Two Elkhart Firefighters are even extreme away from work - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Two Elkhart Firefighters are even extreme away from work


As if running into burning homes and saving lives weren't enough of an adrenaline rush two Elkhart Firefighters, they enjoy another extreme hobby on the side.

"It's not something that you can really understand unless you have a drive to go out there and do it," said Josh Cuthbert.

Carrying two 50 pound buckets, carrying a 75 pound tire, and wearing a 60 pound backpack are all just part of working out for Elkhart Firemen Erik Krantz and Josh Cuthbert.

It is just part of the training for extreme endurance events, like the so called Death Race. The Death Race they did in June is listed as one of America's most extreme fitness tests by several fitness experts.

"Endurance type events require mental and physical strength," said Krantz. "Carrying things and doing tasks for hours on end."

Some of those "tasks" include building staircases out of boulders worth hundreds of pounds and cutting through hundreds of logs.

Cuthbert first started these extreme events after he lost 60 pounds doing cross fit exercises and wanted more of a challenge. He says as crazy as it sounds, these types of workouts, were the only reason he lost all that weight in the first place.

"Anytime that I tried to work out before I'd go in and do the standard three sets of ten, back, bi's, chest, and tri's days and I just couldn't do it. I just couldn't stick with it," said Cuthbert.

Even those these races last multiple sleepless days, Krantz said when Cuthbert asked him to tag along, he had no problem saying yes.

"That's the thing you do the first races and its kind of addictive (laughs)," said Krantz. "You get done and think you'll never do it again and then a day later you have the itch to do it again."

While they have both done several races together over the past few years, Cuthbert says he is still somewhat surprised Krantz keeps coming back for more.

"I'm incredibly surprised," said Cuthbert. "We've had a couple events we've had guys from the fire department go do with us and Erik is really the only one who has come back."

Their next extreme event is about two weeks away and even though the training is tough, the days cannot go by quick enough.

"You're not going to tell your grand kids the stories about mowing the lawn. You're not going to tell your grand kids the stories about that day you worked the weekend," said Cuthbert. "You're going to tell them the stories about the times you went out and pushed it and had a good time."

The next race they are doing is the Spartan Race in north central Illinois, more info can be found here: Spartan Race.

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