"Big Red Challenge" Hits Lincoln For The First Time

MGN Online
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Lincoln, Neb. So many people in Lincoln were up bright and early to be a part of the "Big Red Challenge" on Saturday, on April 26th.

One veteran cheered on runners from the sidelines and told 10/11 that events like this make a huge difference for him and other veterans.

David Nelson wasn't running in today's challenge because he couldn't. An injury while serving in the Navy during the Granada war left him without a leg and changed his life forever.

Nelson said, "After multiple surgeries trying to save the leg, they ended up having to amputate, the first time in 1996 and the second time in 1999."

But that didn't stop this veteran from coming out to an event that he says makes him feel connected to his country and to others who serve.

"I wanted to watch other athletes in the same position, watch the support that we get from everyone around the community. It's great, everyone backs up everyone else and I think I can kinda tell people what can be done for them," said Nelson.

Hundreds of Lincoln runners laced up and stretched out to run through the obstacle course at Haymarket Park.

Governor Heineman, the GoPro Bomb Squad parachute jumpers and even members of the National Guard - all showed up in support of the cause.

"We all serve in the National Guard and we want to give back to our wounded battle buddies," said Bubba Page, a member of the National Guard.

And those bonded by battle field lines finished out the home stretch strong. People cheered as many runners crossed the finish line.

Nelson was proud to watch it all happen and he says events like these remind him why he's proud to live in the "good life," where people recognize what "service" is.

"I feel proud to serve in the US Navy - it was my honor to serve the country," said Nelson.

An organizer told 10/11 News that with all of the outstanding support from the community they had this year, they are already thinking about how to make the event bigger and better next year.

They also want to look at helping other states run this same kind of event.