How fast can you climb a five-story tower with a 44-pound weight on your back, hoist a 45-pound hose up that tower once at the top, move a 160-pound steel beam 5 feet with a big hammer, pull a live hose 75 feet to blast a small target with water, and finally drag a 165-pound mannequin 100 feet, all while wearing more than 45 pounds of firefighter gear?
How about two minutes?
The Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, an international competition shown on ESPN and Versus, is coming to Charleston for the first time this weekend.
The event, organized by the Charleston Metro Sports Council, will be held at the Citadel Mall from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday near the King Street Grille entrance facing Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.
Billed as "the toughest two minutes in sports," the challenge tests and promotes firefighter fitness. Its five events -- the tower climb, hose hoist, forcible entry, hose advance and victim rescue -- are meant to chronologically simulate an actual rescue situation and illustrate the connection between fitness and performance.
Elite firefighters from across the United States have been invited. Local firefighters, some of whom are already national competitors, will have an opportunity to compete. Nonfirefighters also will be able to run the course on a noncompetitive level.
On Friday, opening ceremonies will be followed by the elite individual competitions, staged in full gear. On Saturday, local dignitaries will make opening remarks before the competitive relay and tandem competitions.
There also will be a Kids' Challenge for ages 4-11 that replaces the tower with a jump castle and serves as a kid-friendly version of the competition. Local vendors will be selling food and drink.
Reach Ryan Quinn at 937-5906.