Message from MuckFest MS Staff: MuckFestival Additions

Muckers,

We have some awesome additions to our course and MuckFestival area for 2015. Not to spoil all of our surprises, but we’re excited to announce that a new sound system, giant beer pong, a custom washer game, corn hole, and log rolling will be making an appearance at select 2015 events.

Giant beer pong at MuckFest MS

In addition, we’ve made some changes to how you pick up your t-shirt/snack and the changing area that we think will help make your MuckFest MS experience even better.

While we still have many other new surprises up our sleeves for 2015, two of our most important additions involve how we’re working towards a world free of MS.

At the finish line, we’re starting a new tradition where you’ll rub our giant Gold Duck pedestal and ring a bell to show your support of a world free of MS.

MuckFest MS finish line I MUCK IT WITH MS is a special new National MS Society program that celebrates participants who are also living with multiple sclerosis. MuckFest MS participants with MS can wear the blue I MUCK IT WITH MS bandanas on the event. The bandanas will be given to participants who selected “I have MS” in response to the registration question, “What is your connection to MS?”

I Muck It With MS Bandana

We can’t wait to get mucky with you. Full schedule available here.

–MuckFest MS Staff

National Volunteer Week – Ross Chapman, MuckFest MS Boston Volunteer

Since my very first National Multiple Sclerosis Society event, I have had a longing to contribute to something larger than myself…to be a part of something that will help make a difference in the lives of other people. It has become my source of joy to participate as a volunteer for many of the Bike MS and Walk MS events for the National MS Society. The decision to be a part of the MuckFest® MS seemed like a natural thing to do.

Blog Volunteer, National Volunteer Week

This decision proved to be an exhilarating time with friends and an excellent opportunity to meet new friends. As with every event I participate in, regardless of any repetition, each time offers something new and inspiring.

As a volunteer, the enthusiasm of participants and other volunteers charges and amazes me. It would seem that there is no mountain too big, no puddle too deep, and no obstacle too insurmountable to be impassable for the determined participant set to meet the demands of the MuckFest MS event.

When the time comes to pack up and head home, I take with me that charge and enthusiasm to make a difference until next time, when we will gather to do it all again.

–Ross Chapman, MuckFest MS Boston Volunteer

 

Want to volunteer at MuckFest MS? Sign up here.

Inspiring Muckers: MuckFest MS Boston, Marc Mingolelli of Mingo Muckers

We’re excited to sit down with Marc Mingolelli, team member of MuckFest® MS Boston’s Mingo Muckers.

MuckFest MS Boston, Marc Mingolelli's Blog

Tell us about your connection to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

It may sound strange, but I am happy to know that my brother has MS. About seven years ago, Mike was complaining of dizziness and blurred speech. Finally, another episode occurred, and he was rushed to an emergency room where doctors told us he had cancer, and it was not good. The diagnosis made all of us scared and nervous for two weeks while tests were being conducted. When the news finally came back that it was MS, we were relieved – although there is no cure for it yet, every day strides are made to find one and people with MS can still live long, productive lives.

How did you first get involved with Muck Fest MS?

To complement Mike’s role on the New England Board, the family wanted to find a way to help raise awareness and money for the MS Society. We are not a family of long distance runners or walkers. We like to have fun and bring people together. Participating in MuckFest MS accomplishes this goal – getting dirty is just an added benefit! Our biggest challenge was coming up with a name and slogan. We ultimately decided on the Mingo Muckers, where “Finding a Cure is Dirty Work.”

MuckFest MS Boston, Marc Mingolelli's Blog Continue reading

Inspiring Muckers: MuckFest MS Philadelphia, Shawn Williams of Bubby Titches

We’re excited to kick off our 2015 participant interviews with Philadelphia’s Shawn Williams of team Bubby Titches. Shawn’s passion for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and MuckFest® MS is contagious, and we’re excited to chat with him about his team and fundraising for the 2015 event in May.

MuckFest MS Philadelphia Blog Post

Why is fundraising for the National MS Society important to you?

My wife, Becky, was diagnosed in 2000. MS has taken so much from her life – physically, mentally, emotionally, you name it. Worst of all is the feeling of hopelessness it leaves you with – the feeling that no matter what you do, things are only going to get worse. But through all the “muck” of MS, the National MS Society has always been there to help us – since the day Becky was diagnosed (her first pamphlet about MS was from the National MS Society) we’ve gotten support and encouragement from them. They were the first people that provided us with information about the disease, and they’ve been with us every step of the way.

