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An unidentified firefighter prepares for the Firefighter Combat Challenge in downtown Casper, WY., on Friday June 22, 2012. Called “the toughest two minutes in sports” by ESPN, the Challenge seeks to encourage firefighter fitness and demonstrate the profession's rigors to the public. Wearing "full bunker gear” pairs of competitors race head-to-head as they simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting by performing a linked series of five tasks including climbing the 5-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175 lb. "victim" as they race against themselves, their opponent and the clock. © Michael Thanhouser, 2012.

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