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DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

BURNET — The premise sounds simple enough: Host a five-kilometer race benefitting Explorer Post 4700 in Burnet. Except this is the Burnet Fire 5K, so with the Burnet fire and EMS crews involved, it became a bit more challenging.

Organizers threw in about 10 firefighting and EMS-oriented obstacles.

“A lot of the events (obstacles) are geared around things that we do from time to time in our jobs,” said Burnet Fire/EMS Deputy Chief Lealand Raiford. “We got a lot of feedback from people last year who said, ‘We didn’t know it was that hard or that thing was so heavy that you carry around.’”

Competitors, fitness enthusiasts or those just looking to add a little challenge can give it a go May 2 when the second annual Burnet Fire 5K returns to Wallace Riddell Park with a 9 a.m. start time.

“For those who are interested in testing their limits, they can come out and run the 5K course that’s filled with firefighter-related obstacles,” Raiford said. Some of the events include competitors slamming away with a sledgehammer to simulate what a firefighter does when trying to chop through a roof.

Raiford said other obstacles include hose relays, a smoke crawl and a charged-hose line advance.

Some of the obstacles are scaled based on the competitor’s level of fitness or desire.

“Some are challenging ones for the strong guys, while other obstacles are for those just getting into obstacle-course racing,” he added.

Last year, several competitors expressed their appreciation for the event as it prepared them for other obstacle-course events in the Highland Lakes such as the extreme Spartan Race. This year’s Spartan Races at Reveille Peak Ranch, located just outside of Burnet, are May 9-10 and May 16-17.

But you don’t have to be an obstacle-course fanatic or wannabe to participate in the Burnet Fire 5K.

“If you just want to run or walk the 5K, we have a course for that,” Raiford said.

There also will be a Kids 1K.

The event benefits the Burnet Fire Department/EMS Explorer Post 4700. The post teaches high school students interested in fire and EMS careers about those opportunities, and students work alongside professional fire and EMS personnel.

“They get insight into what it’s like to be a first responder,” the deputy chief said.

Registration for the Burnet Fire 5K is $35 for adults and $15 for ages 17 and younger. Participants can pick up registration forms at the Burnet Fire Department, located on U.S. 281 on the south side of the city, or City Hall, 1001 Buchanan Drive. They also may go to the www.cityofburnet.com to download one.

People also may register the day of the event starting at 8 a.m. Wallace Riddell Park is located at Texas 29 and Rhomberg Street.

Call (512) 756-2662 for more information.

Staff writer Connie Swinney contributed to this article.

editor@thepicayune.com