A police officer ran his first marathon in full uniform and gear to raise money for the families of cops killed in the line of duty.
Wisconsin police officer Israel Deutsch picked the Green Bay Marathon for his feat and finished in 4:24, Runner’s World reports. Deutsch says he did a lot of his marathon training in uniform to prepare for the race.
“The heat doesn’t bother me, so the hardest part is that you don’t have a lot of spots to put your nutrition,” Deutsch said Runner’s World. “I put GU gels in my pocket, but something so minor as having something in your pocket caused chafing for me. The belt does slow you down a little bit but doesn’t hinder how you run.”
Despite the challenges, Deutsch says the rewards of racing in his uniform far outweighed any chafing or discomfort he experienced during the race. He says other marathoners came up to meet him and express thanks throughout the race, and a woman who was struggling to keep running approached him at Mile 17 and said seeing his uniform gave her a renewed determination to finish.
“That uniform meant so many things to so many people,” Deutsch says. “I wore it to represent us and to represent the fallen—to remember and reflect, and to honor them during my marathon run.”
He plans to complete an Ironman this fall in full officer gear.
“I knew I had to do an IRONMAN in my police uniform to show a symbol of sacrifice and determination,” Deutsch wrote on his website. “I knew I had to do more than just complete an IRONMAN but to also raise money to bring awareness to others about the dangers, risks and rewards of a police officers career. Not only does a police officer have a demanding job but when a police officer goes home their physical, mental, and emotional challenges don’t stop at the threshold. Police officers don’t know if they just left their house or kissed their wife and kids goodbye for the last time. The next call or car a police officer stops could be their last.”