Firefighters Jermaine-and-Renaldo with their medals-after-successfully-completing-the-race-in 2023


City of Cape Town firefighters Jermaine Carelse and Renaldo Duncan will be running the Two Oceans Half Marathon to raise funds for Volunteer Wildfire Service.

The pair will be doing the 21.1 km in full firefighting gear including the their self-containing breathing apparatus (SCBA).

Carelse and Duncan ran the Two Oceans half marathon in 2023 in their firefighting gear minus the SCBA, finishing in two hours and 41 minutes.

They managed to raise  R181 000 for VWS, courtesy of donations from individuals and corporates.

The firefighters have a new challenge for themselves, adding an extra 10 kilograms with the SCBA, crossing the finish line before the cut-off of 3 hours 30 minutes and raising R400 000 towards VWS.

For Carelse, a 23-year firefighting veteran, the race represents more than just running.

“I have been running for longer than I can remember. I see it as a form of therapy – just me, and the road, and my thoughts. It is also a time of reflection and gratitude to still be in good health,” said Carelse.

“I have completed the Two Oceans half marathon five times – twice in fire gear, and I have completed the ultra-marathon once. I decided to do this challenge in uniform, because we all have an inherent quality of pushing the envelope and why not do it to raise much-needed funds for VWS? Also, who doesn’t like a challenge? The public will see the gear and the equipment we use and this might inspire someone to become more active or even apply to become a firefighter in future.”



Firefighters Jermaine and Renaldo with VWS TEAM Steve Akester, Liam Gannon and Claire Lötter

Duncan, who has been a firefighter for 14 years and has been a volunteer fireman, ran his first Two Oceans half marathon in 2013.

“Four years later, Mr. Carelse and I ran the race in our fire gear for the first time, and we decided to repeat our antics in 2022,” said Duncan.

“This year, we will be running the race with approximately 14 kilograms of added weight, including our self-containing breathing apparatus that weight about 10 kilograms. I love testing myself and I know that preparing for an event like this will challenge me physically and mentally, but also create much needed awareness and support for a great NGO like VWS.”

VWS is a registered NGO that relies on public and corporate donations to cover its operating costs.

It costs approximately R7 500 to train each volunteer firefighter, and equip them with basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Volunteers are required to purchase their own backpacks, fire boots, water and nutrition that is needed while fighting fires.

‘We are extremely grateful for the assistance and up until now, that has kept us going. We are wanting to do more, but are limited by the increasing cost of our operations,” said VWS CEO, Claire Lötter.

“Our biggest expense at the moment is our vehicles, with our oldest being a 28-year-old Land Rover people carrier. You’ll see our bright yellow vehicle running around the mountain during times of disaster, ferrying eight volunteers at a time. The cost of maintaining our ageing fleet is draining our resources and we are desperately trying to reduce this burden. All of us at VWS are deeply appreciative of Jermaine and Renaldo’s selfless act of running this marathon again on our behalf to raise much needed funds. We will be there, both at the starting line and the finish line, to cheer them on.”

Donations to the VWS can be made directly via the website, or through their social media pages.

Firefighters Jermaine-and-Renaldo with their medals-after-successfully-completing-the-race-in 2023
Other Articles


Road to Africa’s First Major Marathon
Sanlam Cape Town Marathon’s 2024 edition is looking at hitting...
Junior Springboks quest for U20 champs triumph in Cape Town
The Junior Springboks will be in action at the World...
Loeries Creative Week in the Mother City
Cape Town will host Loeries Creative Week, Africa and the...
25 years of Cape Town Funny Festival
The Jive Cape Town Funny Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary...
Scroll to Top