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Sudbury police officer to run marathon in full gear


A Sudbury police officer is participating in a marathon this weekend wearing full police gear.

Const. Michael Rouleau will run 42 kilometres in the Sudbury Rocks Race while wearing 25 pounds of gear.

Typically, a runner's gear weighs around one pound.

Rouleau said he has participated in ultramathons in the past, races that are longer than traditional marathons.

"The distance itself is not unfamiliar to me, so I wanted to add a twist," he said.

"Running in full uniform, making it exponentially harder. I often do things that kind of scare me a little bit -- and I'm not certain I can do."

Proceeds from the Sudbury Rocks Race support the Northern Cancer Foundation. Rouleau said raising funds for cancer is important because it hits close to home.

"My mother had cancer, numerous other family members either have or are currently undergoing their journey or battle with cancer, so it's just something that, just like I said, hits real close to home," he said.

"I know everyone has their own story and it's just such a unique way to help raise money for that."

Rouleau said the gear and the heavy boots will make the run far more difficult.

Const. Michael Rouleau will run in the Sudbury Rocks Race this weekend while wearing 25 pounds of gear. (Amanda Hicks/CTV News Northern Ontario)

"Boots are obviously a little heavier and not necessarily designed for running," he said.

"Another main problem is going to be the belt. Just how it impacts the hips, how it impacts my gait. The vest, obviously, heavy and not very breathable, including the pants and the shirt."

Rouleau has raised $7,500 thanks to family, friends and coworkers.

Shelley Walushka, who sits on the organizing committee for Sudbury Rocks, commended Rouleau's efforts.

"When we have such a significant person in our community taking on such a physical challenge to run a complete marathon -- 42.2 kilometres -- wearing his completely full police gear, we're really excited about it," Walushka said.

She said registration for the race has increased this year, compared to last.

More people taking part this year

"We're over 1,400 people registered online, which is more than 200 more than last year," she said.

"So we're grateful that the Sudbury community has come out and signed up for all the distances."

Distances include one, five, 10, half-marathon and a full marathon. There is also a kids fun run, all benefitting a great cause.

"If you live here in Greater Sudbury or in northern Ontario, (the cancer centre) really is the hub for cancer care," she said.

"It's important that we can contribute to the foundation and all the great work they do to support families and those touched by cancer."

Walushka said online registration is closed, but individuals who are interested can attend their expo May 25 at École Secondaire Du Sacré-Coeur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for last-minute registrations.

Rouleau has been running 160 kilometres a week to train, and said he hopes it inspires others to try something new.

"I just want to go and have fun, challenge myself and push some limits and at the same time inspire others to maybe do the same," he said.

"Pick a distance that is maybe new to them, maybe scares them a little bit and just come out and have fun."

Spectators are welcome. The race starts 6 a.m. Sunday on Minto Street near Tom Davies Square.

Click here to donate to Rouleau's run. Top Stories

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