For over an hour everyday, Selkirk firefighter, Gwen LeTetour gears up from head-to-toe to do battle… with the stair master.
He does this daily in preparation for a big race.
“I have been training a lot, last year I placed in the top 100 so this year I will have a better start,” LeTetour said.
Not bad for his first time in the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb Competition in Seattle.
It’s the largest stair climb for firefighters in the world, with over 2,000 competing last year.
But Gwen has his sights set on doing better this year.
“It's not that much to me trying to beat anyone, I'm just trying to do the best I can,” he said.
A modest answer, for a guy spends hours a day running and climbing in his full firefighter gear.
His fellow firefighters think he can dethrone the champ, Andrew Drobeck from Missoula.
“He (Drobeck) has won six years in a row,” LeTetour said.
The climb benefits Leukemia and Lymphoma research, something that Gwen takes great pride in.
“So many firefighters have cancer and I think it's important that we all get together to help people and firefighters who have cancer,” he said, “but also if you don't have cancer you're trying to find ways to reduce your risk."
But that’s just one step.
A month after the race, Gwen plans to take an even bigger challenge.
You see, Gwen runs ultra-marathons, which total well over 100 miles per race.
In the other race, Gwen plans to run 100 miles in full firefighter gear from Selkirk Fire Station One in Sandpoint and then a little over three miles to Station Two in Dover.
Do that over 30 times and you’ve got yourself well over 100 miles.
LeTetour says he’s doing this to show people that they can inspire others, no matter what circumstances they face daily.
“Putting myself outside my comfort zone and see how I can react, how I can overcome, that's life, that's challenges that we face in life,” he said.
LeTetour says he plans to also raise money with the run for firefighter cancer research.