Firefighters get workout equipment |

Firefighters get workout equipment

Scott N. Miller
Special to the Daily The Vail Fire Department Monday received a truckload of workout equipment.

It’s good to be connected.

Thanks to a good connection, the Vail Fire Department Monday was the beneficiary of a surprise gift: a truckload of workout equipment. The gear came courtesy of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, a famed endurance race held every October in Hawaii. The connection was through celebrity firefighter Ryan Sutter.

The Ironman every year invites a handful of celebrity athletes to compete in the grueling event, providing training and gear for the invited guests. One of this year’s invitations was extended to Sutter, who last year moved to the top of local list of glamor couples thanks to his win on the TV show “The Bachelorette” and subsequent televised marriage to co-star Trista Rehn.

Sutter is racing for charity, having recently signed up as national spokesman for the Firefighters National Trust, an on-line charity that provides aid to families of fallen firefighters. He’s also happy to help his colleagues.

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“Like a lot of things in my life lately, this puts a strain on the other firefighters I’m on duty with,” Sutter said. “I’m glad I could do this.”

Fellow firefighters watched in a combination of amusement and amazement as the cameras and public relations types arrived at the station Monday. But when the truck arrived and the back door opened, eyes opened wide.

“This is pretty exciting,” resident firefighter Justin Cotsamire said. “We’ve got great new equipment and we’ve just expanded our gym.” That gym is at the East Vail firehouse.

And, Cotsamire said, the gift came as a complete surprise. “We had no idea,” he said.

But the gift of gear will probably be well used. “We just started a health push,” Sutter said.

Of course, even firefighters bearing gifts can’t escape some good-natured ribbing if they’ve logged as much TV time as Sutter has in the last year. Asked if the ribbing would ease now that the gear’s here, at least three firefighters responded, “No!”

“They’ll probably pick the right time,” Sutter said. “They’ll wait till after all the gear’s in the gym.”


glance: Gearing up

The whole department will benefit from a sponsorship deal struck between Vail firefighter Ryan Sutter and organizers of this fall’s Ironman triathlon in Hawaii. Gear provided to help Sutter train includes:

n Free weights.

n A squat rack.

n “Spinnning” stationary bike.

n A “Computrainer” that helps riders train for specific courses.

What is the Ironman?

Vail firefighter Ryan Sutter is in what most of us would consider “good shape.” He’ll need more than that to compete successfully in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, set for Oct. 16 in Hawaii.

The race, widely considered the big kahuna of endurance races, has been run since 1978. It consists of:

n 2.4-mile ocean swim.

n 26.2-mile run.

n 112-mile bike ride.

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