What’s better than a firefighter/triathlete? Brian Hackenburg, a 36-year-old from Sandusky, Ohio and 18-year firefighting veteran, will be toeing the line at Rev3 Cedar Point, as well as at other multiple endurance events throughout the country to raise money for the National Firefighters Endowment.

Why is he doing it? “The National Firefighter Endowment is important to me because it focuses on protecting the lives of firefighters all across the nation. Every fire department needs the necessary equipment to protect themselves and make the community a safer place,” says Hackenburg.

He decided on this Rev3 location to complete his fundraising mission because he’s a Cedar Point veteran—having raced it in some capacity over the past three years. “It’s a very family-oriented event, top notch all around and local to my hometown,” says Hackenburg. He’ll be completing the full distance in 2013.

Wanting to push himself both emotionally and physically, just as firefighters do everyday, he remains committed to the full distance. A tough race for anyone, Hackenburg is raising the intensity level with plans to don full firefighter turnout gear and an air pack, weighing approximately 50 pounds, during the 26.2-mile run.

With a passionate, fiery connection to exercise, Hackenburg competes in triathlons for three main reasons: to promote firefighter fitness and make sure he is the best physical condition for his job, serve as an example for his wife and two daughters, and help various charities—of which he’s focused this year on the National Firefighters Endowment. “Every year almost 45 to 50 percent of all in-the-line-of-duty deaths in the fire service are contributed to heart attacks and strokes,” says Hackenburg.

“I realize I could accomplish this goal by competing in the half, but the National Firefighters Endowment is that important to me that I want to go the full distance if people are willing to donate to this great cause,” he says.

Hackenburg’s set a lofty, but achieveable, goal to raise at least $2,000. So far he’s been working with friend Shane Parkins of The Firefighters Endowment and Lieutenant Paul Hasenmeier with First Due Tackle, and both have provided tremendous help.

“I realize that I have a long way to go, but with a lot of hard work, I feel I can get the sponsors and donations I need. I plan to donate 100 percent of all sponsorship money to the association and pay all entry fees associated to each event I compete in out of my own pocket.”

We wish him luck!

To get more information on The National Firefighters Endowment and Hackenburg’s fundraising page, please visit: firefightertriathlon.com or stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=233678.

-Jennifer Purdie