Working out to honor fallen officer

By Amanda Hari

August 23, 2014 Updated Sep 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Dozens of people joined CrossFit Binghamton at the 31st annual Chris Thater Memorial Races, to honor a fallen Binghamton officer.

Lee Barta was a Binghamton police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty back in 1995.

He is being remembered with the Lee Barta Binghamton CrossFit Challenge; a competition run by CrossFit Binghamton.

"We were approached by one of the directors of the stop DWI program and they said hey this is what we're thinking, we'd like to do a CrossFit event," said Mandy Skinner who is the Co-Owner of CrossFit Binghamton, "We'd like to name it after Barta."

Skinner agreed, "Absolutely! What can we do? How can we help?"

Nearly 70 CrossFit athletes, ranging in ages 20 to 50, are among the competitors. This challenge is expected to be the largest CrossFit competition in the southern tier.

Athletes compete in at least three workouts in several divisions.

The “Rx division”, requires the athletes to use prescribed weights and movements. The "scaled division” allows athletes to modify the movements.

“We’re really excited to bring so much of the CrossFit community together, you know, as far as various gyms throughout the area and throughout New York State,” Skinner said.

“We’re also hoping to bring awareness to CrossFit and what it is as a training protocol in a competitive environment as well as exposure and being part of the community.”

Crossfit Binghamton has a special connection to fallen officer Barta.

His oldest son, Dan Barta, became a member of the gym as a way to prepare for his police physical fitness test.

A test required to eventually join the force.

Dan Barta is now a Binghamton City Police officer and wears his father's badge as another way to honor him.

“CrossFit throughout the world does memorial workouts for fallen soldiers and this is our way to do that for him,” Skinner added.

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