Photos by Jim Donnelly. Please credit if you share.
By: Sharon Aron Baron
On Veteran’s Day, over 1,100 men and women participated in the Third Annual Soldier Rush – a patriotic obstacle course which raised money for military veterans and their families.
Held at the Parkland Equestrian Center, participants had to overcome physical challenges such as climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of water and more. They did this over grass, trail and mud for 3.1 miles.
Soldier Rush was created by Manuel Mair, a former Marine, and owner of One to One Fitness which has been a staple in Coral Springs for 26 years. Mair said that obstacle courses are his passion and even though it was challenging, he designed it so that everyone could finish it.
“I decided to create a course with triple the amount of obstacles that are doable,” he said.
In attendance were Coral Springs/Parkland Firefighters who brought their ladder truck, veterans, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School ROTC who were instrumental in helping run the event.
“Those kids are so on point,” said Mair. “I have more faith in them than most adults I know. The amount of confidence I had in them – they were just a huge part of this. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
He said that when everything was finished, ROTC members still asked if there was anything else that could be done.
Mair donates 100 percent of the proceeds after costs through the nonprofit Fitness on a Mission. Some of these funds will go to the United Way of Broward County’s Mission United. He has already written checks for $1,150 to the Naked Warrior Project which memorializes Ryan Owens, a local Navy SEAL who was killed in combat earlier this year, and $1,000 to the Coral Springs Firefighter’s Benevolent Association.
“I have a huge smile on my face,” said Mair. “I worked so hard.”