AUSTIN (KXAN) - Another First Responder was among the 20,000 runners taking part in Sunday's Livestrong Austin Marathon.
Austin-Travis County EMS Paramedic Steven Ward did the 26.2 miles in his full gear, all to honor the memory of his friend and mentor Capt. Randy Trinkle -- who died in a car crash last December.
Other paramedics watched along the way to monitor Steven Ward's progress. They all knew Trinkle, and Sunday he was in their thoughts.
"Randy was probably one of the nicest people I've ever met in my entire life, whether it was work or just in my personal life," Ward said.
Some of them joined Ward at intervals to help him keep pace.
"Hopefully I inspired some people to join me and maybe do this next year. Who knows. We'll see how it goes," said Ward.
Ward ran in uniform with his paramedic backpack, 30 pounds in all. He's an avid trail runner, but this was different.
"It was way harder than I thought it would be. This is what it looks like when somebody bites off more than they can chew," Ward said.
The marathon winner came in at 2 hours and 35 minutes. Ward came in at 6 hours and 7 minutes, but his time wasn't the point. He was running for a friend.
"I was hoping by today people got a better understanding of the kind of person that's no longer here protecting the citizens of Austin. I think that goal was accomplished," said Ward.
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