Friday, July 18, 2014

2014 York Can Am Police Fire Games

I have looking forward to the 2014 York Can Am Police Fire Games all year long.  This was the first year in the past 4 seasons in which I felt I could train and gain enough fitness to be competitive.  My back still gives me problems and I have been limited to slightly shorter training rides, but I have been on the bike, running and cross training enough to feel I could be factor in these games.

What are the Can Am Police Fire Games?

The Can Am Police Fire Games are an Olympic style competition for law enforcement and firefighters.  Here is are the rules of who is eligible to compete:

  • All sworn Federal, State/Provincial, County, Municipal and Military law enforcement officers, weight control officers, corrections officers and dispatchers employed by a law enforcement agency (male or female, active or retired) are eligible. Police reservists and cadets who have 180-days of continuous law enforcement service, have received formal training in law enforcement and have powers of arrest are eligible.
  • Eligible fire service personnel includes both paid and volunteer, dispatchers, military fire personnel, (male or female, active or retired) who have received formal training as a firefighter and have 180-days of continuous fire service.
  • Eligible EMS personnel includes E.M.S. personnel employed by a private entity or Governmental Agency (male or female, active or retired) who have received formal training as an EMS provider and have 180 days of continuous service.
  • Eligible law enforcement, fire service and E.M.S. personnel described above from any city, county, state/province, and Country are eligible to compete.
  • A spouse must complete a Registration Form listing the agency information representing the eligible spouse.
NOTE: Eligibility rules will be strictly adhered to.
Agencies specifically included:
  • Municipal Police
  • Municipal Fire
  • County Sheriff
  • County Fire
  • Harbor Police
  • Harbor Fire
  • CII Investigators
  • District Attorney's Investigators
  • Alcohol Beverage Control Officers
  • U.S. Marshal's Office
  • Secret Service
  • Highway Patrol
  • Parole Agents and Officers
  • State Police
  • Gov’t. Employed Corrections Officers
  • Provincial Police
  • Seasonal Smoke jumpers and Firefighters (with at least two years employment)
  • US Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
  • Border Patrol
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • University/Campus Police and Fire Depts.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Customs and Immigration Service
  • Government Employed Dispatchers
  • National/State/Prov. Wardens/ Rangers
  • Attorney General Investigators
  • Tribal Police
  • U.S. Park Service Police
  • Military Police
  • Military Firefighters
  • Bureau of Narcotic's Investigators
Agencies specifically excluded:
  • Private Business Firefighters
  • Pre-employment Police or Fire Science students
  • Private Security Services
  • Civilian Jailers and Corrections Personnel
  • Non governmental Dispatchers
Here is a list of events for the 2014 Games:

VBW Representation for Cycling Events:
John Gray (Suffolk Fire Department) and myself (Virginia Beach Fire Department) represented Hampton Roads and the Virginia Beach Wheelmen in this year's event.  We competed in three races: the TT, the Crit, and the Road Race.  We entered the Senior B category which was an age graded 35-39.  We really did not know what to expect as far as competition.  What we found was small packs that varied in experience.  There were Cat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and even some unlicensed riders.  The courses were also challenging.  Both the TT and the Road Race were on very hilly terrain.  The road race featured a circuit with four laps and each lap had rolling hills and a steady steep 1.5 mile climb.  The Crit was on wide roads through a neighborhood.  The TT was on the same course as the road race but went the other direction.

For the TT, John was doing great but ended up loosing his chain and it got stuck in his bottom bracket.  He lost too much time.  I was able to hold on for third to bring home a bronze medal.

For the Crit, John and I were both in the front separation with two other strong riders.  They ended forming a deal with each other to combat the team work put forth by VBW.  The stronger rider was starting to counter all of our attacks while allowing the other one to just sit in.  Seeing this, I got to the front for the final three laps and set the pace.  The pace was high enough to stop all further attacks and it allowed John to sit in for the sprint.  On the final John was out sprinted but got the Silver medal and I held on for another bronze.

In the Road Race, I was concerned about the hills.  The mixed several categories for a little bit larger pack.  We had about 10 riders in our category we needed to fend off.  Not really knowing their ability, I got to the front immediately.  The race started with pretty steady climbing for the first 3 miles.  I set a tempo early on that got rid of half the pack.  Then the strong rider from the crit got to the front (he was actually in an age category lower than us) and John got on his wheel.  I allowed a gap to form while everyone else sat on my wheel.  A few riders noticed this and sprinted up to close the gap.  This acceleration depleted more of the original pack.  I sat on for a little bit but then settled into my own climbing pace.  John and the other rider was able to create separation from everyone else and I slowly started to pick off other dropped riders.  In the Senior B race, John ended up Gold and I got another Bronze.

The Best Part of the Games:

By far one of the best things about these games is meeting people from around the country. Public safety jobs are unique and offer challenges to being an athlete. Our jobs require a certain level of fitness but with sleepless nights, shift work and odd eating schedule, often it could be difficult to maintain this fitness. These games gives us the chance to promote our sport, competition, fitness and learn from each other.  It becomes easy to make new friends, even if some of them are cops.

2018 They Will Be in Hampton Roads:

Hampton Roads has won the bid to host these games in 2018.  Check out their latest banner:
The Next Focus:

In 2015, the World Police Fire Games will be in Fairfax, VA.  The cycling events bring many European competitors and are always very tough.  VBW will be looking to bring a full team and try to bring back some medals to Hampton Roads.