hughes said he’s running the half-marathon portion in full gear in honor of fallen firefighters and other first responders. He will also be raising money for the 100 Club of San Antonio, which helps the families of fallen and injured first responders.
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“(Families of fallen first responders) have a hard row ahead of them. It’s not easy. It made me realize that I want to do something that's not easy for me to honor what they're going through,” Hughes said.
Hughes had seen other firefighters racing in full gear for a cause and was looking for a reason of his own. Then came the Ingram Square fire in May that took the life of firefighter Scott Deem and severely injured Brad Phipps.
“That solidified for me that I want to do something to honor them, to raise money to support their families, and to raise awareness to the city about the 100 Club, which is supporting their families,” Hughes said.
The 100 Club has also helped the families of Detective Benjamin Marconi and Officer Miguel Moreno, among others. Hughes reached out to the organization and offered to help raise money with his run.
“We were so excited. We love it when our first responders get involved with us,” said Richard Miller, president of the 100 Club of San Antonio.
Through the pain and fatigue of the race, Hughes will have something to think about for those 13.1 miles.
“I think my mind is going to be filled with thoughts of why I'm doing this. It's going to be filled with the face of the families and those who have died in the line of duty,” he said.
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