Local family creates obstacle course for all ages and abilities

CALVERTON, Long Island (WABC) -- You don't have to be part of them to know that wild fitness challenges like "Tuff Mudders" and "Color Runs" are very popular.

But if you use a wheelchair, it can be hard to participate..until now.

A father in Suffolk County is putting together the first "all abilities" obstacle course.

14-year-old Zak Stengel loves to be active. But there was a time when he couldn't because he was in a wheelchair suffering from hemophilia.

"I understand what it's like to have a setback like that," said Zak.

"It was a very scary diagnosis, a diagnosis that left us very isolated because it's such a rare condition," said his father Adam Stengel.

After holding several hemophilia walks in the city, his parents came up with the idea of HappyFest, a Tough Mudder inspired one-mile long obstacle course for people of all ages and all abilities.

It's being held this Saturday at Long Island Sports Park in Calverton.

Participants have choices. They can do the challenging obstacle or the alternate right beside it.

So instead of doing the balance beam for example, there is a wheelchair-accesssible alternative.

And instead of climbing a rope, just pull the heavy sandbag to the top.

The idea is that no one is excluded.

"With your family, with your friends, nobody's segregated, we do it together," said Adam.

For more information on HappyFest including ticket prices, hours and to pre-register, visit http://www.happyfestusa.com

The organizers will be giving out 100 free tickets to military families. If interested, email happyfestusa@gmail.com.

Hear more from Adam Stengel and learn more about the obstacle course:
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