Brian Hackenburg | US


When he first began running, Brian was 50 pounds overweight and out of shape, despite his job as a firefighter. His moment of truth came when he signed up for a local 5k race, “almost passed out” after crossing the finish line.

Although it took him a full year to prepare for his next race — a half marathon — Brian lost the extra weight and today, he says he is in the best shape of his life. To date, Brian has run 81 races, 13 of which were full-length marathons, in head-to-toe firefighter gear. This is no easy feat, as the dark-colored suit adds an extra 46 pounds to his frame! However, Brian says the added difficulty is worth it because he knows he is raising awareness for firefighter fitness.

Brian also runs to support the Fireman Rob Foundation, a Baltimore-based organization which provides free Gund Teddy Bears to children in hospitals suffering from illness or depression.


How SaltStick helps Brian:

In addition to his fitness pursuits, SaltStick also helps Brian when he is on the job. In addition to the extraordinarily hot temperatures he must deal with, Brian’s suit traps in his body heat, effectively eliminating the effectiveness of sweat’s cooling effects. This causes his body to attempt to compensate by releasing dramatically large amounts of sweat. According to one study, firefighters lose up to five times as much water as athletes in a given period of time.

“The daily heat stress firefighters endure put them as risk heat exhaustion,” Brian says. “I always keep a SaltStick Dispenser in my firefighter gear to incorporate with water and energy drinks.”