More in Featured
Tripp in for climb of his life- again!
AUBURN/BOSTON- Mark Tripp will once again be fighting for air, and for people’s lives whom he doesn’t even know, as he will attempt to break his 2012 time of 8:25 as he ascends 47 stories in Boston on Saturday as part of the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb.
Tripp, of Rumford, along with his wife, Jenn, participated in the Fight for Air Climb in 2012. Upon completing that first event, Tripp stated that it was the hardest thing he had ever done and felt like he was going to die by the end.
Recently, this reporter had the opportunity to visit Tripp and a few of the Maine’s Bravest team members at the central fire station in Auburn, where they have been using their five stories to practice for the 47 they have coming up.
“Not only is it a great cause, but being a firefighter you have to maintain a certain physical standard and this is a great way for us to achieve that,” noted Tripp.
Dressed in their full hitch, with their 25-pound air packs strapped to their backs, the men went to the basement to begin their run up five stories. They ran up seven times before stopping in the basement.
As they began, some with their masks attached for added breath, some without, the encouragement echoed through the stairwell.
“Let’s go guys, find that rhythm. We can do this. Let’s go. Stay strong.”
Throughout the entire exercise each teammate had an opportunity to encourage another. Whether by single-step or two-step rhythm, each firefighter had his own way of tackling the challenge.
Upon completion, the team gathered in the basement to catch their breath and hydrate.
When asked what goes through their minds as they are taking each step, firefighter and team member, Justin Carver stated, “I think I’m going to make it. You’re doing fine. Keep going.”
Matt Fifield stated, “It’s all a mind game. You have to keep telling yourself that you’re going to finish. You start to do the break down in your head, but let me tell you, there is no rhythm in Boston. You just do it. You have to clear your head.”
The Auburn team has been working out at least twice a week for the past month on the stairs, along with their regular exercise routines. Tripp ran the Beach to Beacon this past summer just to get his stamina built up and has used sprinting and hiking to prepare himself, as well.
“We all strive individually to be our best,” noted Tripp. “But it’s really about all of us doing our best as a team. After all, we are looking to beat Portland this year, and Lewiston. Portland beat us last year and this will be Lewiston’s first year.”
Tripp and the rest of the team confirmed that even though they are all “brothers” in the force, they have a certain level of competitiveness that makes them who they are.
“Each department wants to be the best,” noted trainer, Mike Scott. “When you bring firefighters in for a competition, you know you’re going to get the most competitive spirit around.”
The Maine’s Bravest team, made up of 12 firefighters from all the Auburn stations, along with hundreds of other firefighters and civilians, will be set free, one every 15 seconds on Saturday. They will race to the top of the Boston Place building and are looking for your donations to help those suffering with lung disease. The team set a goal of $3500, with an individual goal of $100.
To make your pledge to Mark Tripp, visit http://www.lung.org/pledge-events/ma/boston-climb-fy13/, or http://www.lung.org/donate/events/fight-for-air-climb/ to donate to any other team or member.