"Survival Race" winner gets body armor surprise
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A special honor goes to the winner of a survival race for heroes two weeks ago in Blue Springs Park. The first responder conquered the elements despite a health condition.
"It was struggling, the pain, just feeling exhausted, you really got to push through," said Shane Barrett, the first responder and law enforcement officer in Lady Lake, Florida.
He took part in Survivor Race, an opportunity for people to experience what deployed troops go through during the span of two days.
"I feel that it's better for those who can to actually present themselves on a platform to say I'm willing to embrace this suck, I'm willing to go through the grind to show my support for my troops," said Matthew Burke, Founder of 10 Can Charity, which puts on the race as a way to use more than words to say thank you.
He said people who served also participate to appreciate where they are now. "To have running water, to have a hot meal, to have the opportunity to drive your own vehicle, sleep in your own bed, touch your wife physically, all of those things that you now have that you take for granted," Burke said.
Barrett won in the "Novice" category, despite struggling with Diabetes and a recent back surgery. His prize was an exclusive tour of Phalanx Defense Systems, a local company making body armor for first responders.
"What I want to do is provide the winner body armor, kind of a unique designs to get to a first responder and it just so happened that the person who actually won the race just so happened to be a first responder," said James Coats, owner of Phalanx.
Barrett was surprised with armor of his own. "When Mr. Burke called me and told me to come here, it was just overwhelming, like 'oh my gosh this is going to be really cool,'" said Barrett.
This is barrett's second time doing the race and he does not plan to stop.
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