February 6, 2011
LIMA — One turns 48 this week. The other is 27. And the Lima Police Department is a place where fellow officers enjoy razzing each other.So, by participating in a fundraiser with an, ahem, “senior” officer, Patrolman Jesse Harrod is already hearing about how nice he is to participate in a “father and son event.” And now it's in the paper. Officers valuing their own skin wouldn't harass a major, so it will all fall on Harrod.One only hopes that Harrod and Maj. Kevin Martin will use this to their advantage and make those co-workers pay up. The men will compete this March in a Battle of the Badges stair run for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: 40 flights in one of downtown Columbus' tallest buildings, the James A. Rhodes state office tower.The fundraiser request landed in Martin's e-mail at a time when he was looking for something to motivate his workouts. He asked a few other officers who were not eager to run 20 flights of stairs. But Harrod said yes to a good cause.Police officers and firefighters run the stairs against a stopwatch with two-person and four-person teams. Police wear weighted vests to simulate their equipment and firefighters wear their turnout gear.Harrod is changing his daily workout to include more work on the stair-climbing machine and more cardio. Martin is running up and down the stairs at home, driving his wife a little nuts, in addition to his regular exercise, and hoping he doesn't have to crawl at the end.“But, the old Marine in me says that if I have to crawl the last five, I will,” Martin said.Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States and 70,000 worldwide. In the 1950s, few children with the disease lived to attend elementary school. Today because of medical advances spearheaded by the foundation, people live into their 30s and beyond.“I've always been blessed with great health and my wife and children have been blessed with great health,” Martin said. “A lot of people would be happy to climb one flight of stairs, but because of this disease they can't.”Donations can be made in person to the men or by visiting http://bit.ly/harrod or http://bit.ly/kmartin.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.