Edmonton first responders run half marathon in uniform for PTSD awareness

Finishing a half marathon isn’t an easy feat. Running 21 kilometres in full firefighter bunker gear is even harder.

But that’s what firefighter Jessica LaMer did alongside police officer Sylvie Boy and paramedic Amy Benson for Sunday’s Servus Edmonton Marathon.  

Running alongside each other for the entire race, the three women challenged themselves and raised awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by running in full uniform.

They joined more than 4,500 runners from around the world who took part in marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K distances as part of the annual Edmonton race.  

The trio said they pushed through the discomfort of wearing full gear by thinking of those who suffer from PTSD.

Jessica LaMer, Amy Benson and Sylvie Boy all completed the Servus Edmonton Marathon half marathon distance in full uniform on Sunday, August 20th. (CBC)

“We wanted it to be a physical struggle because the people that are battling post-traumatic stress have that mental struggle every day,” LaMer said.

“We can shed this burden at the end of the race, but they can’t. So we wanted to make it hard to run for them and in honour of some of the people we lost.”

The three women decided to take on the half marathon race to help bring awareness of PTSD while raising money for Wounded Warriors Canada. The organization helps injured Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, First Responders and their families.

They have been preparing for the race since May by training together. This was the first half marathon race for Boy, who says she was inspired by her fellow runners and her fellow first responders to get to the finish line.

“Just the energy here and the people cheering, you don’t want to let people down,” Boy said at the end of the race.

The trio were able to surpass their fundraising goal of $10,000 before race day and will continue to fundraise until Sept.1st. 

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