As most of your know, my husband Lenny is in the Portland Fire Department (and is also a Realtor). Since 2008, he and his fellow colleagues have participated in the American Lung Association’s Race Up Boston Place. This year, the department won the fire fighter division for the third time in five years!
The stair climb takes place at the BNY Mellon Building at One Boston Place – the third tallest building along Boston’s skyline with 41 stories. The guys in the PFD joined this event in 2008 and decided that they were not going to just climb, they were going to climb wearing their full turnout gear, including helmet and breathing air from their SCBA air packs. It was a first. That first year the Portland Fire Department did not win, but they would the next year and the year after that!
Since the PFD did not win in 2011, this year seemed less stressful and everyone seemed to just be going to have fun and do their best – not defend a title. There was lots of talk around the building that morning about other departments and how they trained and how some fire fighters were also triathletes and how so many departments wanted to win. I was able to volunteer at the top of the stairs for a bit and see some of the other teams finish – and some of them were SO fast and they were hardly sweating once they reached the top. About 15 minutes into the fire fighter division, I was sure there wasn’t a chance that we would win.
Once the competition was over, we headed over to the award ceremony at a local pub called Scholars. The PFD and all us wives found a great place to view the trophy presentation along a second floor balcony. Of course the fire fighter division is always announced last, so as we were listening to all the individual awards, a familiar name was called – Liz Westburg – she was one of the wives who climbed with me on the Wives of the PFD team. She won the women 30-39 age group! And then, when they started to announce the mens division, two more familiar names were announced – Ryan Thomson, fastest male fire fighter in the 30-39 age group and James Westburg (Liz’s husband!) was number three in the same category! Three champions in our group – SO EXCITING and SO PROUD! This was clearly as far as we thought our winning streak was going this year.
And then it was time for the fastest fire fighter team. In years past they have drawn this out. Starting with third place and then second and so on. This year, well, you can see here. It was SO EXCITING and so unexpected! We had all planned on going out to dinner to celebrate recent promotions, but this gave us another reason to celebrate! OH! And the PFD and Wives of the PFD helped lead the company rank fundraising division with a total of $7,940.50. Only $59.50 from $8,000! If you would like to help us top $8,000, donate here!
Congratulations to all participants!