Phoenix police officers to run marathon in uniform to honor fallen
PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Department Lt. Russ Frederiksen is no stranger to marathons, having completed multiple full and half Ironmans.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series on Sunday will be a bit different for Frederiksen, however.
Instead of a t-shirt and shorts, Frederiksen will complete the 26.2 mile marathon in full uniform.
“I wanted to kind of just up the game, I’m always looking for a challenge,” Frederiksen told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Retiring after 30 years of service to the department in May, Frederiksen decided to complete the marathon in full uniform to honor those who the department has lost.
He said the department has lost 39 officers over its history, 19 of which came during his employment.
Frederiksen isn’t taking on this challenge alone, as five other officers will join him in full uniform, along with a dozen officers in t-shirts with names of the fallen on their back.
He said the training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon hasn’t been much different from his other marathons, adding he and the other officers didn’t train in their uniforms.
“We all knew it was just going to be sort of a game day thing, throw the uniforms on and go out and run,” Frederiksen said. “The running really didn’t change as far as the normal marathon training, it’s just we’re going to add on a bunch of equipment and get it done.”
He says community members can help honor the fallen officers by being present and realizing they have police officers in their community who will ultimately sacrifice their lives to help keep people safe.
KTAR News’ Gabriel Gamino contributed to this report.