Firefighter claims record by running 100 miles in gear

Print Article

  • (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour carried the fireman flag to the finish as his world record run came to a close on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 1

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour was all smiles Saturday morning as he prepared to set out on his record-setting run. Le Tutour accomplished the world record on Sunday afternoon after running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 2

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 3

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour made an inaugural lap through town Saturday morning before hitting the Sandpoint-Dover trail for the next 100 miles. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 4

    (Photo courtesy KATIE ADAMS) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour got added a foot for every five miles he accomplished during his record-setting run. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 5

    (Photo courtesy KATIE ADAMS) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour and Farmin-Stidwell Elementary Principal Erik Olson take a break during their 100-mile run. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention. Olson ran the entire distance with Le Tutour.

  • 6

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 7

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 8

    (Photo courtesy KATIE ADAMS) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour was in need of a rest by mile 70 into his 100-mile, world-record run over the weekend.

  • 9

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 10

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour smiled through the pain after completing his record-setting run on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 11

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour and his wife Katie Adams check out some of KREM 2’s footage on Sunday after Le Tutour completed his record-setting run. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 12

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour, front center, is joined by a group of fellow firefighters following the completion of his record-setting run on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 13

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour and his friend Erik Olson after their 100-mile run came to an end on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 14

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) As Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour’s 100 mile run neared an end on Sunday, he needed support more than ever as exhaustion and pain set in. Friends and community members rallied around him, including Selkirk Captain Britian Whitley, who put on his own turnouts, helmet and boots and joined Le Tutour for about 13 miles. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour carried the fireman flag to the finish as his world record run came to a close on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 1

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour was all smiles Saturday morning as he prepared to set out on his record-setting run. Le Tutour accomplished the world record on Sunday afternoon after running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 2

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 3

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour made an inaugural lap through town Saturday morning before hitting the Sandpoint-Dover trail for the next 100 miles. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 4

    (Photo courtesy KATIE ADAMS) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour got added a foot for every five miles he accomplished during his record-setting run. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 5

    (Photo courtesy KATIE ADAMS) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour and Farmin-Stidwell Elementary Principal Erik Olson take a break during their 100-mile run. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention. Olson ran the entire distance with Le Tutour.

  • 6

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 7

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 8

    (Photo courtesy KATIE ADAMS) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour was in need of a rest by mile 70 into his 100-mile, world-record run over the weekend.

  • 9

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 10

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour smiled through the pain after completing his record-setting run on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 11

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour and his wife Katie Adams check out some of KREM 2’s footage on Sunday after Le Tutour completed his record-setting run. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 12

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour, front center, is joined by a group of fellow firefighters following the completion of his record-setting run on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 13

    (Photo by CAROLINE LOBSINGER) Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour and his friend Erik Olson after their 100-mile run came to an end on Sunday. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

  • 14

    (Photo by MARY MALONE) As Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter Gwen Le Tutour’s 100 mile run neared an end on Sunday, he needed support more than ever as exhaustion and pain set in. Friends and community members rallied around him, including Selkirk Captain Britian Whitley, who put on his own turnouts, helmet and boots and joined Le Tutour for about 13 miles. Le Tutour set a world record over the weekend by running 100 miles in full firefighter gear, with the mission of bringing awareness to cancer prevention.

SANDPOINT — Blisters, chafing, sore feet and utter exhaustion did not stop Gwen Le Tutour from setting a world record.

In an effort to bring awareness to cancer prevention, the Selkirk Fire, Rescue and EMS firefighter ran 100 miles over the weekend in full firefighter gear — right down to the boots. The previous world record was held by a firefighter ran a marathon in full gear, and as a marathon is 26.2 miles, Le Tutour nearly quadrupled the record holder’s miles. Beginning Saturday morning at 8 a.m., Le Tutour completed the 100 miles in just under 29 hours.

It was a trying experience even for the conditioned ultra-runner, and Le Tutour said he couldn’t have done it without the support of so many who rallied around him for the world record.

“Almost everyone who was around us pushed their limit,” Le Tutour said. “So many people this weekend ran more than they ever ran before … Together, we were able to do something that we couldn’t have done without each other. It was so incredible.”

Even in the middle of the night, when there was only two people who had committed to witness the run, the couple said there was never less than eight people with Le Tutour. At one point on Sunday, he had 25 people on the trail with him. As Le Tutour struggled toward the end, several people showed their support.

“They saw Gwen’s vulnerability,” said Le Tutour’s wife, Katie Adams, as she looked at Le Tutour and added, “They saw you suffering. And our friends and our community stepped up. People who weren’t really comfortable with doing this kind of stuff, did it anyway.”

One of those who stepped outside his comfort zone was Selkirk Fire Capt. Britian Whitley, who geared up in his own turnouts, helmet and boots and joined Le Tutour for almost 13 miles to support him in his push toward the end. Another firefighter with a prosthetic leg rode a bicycle alongside Le Tutour throughout the night.

