Several years ago, Lt. Chris Cole was inspired to push his training a little further after seeing fellow officer Lt. Dave Doebel complete a marathon.
"I had run some other races, but after he ran, that's when I started to run for one," said Cole, who has been with the police department for nearly two decades.
After Cole completed his race, Officer Andrew Schuchhardt ran a marathon.
Even though officers have started at different times with the department, it's been a snowball effect from there.
Along with Cole, Doebel and Schuchhardt, Officer Bre Platt and Community Service Officer Pom Cook have been involved in triathlons, road races and warrior dashes.
Local races, such as the Ride-Run, Marathon to Marathon, Marina to Marina and Jump Right in and Run are department favorites, as well as marathons and half-marathons in Des Moines, Emmetsburg and Omaha.
Most recently, Cole was the third overall male finisher during the Marina to Marina 10K on Saturday, with a time of 42:21.
When it comes to law enforcement-only physical fitness competitions, teamwork, stamina and determination is key.
In 2010, the department nabbed first place during the Correctional Emergency Response Team Challenge (CERT), hosted by the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility at the Brushy Creek Recreation Area in Fort Dodge. Over fifty officers were involved during the competition, which tested ability to work as a team, endurance, strength, fireams and capability under stressful situations.
Marathon relays and duathlon-style races were key for keeping officers in tip-top shape before and after CERT.
Motivation is necessary for keeping fit with a hectic work schedule, but maintaining a certain level of physical fitness as a police officer is important, Cole said.
"You just gotta do it when you can and make time for it," he explained. "We're always getting older and the age of the offenders is staying young. We've got to keep up with the youngsters, and the same goes for the newer officers."