MERCER COUNTY - Today marked New Jersey's state triathlon in Mercer County.
As the race got under way Sunday morning, it was started off with a round of applause for participants Dave Ferrell and his son Blake, who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
With the 14-year-old in a raft towed by his father, they began the grueling race with hundreds of other participants. The race includes a 1,500-meter swim, 23.5-mile bike ride and ends with a 6.2-mile run.
Ferrell says he never considered himself an athlete, but was inspired two years ago by well-known tri-athlete Dick Hoyt and his son Rick.
"We love getting Blake out. It's a way for him to participate in an event most able-bodied people won't even try. So, we get him out there," Ferrell says. "He enjoys it. Hopefully it inspires other parents with special kids to get their kids out there to do the same thing."
Wife and mother Colleen Ferrell says she couldn't be more proud of the two of them.
"It's just wonderful that my son can get out there in a typical world and do the same kind of sport," Colleen says. "It's my husband's body that's helping him along, but it's my son out there."
Ferrell competes in several triathalons each year in New Jersey with Blake. He trains three days a week by placing sandbags in Blake's raft and carriers.