Beat Barber Beast on the Bay Challenges 1,500 Competitors
1,500 competitors came out to tackle the 7th annual Barber Beast on the Bay Saturday.
It's a wild, demanding and creative obstacle course that stretches across 10 miles of Presque Isle State Park.
Teams and individual competitors including Erie News Now anchor Kara Coleman and digital manager Doug Rogers were among those who had to run, jump, climb and crawl across more than 30 obstacles on the shores of Lake Erie.
The most important thing about the race is it raises money to help the children and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities and behavioral health challenges at the Barber National Institute who take on their own obstacles on a daily basis.
"On behalf of the over 4,000 children and adults at the Barber National Institute, we're very grateful for their participation," said John Barber, president of the Barber National Institute. "What they're doing is they're running for people who can't do so themselves but whom benefit from what these participants do here today."
Some of those helped by the Barber National Institute also took on the Beast, too.
They ran a one-mile adapted course designed for those ages 12+ with physical or intellectual disabilities. This course was set up at Waldameer.
In the end, 10-mile course and adapted course participants come together for the final obstacles, and everybody crossed the finish line together.'
The top fundraiser for the second year in a row is James Dobrich, who collected more than $4,200 in donations.
He does this beast every year for Blaize who has autism and completes the adapted course.
Erie News Now also met John Paul Moroney, a volunteer firefighter from Greensburg, Pa., who does the entire obstacle course every year in his full firefighter gear.
"I run it in my gear, partly to challenge myself a little bit more, [while] also trying to raise awareness you know volunteer fire departments," said Moroney. "They need help. It's a dying breed, so to speak. For me, it's just raising awareness of the volunteer firefighters [and] the help we need."