Once an orphan himself, this Ada firefighter runs a race dedicated to orphans everywhere

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ADA, Okla. -- His physical limits exist farther out than most.

Danny Manuel loves to challenge himself by pushing his body to run faster and climb higher.

"You have to," he says. "It's pretty intense."

At some point though, even he reaches the end of his endurance.

On this 3-and-a-half mile course of his own design, complete with 33 different obstacles, he needs something extra.

Danny finds it, partially, through his religious faith and, also, through his own past.

He explains, "Whenever I'm gassed and want to give up, for me, I try to think about why I'm doing what I'm doing."

This happy farm kid from Ada who grew up climbing, tunneling, or riding everything in sight, got those chances because a young couple adopted him.

Through every other obstacle in life, Danny never forgot.

He got into the saving business as a firefighter.

As a family man and athlete, his inspiration lies in the plight of orphans everywhere.

"Children that don't have moms or dads to care for them," continues Manuel. "They don't have food. They don't have anything. I think, what I'm going through right now is nothing compared to what they're going through."

Manuel's manual for completing this race course mostly involves good fun.

For the past six years, he's organized the Orphan Love Mud Run to raise money for families and organizations that share his own inspiration.

It's been three years since Danny's family put their own name up to adopt a child from Ethiopia.

There is frustration in waiting, but someday he knows his inspiration will have a face.

Danny says, "Our direction in this is following God's direction."

Until then he pushes on and through, running the race God set out, and sharing the course with as many brave people who feel like testing their limits just like he always has.

The 2017 Orphan Love Mud Run is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, Sept. 16.

For directions or information on how to support or join in go to www.itsachildslife.org or on Facebook at Orphan Love Mud Run 2017.