MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WJZY) — On Friday morning, a dozen Mooresville first responders will embark on the challenge of a lifetime.

Eleven firefighters and one police officer will participate in the Palmetto Relay, a 200-mile race from Lexington, S.C., to North Charleston. Their goal is to raise money for the family of Captain Brian Yon, who died from medical complications in October.

Capt. Brian Young

“We want people to know we’re earning the money for the Yon family. We didn’t want to just say, ‘hey, can you donate to us?’ We want to go run these 210 miles to earn your money for the family,” said Mooresville Fire Engineer Scott Hauck.

The relay team has already had community members donate vans, food, and hotel rooms to help with race logistics, but they say their GoFundMe to raise $10,000 for the Yon family has gotten off to a slow start.

“You can’t help but become like a second family. It was like we lost one of our own,” said Mooresville Fire Engineer Justin Sigmon.

The race begins at 6 a.m. Friday morning, and they anticipate they will finish sometime Saturday afternoon. For some teammates, the challenge will be harder than for others. Several of the teammates say they have never run long-distance.

“I’ve ran a couple [of] 5Ks here locally, which is 3.2-some miles. That was years ago. I’m not a runner. I’m not built to run,” said Sigmon.

But just as is the firefighter way, this group of first responders says they will have each other’s backs the entire way.

“That’s kind of where all this started and why we’re doing it in the first place. Because once you become in this family, you’re not going to ever leave the family,” said Houck.

In addition to donating, the runners say they’ll be live-streaming portions of their race. You can follow along with their progress through their Facebook event page.