Adams and Le Tutour’s friend, Erik Olson, who many may know as the principal of Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, ran the entire 100 miles, and he hadn’t even planned on it. Le Tutour said Olson has been with him since day one of his training for the event. He had told Le Tutour he was going to run with him as far as he could in support, and as the run progressed, he just kept going.

It was people like Olson, Adams said, who helped Le Tutour through to the end. Though he may have finished the journey anyway, it wouldn’t have been “as fun, as fast or as smooth” as it was if they had not been there, she said. “It made a huge difference for him and for me,” Adams said.

“It made it, no doubt, a life-changing experience,” Le Tutour added. “The 100-mile run in firefighter gear was what started that, and then everything that built around that is that experience that we all got this weekend and it changed our life.”

Adams, of course, is one of Le Tutour’s biggest supporters. She joined him for the majority of the run, making sure he stayed hydrated and got the nutrients he needed to keep going. There was one point when she took a nap that Le Tutour was in trouble.

Le Tutour ran the majority of the miles, but around mile 67, he said he knew he should have slowed down. He kept going anyway, he said, even know he knew the pace was no longer sustainable as exhaustion set in. At mile 70, Le Tutour said he got to the Sandpoint fire station and “totally crashed.”

“He was in a worse spot than I’ve ever seen him in any race,” Adams said. “He didn’t know where he was, what mile he was at or what was going on.”

That was the longest break he took throughout the entire 100 miles, which was about 40 minutes. He got some rest, food and water, and “came back to life,” he said.

From mile 70 to mile 87, Le Tutour pursued a mix of jogging and speed walking, and then walked for about 10 miles.

“The last 13 miles were really hard because it was so slow,” Le Tutour said, adding he tried not to focus on how much he had left to go, even as the end drew near. “Every single step was just so painful. I was doing my best to stay in the present, in the moment, not worry about how much I had left to go, and try to focus on one step at a time. If you do that, at some point you are going to get there.”

There were times, he said, where he wanted to stop. Le Tutour said it felt like “too much,” in part because his pace, for him, was slow. And he felt bad, he said, because so many people had joined him and he wanted them to be able to run with him, but at that point he just couldn’t run anymore. He was able to push through, however, and run the final three miles, he said.

Adams said he pushed himself hard the entire way, completing the first 50 miles in just 13 hours. After making such good time, it was not surprising that he had to slow down at the end, she said. Ultra-running is not all about running anyway, Adams said, as only the elites run a full 100 miles, and that is not in firefighter gear and boots.

“It’s not about running, it’s not about a marathon time, it’s not about a pace — it’s about the experience and a personal journey,” she said. “There is no competition other than with yourself.”

It goes to show that, even if the pace is slower than they would like, if someone needs to get somewhere, they can get there, Le Tutour said.

The next steps is to organize and submit all of the witness statements, video and other requirements to the Guinness World Records and hope for the best in making it official. Even if it is not accepted for some reason, Le Tutour said that was not the primary purpose of his mission anyway.

The 100-mile run is the first campaign of the nonprofit Plant Positive, founded by Le Tutour and Adams. As both are long-distance runners, the couple said they wanted to do something that would make “a lot of noise” to bring attention to their cause in hopes that it will inspire people to make even the smallest steps toward a healthier lifestyle, which is the mission of their nonprofit.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 50 percent of most cancers can be prevented, Le Tutour said. Each year, he said, a half million people die from cancer, so if 50 percent can be prevented, that is a quarter million who could be saved. Saving lives, Le Tutour said, is why he became a firefighter in the first place, and this is another chance do just that.

For their next project, which is already underway, the couple enlisted local filmmaker Scott Rulander to create a documentary. The documentary will not only to highlight Le Tutour and the world-record run, but also share stories of other local individuals who decided to take responsibility for their own health, to reduce their risk and do everything they can to prevent cancer.

Plant Positive is accepting donations, which will go toward completion of the film. For information on the nonprofit or to donate, visit plant-positive.org.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Initiation — Washington, D.C. style

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d'ALENE — Russ Fulcher has learned during his first seven weeks in Congress that the border security debate has no borders. "The border security issue is not going away," the Idaho R...

Comments

Read More

Doctor accused of felony stalking

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — A preliminary hearing is nearing for a Spokane physician accused of stalking and drug possession in Bonner County. Joseph Paul Kincaid was arrested last July on first-degree stalking and...

Comments

Read More

Festival to announce concerts weekly

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Forget April Fool’s Day. That’s so last year. Instead of releasing their entire line-up for its 37th annual summer concert, The Festival at Sandpoint plans to make weekly announcements,...

Comments

Read More

Sandpoint Elks donates $2K to CCS programs

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — For those battling cancer, the emotional and financial impacts can be devastating. Community Cancer Services seeks to ease that burden by providing information, emotional and financial s...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2019 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X