|WCSI Local News|
A Columbus firefighter won multiple gold medals at the United State Police and Fire Championships held July 15-23 in San Diego.
Forty-seven-year-old Mark Ziegler won six gold medals and set a record time in one track and field event. He has been with the fire department for 16 years.
The games are open to active or retired law enforcement and fire service personnel from an eligible agency in the United States.
Ziegler won gold medals in the 100 meter run, the 200 meter run, the 400 meter run, the long jump, the 400 meter hurdles and the 110 meter high hurdles. Ziegler set the record for his age division (45-49) in the 400M hurdles, running it in 1 minute, 4 seconds. The former record, set in 1995, was 1 minute, 9 seconds.
"That was my main goal to go out there," Ziegler said. "I thought I could beat that old record."
This is the second year Ziegler has brought home gold from competitive games against other firefighters and police officers. In 2012, he won six gold medals in the Can-Am Police-Fire Games.
Ziegler, who ran track and played football at Columbus East High School, got back into running again about five years ago with the encouragement of another firefighter, Dan Smith. Since then, he has found running helps him stay in shape for his duties on the Columbus Fire Department.
"It has been a big help. You've got to stay in shape," Ziegler said. "I run more 5k races now than I ever have."
The gold medalist is now considering when he will compete again.
"It's fun. I enjoy being with the guys out there. You kind of develop a relationship with them," he said of the other competitors. "Everybody encourages each other."
Ziegler's CFD family is extremely proud of him.
Last Updated: Friday, July 05, 2013 10:34:13 AM
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