NEWTON — More than 100 people participated in last year's inaugural Fueled By Fire Run, an event hosted by Newton Fire/EMS to benefit the Community Chaplain Response Team.
"Our Peer Fitness Team dreamt it up and said, 'How can we get our community involved with the fire department in something that promotes physical fitness?' We feel like it was a success last year," said Newton Fire/EMS Division Chief Phil Beebe.
This year's Fueled By Fire Run will take place at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 21 (with a 7:30 a.m. start time) starting at Athletic Park. Just like last year, it features both a 2-mile and 9-mile route to accommodate all fitness levels.
"The nine-milers go all the way out to the Bethel trails and back," Beebe SAID.
The 9-mile course includes Bethel College's Sand Creek Trail, a 2-mile stretch of wood-chip trail, and Beebe said several runners told him last year they appreciated the break from running on harder surfaces.
If the weather is warm enough on the morning of the run, a tender truck will spray water on the 9-mile competitors as they pass through Centennial Park.
"All nine-milers get a finisher's medal," Beebe added.
Walking was a popular option for those taking on the 2-mile course last year.
"If anybody wants to get out with their kids and have a fun little walk or jog with a stroller, it's going to be along Sand Creek again," Beebe said.
There will not be a time limit for completion of the Fueled By Fire Run, and walkers are welcome.
"This year, we're going to put our aerial platform out at the starting line with the flag hanging down," Beebe said.
While the run focuses on fitness, it also allows Newton Fire/EMS to give back to an organization that supports them in several ways.
"(The chaplains) come out any time there's a cardiac arrest," Beebe said. "They'll connect with the family while we're working on their loved one. That's a big deal for us."
CCRT team members also provide water and food for firefighters when they respond to a major fire.
"They come out any time we have extended scene times or are working in extreme temperatures," Beebe said. "They're just a phone call away, all the time, and it's through fundraisers like this that they have the resources to support us."
Registration fees for Fueled By Fire Run are $33 for the 9-mile runners and $28 for the 2-mile runners. All participants will receive a T-shirt, and refreshments will be served after the run. Registration can be done online at https://www.fueledbyfirenewton.net or in person at Newton Fire/EMS Station 2, located at 200 E. Third St.
For more information about Fueled by Fire, call or text Beebe at 316-772-7615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.