Western junior runs after world record in full firefighting gear

One tough mile for a good cause

Kinesiology junior James Jasperson’s 6 ½- minute mile in firefighting gear and breathing equipment may have been the most excruciating mile he ever ran, but it was for a good cause—and a world record.

Jasperson’s four laps on the outdoor track at Western’s Wade King Student Recreation Center June 11 raised funds for Four Season Fighters, a non-profit that provides outdoor recreational opportunities to wounded veterans, firefighters and police officers.

Jasperson, a volunteer firefighter with the South Lake Whatcom Fire Authority near Bellingham, wore about 55 pounds of equipment, including steel-toed boots with one-inch rubber soles and a self-contained breathing apparatus mask and tank.

He raised enough to take a double-amputee veteran out on a bow hunting trip, he reported on his Instagram page after completing the run in 6:33.28.

“That may have been the most uncomfortable six and a half minutes of my running career,” he said.

A distance runner on Western’s track and field team, Jasperson already holds the world’s fastest time for running a mile in firefighter gear without the breathing equipment, at 5 minutes, 51 seconds.

Photos by Jeff Evans and South Whatcom Fire Authority

James Jasperson wears a track jackat in a portrait
James Jasperson