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Wisconsin Firefighter Out To Break Iron-Distance Record

Robert Verhelst will attempt to finish 27 iron-distance triathlons in 2012.

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Robert Verhelst will attempt to finish 27 iron-distance triathlons in 2012.

Robert Verhelst certainly knows how to attract attention. Last September, on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, he completed the 26-mile running portion of an Ironman triathlon wearing 50 pounds of full firefighter gear, including air tank and helmet.

This year, the 33-year-old Madison, Wisc., firefighter is hoping to attract even more attention for firefighters battling cancer by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for most iron-distance triathlons completed in a single year, starting with the HITS Triathlon in Naples on Sunday.

The current Guinness World Record is 20 triathlons; Verhelst’s goal is to complete 27 iron-distance triathlons throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and possibly New Zealand.

“The record is neat, but it’s not my ultimate goal,” said Verhelst in a recent phone interview. “My ultimate goal is to raise awareness and to raise funds so that we can help more and more firefighters out there.”

Read more: Firerescue1.net