Jonathan Vero
It's Lit

Man Sets Record for Fastest 100-Meter Sprint While on Fire

byMaggie Harrison Dupré
7.15.23, 9:36 AM EDT
Jonathan Vero

"I love fire."

Fire Guy

Jonathan Vero, a 39-year-old firefighter and fire stunt artist based in Lille, France, has two Guinness World Records: the fastest 100-meter sprint while on fire, and the longest run while on fire.

Why? Maybe the real question is: why not!

"I'm not scared about fire," Vero told The Washington Post. "I love fire. It's a passion for me."

Per WaPo, the fire fanatic ran the flame-engulfed 100-meter sprint in 17 seconds and ran 272.25 meters in total, beating both previous respective records of 24.58 seconds and 204.23 meters.

Vero technically beat the records back in September 2022, but Guinness just sent the firefighter his official certificates last week. And according to the part-time fire-eater, he might have a few more fiery world records in the tank.

"There [are] a lot of records that I think I can break," the stuntman told WaPo.

Layered Up

To guard himself from the flames during the dangerous sprint, Vero, per WaPo, donned three layers of protection. His first consisted of "flame-resistant" sweatpants and a long-sleeved tee, both covered in a special "naked burn" gel. Over that, he layered a jumpsuit — also smeared in the flame-managing gel — and put a mask over his face.

Finally, he put on his fire suit, including his gloves and boots. That's pretty clunky stuff — and honestly, it makes the speed and distance that he ran all the more impressive.

Patch Work

Thankfully, Vero's colleagues and fellow fire professionals joined him at the track, so safety — for Vero as well as onlookers and the surrounding area — seemed to be top of mind. But even with all of those layers, Vero still got hurt, telling WaPo that he burnt his back and hamstrings. But, he says, he threw on some lotion, and he was better in just a few days.

And besides, Vero says pain is just part of the deal.

"When you want to break this kind of record," Vero told WaPo, "you have to accept the dangers."

In any case, congrats to Vero. The guy loves fire, and it's a very cool thing to have one, let alone two, Guinness records. We all have our hobbies — and some folks', apparently, involve setting themselves on fire and running as fast as possible around a local track.

More on record-breaking: Elon Musk Sets Guinness World Record for Losing the Most Money

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