Appleton firefighter breaks world record while raising money for veteran cancer screenings

An Appleton firefighter is among thousands gearing up for the Fox Cities Marathon on Sunday but he’s doing it with 100-pounds on his back.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 3:27 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 7:10 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - An Appleton firefighter raising money for veteran cancer screening broke a world record, according to a Facebook post from the non-profit Friends of Appleton Fire Department:

The post says Cory Asimus finished the Community First Fox Cities Marathon in 4 hours and 53 minutes, which is the fastest marathon time for anyone wearing a 100-pound rucksack.

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An Appleton firefighter is among thousands gearing up for the Fox Cities Marathon on Sunday but he’s doing it with 100-pounds on his back.

While Cory Asimus is hoping to break the world record for the fastest marathon completed with that extra weight, he’s raising money for another cause, to help fellow veterans.

Appleton firefighter Cory Asimus is pounding the pavement, step after step, uphill, and upstairs, carrying a 100 pound ruck bag. It’s a heavy load to carry for 26.2 miles, but he says this load became easier when he teamed up with Vaspire 316.

“Thankfully, you know, it felt like the burden became off me came off me once we started working with Jacole, and it didn’t become about the record anymore. It came about helping people,” said Asimus.

Vaspire 316 is a local non-profit founded by Appleton Police Officer Dominic Hall’s wife, Jacole. Hall died last year after a fierce battle with pancreatic cancer.

Hall’s cancer is a result of the toxins he was exposed to overseas while serving in the U.S. military. Vaspire 316 raises money for pre-cancer screening blood draws for military veterans who are now first responders.

The kits test for many cancer-causing toxins and chemicals veterans may have been exposed to while serving that normal physicals may not catch. So far, the non-profit has raised enough money to cover more than 47 veterans that work for the Appleton Police and Fire departments.

Cory is one of those firefighters.

“I am one of those test kits that was already paid for,” he said.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, completing multiple tours in Afghanistan. He’s hoping to raise enough money to pay for pre-cancer screening kits for all military first responders in Outagamie County.

Fellow firefighter and military veteran, Keegan Murphy, beat his cancer diagnosis earlier this year.

“The earlier you catch it the faster you are going to beat the odds essentially,” he said.

Asimus never met Dominic Hall.

“I attended his funeral as part of the fire department,” he said.

But his partnership with his wife, Jacole, has given him all the details he needs to know to push through the tough times and hit the finish line on Sunday.

“I’ve only heard stories, and he sounds like you know, the kind of guy that would pick up the ruck and be right there with me,” he said.

Asimus is hoping to raise $50,000 for Vaspire 316. If you’d like to help him meet his goal, check out the website.