Friday, November 23, 2007
Steamboat Springs It wasn't your typical weekend in Las Vegas. Dal Leck came back a winner, but it had nothing to do with his performance in the casinos.
Leck placed third in the over-50 division at the Scott On-Target Firefighter Combat Challenge World Competition in the Sin City earlier this month.
"It was exciting and a lot of fun," said Leck, a full-time firefighter at Yampa Valley Regional Airport and volunteer for West Routt Fire. "I was really hoping to come back in the top three, and I achieved that."
Leck, 53, was ranked fourth in the U.S. entering the competition and had placed first and second in regional firefighting competitions this year. The challenges are timed events that put firefighters through a grueling "real-life firefighting" simulation course that requires, among other things, climbing towers while carrying 45-pound air packs and dragging 175-pound dummies 100 feet.
In addition to placing in the top three, Leck hoped to improve on his personal best time of 1 minute, 55 seconds or even break the current world record in his class - 1 minute, 48 seconds. Although he didn't reach those goals, Leck improved on his time each of the competition's three days, from 2 minutes, 11 seconds on the first day to 2 minutes, 1 second on the third.
Leck began competing in the challenges six years ago as a way to promote fitness among firefighters and "throughout the valley." Leck said 55 percent of firefighter deaths nationwide are cardiac related.
Leck receives local financial support to compete in the competitions, including assistance from Routt County.
"The commissioners have been following it because we think it's a good example," County Commissioner Doug Monger said. "Dal does a great job of setting an example for what 'fit' means."
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