Columbia firefighter runs Tunnel to Towers 5K in memory of fallen colleague

Columbia firefighter runs Tunnel to Towers 5K in memory of fallen colleague

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For years Columbia Senior Firefighter Terri Hale worked alongside Tyron Weston, who died last summer.

Hale said the Tunnel to Towers 5K will give her a chance to honor her colleague and friend.

"Wes holds a special place in my heart. He was such a good guy, and I worked with him for so many years," she said.

So in Weston's memory, Hale will run the Tunnel to Towers 5k Friday night in the protective gear she wears to fight fires.

"He's no longer with us. To do something for him as if he was still here means a lot...He'd do anything for anybody. He worked extremely hard no matter what the job was."
 
Weston died in July of 2015 after complications from a medical emergency that happened on duty. 
 
"At his funeral, it really meant a lot to me and I connected quite a bit with his funeral and the shock of that part of it….that it would be an honor to run in his place for this race," she said.
 
The weight of Hale's gear is 20 pounds and Columbia Fire estimates on a summer day the suit can reach up to 115 degrees without fighting a fire. 
 
"It might sound too simple but it's something that we're used to, it's something we're conditioned to," she said. 
 
But something they'll never be conditioned to is losing a colleague. It's one of many reasons Hale sees the race as a way to pay tribute to Weston's life.

"I hope I'll honor his name and what he's done for our department," she said. "I hope it makes his family proud."

There will be other firefighters running in the race in full gear Friday night. If you'd like to run alongside them or cheer them on, click here for more information.

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