Dickman, with his wife Linda, cheered for those running in memory of his son Jamie Dickman who was killed while fighting a January fire in Toledo. Perkins firefighter Brian Hackenburg ran the race in full firefighter turnout gear and presented his medal to Jamie’s father after the 4 hour, 43 minute race.
Before the end of Hackenburg’s marathon, Jamie’s sister Libby Cheney finished her own half marathon after deciding to run the day before. “It has been such an honor to be a part of this crew” she said.
Perkins firefighter Matt Riggle ran the half marathon in turnout gear. He ran his first half marathon and his first race in the extra 40-plus pounds of firefighter gear. “I didn’t really think about it, I just kept pushing forward”
Watch more reaction from Riggle in the player below
As Riggle crossed the finish line he stretched his arms into the air and was then greeted by Cheney and her parents. Tears streamed down Greg’s cheeks as he was overcome by emotion with the support shown for his family.
“We lost Jamie, but we gained thousands of sons and daughters.” Linda Dickman said, “They have just been so kind to us”
Listen to more from the Dickman family in the player below
Jamie Dickman worked for the Perkins fire department with Brian Hackenburg for 10 years, and the pair had run together in past races to bring awareness to firefighter fitness through First Due Tackle racing. The group has raised thousands of dollars to purchase fire safety equipment. Riggle also worked with Dickman on the fire department.
As Hackenburg and Riggle navigated their respective courses the cheers became louder for the runners, especially the more-populated viewing sections of the course. Words of encouragement were heard throughout their races. One runner ran with Hackenburg for a short time and asked how far he planned to run. Hackenburg responded with “26.2, I’m here to finish the race”
Watch Hackenburg run through a crowded section of the course in the player below
The proceeds from this weekend’s race are being used to send family members of Dickman and Stephen Machcinski, who was also killed in the January fire in Toledo, to the International Association of Firefighters Memorial in Colorado Springs.
Each runner for Sunday’s races received a red wristband with “Toledo Strong” printed in bold, black letters in memory of the two fallen firefighters. Hackenburg delivered over 150 of the wristbands during his 26.2-mile stretch through the streets of Toledo.
Huron fire Lt. Paul Hasenmeier and firefighter Charlie Ruggles joined Perkins fire Lt. Brent Bronner and Norwalk FD's Craig Capera in running with the First Due Racing team. The firefighters were also joined by Sandusky police chief John Orzech, retired chief Charlie Sams and Perkins police chief Ken Klamar.
For more information go to firstduetackle.com .