Firefighters, Philip Hunt (left) and Sarah Collins at the halfway mark in the City2Surf.

Firefighters Take On City2Surf


Sunday, March 18th was the annual City2Surf fun run or walk involving a huge number of Cantabrians. Among the crowd were sixteen Canterbury Firefighters from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), along with some of their family members, who took on the fourteen kilometre walk clad in firefighting gear! The event began at Centennial park, Cashmere and finished in Ferrymead.

The group who took on the challenge consisted of a mix of firefighters from Akaroa, Darfield Rural and Urban, Bottle Lake and Brooklands.

The Urban firefighters wore their complete firefighter attire and Breathing Apparatus (BA) set weighing up to 25 kilograms. Not to be outdone the Rural team kitted up with all their gear and carried a similar weight.

“We wore our firefighting gear for a variety of reasons,” Darfield Firefighter, Philip Hunt, one of the entrants, explained. “For me it’s the challenge of the weight, heat, and in this case the distance. As well as this, it’s also an opportunity to meet the public, have pictures taken and have a laugh or two. I am sure the rest of the team feels the same.”

It was a slow start for the firefighting team, however as the crowd started to thin they soon picked up the pace and managed to maintain six kilometres an hour until the last kilometre where they were seen to be positively running. This enabled them to finish in two hours, twenty minutes.

It was reported that the team all enjoyed themselves with many taking away some special memories. “For me, walking with my mates and the encouragement from the public when it was getting hard towards the end was a huge highlight of the day,” Philip explained. “The worst part was blisters! I think everyone has got some form of blister or bruise and we all had a bit of a limp at the end.”

The City2Surf is a fundraising event for the Child Cancer Foundation which the firefighters helped contribute to. All the funds raised go to support the Child Cancer Foundation and help reduce the impact of a childhood cancer diagnosis on Kiwi families.

These sixteen firefighters are part of a group of about fifty firefighters who are embracing, by attending events together, the amalgamation of urban and rural firefighters which took place in July 2017. They are now all under the FENZ umbrella.

The group enjoys being able to come together as one organisation and have some fun, as well as raising their profile and raising some funds!