Photo courtesy Mayor Kasim Reed
ATLANTA -- Somewhere between the starting line and mile six you may have noticed the race gear that was very out of place.
One racer told the 11Alive Runner cam, "One of the greatest things we saw this morning was a firefighter walking with a flag and his entire gear on oxygen tank, everything."
The gear was carried on the backs of Chris Peringer and Johnny Buice.
On their minds were the nineteen firefighters who lost their lives on duty in Arizona.
"Your heart goes out to the friends and families of those guys. It's a unique situation," said Buice.
Each step was taken for 19 strangers who share their job. It was a touching eulogy delivered without a word.
"It's very encouraging all the guys clapping and shouting at us," said Peringer.
The flag, the uniform and their service rallied the crowd and runners alike.
"They were just proud for who we were and what we did," Buice said.
It was no easy feat.
"At the start of the race the gear was forty pounds and by the end of the race I believe it was forty five or fifty pounds. It kept soaking up all the water," Peringer said.
A small sacrifice for the 19 men who sacrificed it all.
"It's humbling and it's very encouraging and we appreciate it and we're just honored to be able to do what we do," said Buice.