Warren Maslin of Ashburton is the only known volunteer firefighter from New Zealand competing in the World Firefighter Combat Challenge in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in November. He’ll be competing in the Individual Over 40 category, and also in the Tandem category with American Jimmy Roger.
The first and last time he had a run on the full Firefighter Combat Challenge course was in 2007 at the UFBA Nationals in Feilding. And with the cancellation of the National Combat Challenge due to the Canterbury Earthquake, the next time will be when he reaches the US.
Earlier this year, he won the Mid and North Canterbury Combat Challenge and got the second fastest time at the Canterbury Provincial event – both times on short courses with three flights of stairs instead of the standard six.
While it’s unfortunate that he won’t get the extra practice of competing in a national event, he says he’s not all that worried about it. He had already booked his trip and put in so much time preparing, so calling it quits wasn’t an option.
“I’m pleased with where I am,” Maslin says. “My lung capacity is up 10% from where it was six months ago. Tom Reid from Christchurch Airport Fire Brigade is setting up a timed trial run that’s only 4 steps shy of the real thing. And I’m hoping to get some extra wildcard runs when I get to Myrtle Beach. I’m really grateful to everyone from Ashburton and surrounding brigades for all their support and encouragement.”
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