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Greensboro Firefighters Honor Will Caviness By Running In Chicago Marathon

11:22 PM, Oct 7, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- A year after a Greensboro Fire Captain died running the Chicago Marathon, his fellow firefighters are running to honor him.

One year ago, a brotherhood mourned one of their own.

Greensboro Fire Captain Will Caviness collapsed just 500 feet from the finish line of the Chicago Marathon last year. He died two hours later at the hospital.

It didn't take his fire family long to figure out what they had to do.

On Sunday, five Greensboro firemen laced up to run the Chicago Marathon and carry on Caviness's work.

Ty Jenks, Kevin Rice, Greg Westbrook, Chris Hicks and Chris Lindstrom all crossed the finish line.

"He was always with us.  I can at least say, I definitely know he was with me," said Jenks. "Everybody's ecstatic that we have accomplished this for him."

Together, the men raised nearly $8,000 for the International Association of Fire Fighters' Burn Foundation, a cause that Caviness championed.

To Caviness's older brother, Greensboro Fire Captain Sean Caviness, it's just one reminder that his legacy lives on.

Thinking about Will hasn't gotten any easier for Caviness, but seeing how his brother has inspired others certainly gives him hope.

"Worst year, worst year of my life," said Caviness. "A roller coaster ride is what it's been. Can't say it's been a fun one, but that's what it is."

But brothers ban together.

"You need to be a part of it to understand it. I've got a whole new family up in Chicago, as well as around the country also. All of us do," Caviness said. "You really see it come out when unfortunate events happen."

Caviness knows that ever though his brother's life was far too short, it taught all of them something that will live on.

"You don't have to run super-fast, you don't have to be quick or anything, you're not in the Olympics, just run to raise money for a cause," he said.

Caviness said it was an honor that his fellow firemen wanted to go to Chicago and finish the marathon.

"They felt the need and the draw to continue what Will was doing and they saw it in their heart. And they finished it out," he said.

"He's probably up there cheering them on. To push yourself, to not quit and to finish the race. That's probably what he's saying."

Members of the Greensboro Fire Department are starting a foundation called "Ignite The Spirit", which will help families of firefighters when unfortunate events happen.

There's only one other chapter in the United States, which is in Chicago. Caviness said the foundation there helped his family when his brother died.

"Ignite The Spirit" has two fundraisers planned in the upcoming weeks. To find out more information or to sign up, visit the following links: 


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