They have been our counselors, our aide coordinators, our research advocates, and our friends. During the Day of Service two years ago, volunteers from their office came to our house to help with painting and some odd jobs that we were having trouble getting done.

MS makes you feel like you can’t count on anything – your legs betray you, your memory fails you, your hands refuse to work properly. But the National MS Society has remained steadfast in their support of us and of all the people afflicted with this terrible disease.

How do you raise awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society?

When my friends and I started talking about our MuckFest MS team for 2015, I began kicking around the idea of doing something to promote us and MuckFest MS. I wanted to do something that would be as popular and fun as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, but something that wasn’t quite so… clean. How about filling that bucket with a bunch of muck – and doing it out in the snow? THAT’s the kind of challenge Muckers would partake in! So, on a cold February morning, I kicked off my shoes, thawed out some mud (it took some work to get that muck de-iced!), and got my teammate Trevor to film the whole thing. And I threw the #GoMuckYourself slogan in there hoping it would catch on as a fun tagline.

The video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dINP117VDw0

Apart from dumping mud on my head, I’m an officer at our local VFW. I work hard to make the National MS Society one of our primary beneficiaries for donations, and the entire membership of our Post is proud of the support we give our local chapter. In addition to supporting me on MuckFest MS, our Post sponsors the local Walk MS at the Clipper Stadium in Lancaster, PA. Continue reading

MuckFest MS 2015 Series

MuckFest® MS is the fun mud and obstacle 5K for everyone. If you can laugh, you can do it. No special training required. Have a blast on mountains of mud and 18+ outrageous obstacles that will spin, swing, and fling you and your teammates up, down, and sideways. The event is built for laughs, but we’re also on a serious mission: to support people living with multiple sclerosis and to bring us closer to a world free of MS. And you’ll feel great knowing that 100% of your team’s fundraising dollars support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Check out our 2015 series information below, and register today at www.MuckFestMS.com!

Series infographic about MuckFest MS, a mud obstacle 5K fun run.

Feel free to share this infographic on your own blog or website. When you do, please give credit and link to MuckFestMS.com.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: MuckFest MS Featured in January 26th Episode of ABC’s Hit Romance Reality Series The Bachelor

Last night on ABC’s The Bachelor, six spunky contestants got dirty while competing for newest Bachelor Chris Soules’ attention out on the MuckFest® MS course.

In case you missed it, here is a clip.

MuckFest MS + The Bachelor Blog Post

After opening a date card that said “Let’s get dirty,” the six contestants donned pristine white wedding dresses and boarded a jet from Wheels Up to Northern California. After a limo ride, contestants were surprised by MuckFest MS emcee Al Emerick with the news that they’d be running a customized MuckFest MS Bachelor mud obstacle course – in their wedding dresses! The winner got a dream date with the Bachelor at the historic Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The five less-fortunate contestants showered off, donned white fluffy robes, and flew directly back to The Bachelor mansion in Southern California.

 MuckFest MS + The Bachelor Blog Post

The mile-long fun run course featured ten obstacles, including Triple Pits, Big Balls, Walk on Water, Spider Web (over and under), Mt. Muck-imanjaro, The Spinner, Swing Set, Skid Mark, and Belly Crawl.

MuckFest MS + The Bachelor Blog Post

The MuckFest MS team worked closely with the show’s producers to ensure that microphones and cameras could capture the fierce competition and mucky hilarity that ensued. The team also made sure the course was extra mucky for the contestants in their wedding dresses.

MuckFest MS + The Bachelor Blog Post

The day of the filming, production staff captured the ladies completing the mud obstacle course with bachelor Chris Soules, riding with their cameras between obstacles on gators driven by MuckFest MS production staff.  Bachelor Chris was a total gentleman and helped several of the contestants across the muddy finish line.

MuckFest MS + The Bachelor Blog Post

By showcasing the MuckFest MS mud obstacle course on The Bachelor, we’re proud to raise awareness for the mission of MuckFest MS: to raise funds to support the 2.3 million people living with MS and to bring us closer to a world without MS.

MuckFest MS + The Bachelor Blog Post

About MuckFest MS

MuckFest MS is the fun mud and obstacle 5K for everyone. No special training required. Runners have a blast on mountains of mud and outrageous obstacles. The event is built for laughs, but it’s also on a serious mission: to support people living with multiple sclerosis and to bring us closer to a world free of MS. Runners sign up at MuckFestMS.com. Benefiting the National MS Society, www.nationalMSsociety.org.

