A retained firefighter from Slaithwaite is running the Leeds Marathon in full firefighting kit – including helmet and breathing apparatus!

Dad-of two James Gray, 35, who lives in Slaithwaite, is raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity, which helps serving and retired firefighters across the UK.

James, a part-time firefighter at Slaithwaite Fire Station, will be carrying an additional 20kg (3st) in weight.

Then there’s also the extra heat provided by the layers of protective gear on what could potentially be a warm day. The marathon takes place on May 14.

James, who recently ‘warmed up’ for the 26.2-mile event with a half-marathon – the Slaithwaite Slog – is no novice when it comes to marathons. And he always loves a challenge.

James said: “I’ve run lots of marathons before, many of them in fancy dress. My fastest marathon was in Leeds when I dressed as a banana!

“The Fire Fighters Charity is a cause close to my heart and I know how important it is for firefighters who have devoted their lives to helping keep their communities safe.

“When I was given the opportunity to run for the charity I decided to up the stakes a little by running in full protective gear including firefighting tunic, leggings, helmet and BA set. That’s a lot of extra insulation for a May marathon but I’m ready for the challenge!”

James, married to Helen, balances his role as a retained firefighter with looking after the couple’s two sons – Edward, five, and Thomas, aged two.

The Fire Fighters Charity helps 5,000 serving or retired firefighters every year, including those struggling with physical, mental or social problems.

So far James has raised more than £500 and to donate go to his JustGiving page HERE.

Follow James’s training on Instagram @jimsmadmarathon