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SWAT, Police, Firefighters Take On Marion County Obstacle Course

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A competition called Bad to the Bone had hundreds of law enforcement and rescue officials competing Friday using skills they are sometimes called to employ in the field.

They took to an obstacle course in Marion County — climbing, crawling, sprinting and jumping. Josh O’Carroll’s team set a new course record early on at 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

“It’s just a whole different lifestyle,” O’Carroll said.

The serious competitors make sacrifices, O’Carroll explained. They avoid soda and alcohol, maintain a healthy diet, and train regularly throughout the week.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office hosted the event at its Operations Complex. There, obstacle course athletes like Sgt. Ryan Robbins helped design the course.

“Physical fitness is a key part of our job function, whether we are firefighters, sheriff’s department, police officers. This course challenges these officers to be stronger and faster and think quickly,” Robbins said.

Competitor Michael Townsend of Pasco County said it takes months to train for an event like this, and the training is rigorous.

The next event will be the 31st Annual SWAT Round-up International in Orlando from Nov. 10 to 15.

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