 

How to Stay Mucky During the Off-Season

On Facebook and Twitter, we asked our muckers, “How do YOU keep the MuckFest MS spirit alive during the winter months?” 

Below are some great ideas on ways to stay mucky during the off-season!

MuckFest MS Spinner

Playing outside with the grandkids. Developing future muckers!” –Daniel M.

“Who says there’s an off season?” –Ryan S. 

“Outdoor recess duty in the wintertime! Messier than you might expect!” –Julia F. 

“I train at Unleashed in Warwick RI around 3 days per week. They offer exercise classes specifically to prepare for obstacle course racing, as well as general fitness classes that are head to toe workouts. It’s a year round adventure for me.” –Stephanie S. 

“Just because it’s cold, [there’s] no reason not to get outside and exercise! It toughens you up. My friends and I often say that after the conditions this past year for MuckFest MS, there’s not much that we won’t run outside in.” –Michael F. 

“Wow. Good for you guys! MuckFest MS…I keep the spirit alive by eating mud pie and awaiting the fun of the run!” –Samantha G.Samantha Gonzalez's photo.

“Amazing things happen when you just ask.” –Michael Pierce, MuckFest MS Denver

We reached out to one of our first-time muckers, Michael Pierce, to chronicle his first MuckFest® MS Denver adventure. He answered some questions before the event and after the event. Check it out!

Pre-Event Questions

MuckFest MS: What are you most excited for at your first MuckFest MS event?

Michael: I just want to know if I can make it through all of the obstacles! I’ve never done an event like this, and I’m excited to see if it lives up to all of the fun I see people having in the pictures. I’m also really excited to see just how many people attend this event.MuckFest MS Blog - Denver - Michael Pierce  

Who is your inspiration for participating in MuckFest MS?

Michael: My Mom is my inspiration. She was diagnosed with late-onset MS a few years ago, and this event perfectly brings together my love of running and desire to do something to honor her. Since I was little, she has always taught me the power of independent thought and action. She put herself through college by working days and going to class at night, and she was the first in her family to get a college degree. From there, she went off to Germany to teach. All of this happened at a time when it was very unusual for women to do these types of things. It’s made her struggle with MS that much harder to witness, because of the impact it has had on her independence, in thought and in action.

What is your number one fundraising tip?

Michael: The one thing I have learned leading up to this event is the power of connection – amazing things happen when you just ask. No matter how long ago or how recently I’d spoken to someone or how deep or new the friendship might be, so many people responded to my requests for support – I was astounded. I set what I thought were lofty goals – a team of 10 people raising $2,000 – and was blown away by a team of 38 people raising over $7,100.MuckFest MS Blog - Denver - Michael Pierce

Post-Event Questions

MuckFest MS: What was the most memorable moment at your first MuckFest MS event?

Michael: It actually happened the night before the event, while many of the team members gathered to “carb load” (really just an excuse to eat pasta and drink great wine). Two of our team members couldn’t attend the dinner, but I received a text that simply said, “We are ready,” with a picture of the shirts they made for MuckFest MS. They had spontaneously decided to write “Muckin’ for Mike’s Mom” on their shirts – and the entire team embraced it. I was quietly participating in this event to honor my Mom as my own personal thing. To have the entire team embrace her in such a public way completely blew me away. The best part was my Mom was able to attend the event and got to personally see that we were all running for her.

MuckFest MS Blog - Denver - Michael Pierce

MuckFest MS: What was your favorite obstacle?

Michael: That’s a tough one, because they were all fun in their own way. I’ll have to say the Swing Set, because it was so much fun to launch yourself off of it and into the water – it was like being a kid again. Also, after a long uphill portion of the course, the Swing Set was the beginning of going downhill to the finish line.

MuckFest MS: If you could give one piece of advice to a first-time mucker, what would it be?

Michael: Kneepads. Or long pants. My knees took a beating. Really, what I would tell them is that it’s an incredible amount of fun. You think it’s going to be fun, and all of the pictures look like a blast, but you really won’t understand how much fun it really is until you get out there with a bunch of your friends. Can’t wait for next year!

 BeforeMuckFest MS Blog - Denver - Michael Pierce

AfterMuckFest MS Blog - Denver - Michael Pierce

Thanks for giving us insight into the musings of a first-time mucker, Michael! We can’t wait to see you and your team next year!

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