A Dirty Duck Comes Clean

Puck the Muck Duck here.

With the impending release of an unauthorized biography, Puck the Muck Duck Run Amok: The Filthy Laundry of the World’s Dirtiest Fowl, it’s time to come clean, so to speak, and tell my story and set the record straight or at least, kinda straight.

Muck Duck Breaking News

The paparazzi caught me. Even the muckiest duck has got to clean up once in awhile.

After college, so many of my fellow duck-mates went off to spend their time getting puckered in bubble baths. Let me tell you, that Muppet serenading a cute little duck in the bathtub was the worst thing to happen to muck-ducks like me since the invention of duck-lip selfies. As you can tell, I don’t like to follow the crowd. (I was always the duckling veering off in my own direction when mom took us out for a swim.)

I go my own way. I waddle to the beat of my own drummer. Well, I don’t really waddle at all. It’s more a “swaddle,” half-swagger, half-waddle.

I’ve always preferred things on the messier side. Admittedly, I’m a little foul-mouthed (sorry) and I’m not afraid to ruffle a few feathers now and then. So, it was only natural that MuckFest® MS and I found each other. They needed a statuesque and Herculean mascot who could perform amazing athletic stunts. When they couldn’t find one, they called me. It worked out because I love the mud and I love all the muckers who love the mud.

What you may not know is that the mucky obstacle-filled course is truly my natural habitat. No weedy ponds or asphalt puddles for me. When I’m not swinging on the Swing Sets, taking selfies at The Spinner, or wading at the bottom of Spill Hill, I’m making waves in the mucky zig-zag pits and the majestically muddy Skid-Mark pool. It’s really a paradise, my dirt-vana, if you will.

Duck Selfie

I’m what you’d call a “selfie connoisseur”.

And rest assured, when you do something truly hilarious out on the course – and you will, believe me – I’ll be there to laugh at, I mean, with you. Although be warned, my laugh isn’t your usual guffaw, it’s more of a “muck, muck, muck, muck…”

All the action isn’t out on the course. After getting the muck washed off, I invite all the muckers and their guests to join me in the MuckFestival area, where I’ve been known to throw back a cold one or two. Although I’m no disco duck, I do have in my repertoire a striking interpretation of the Funky Chicken that some have called, “The New Forbidden Dance of the 21st Century.” And, if you catch me at the right moment, I may even be persuaded to recite a bit of the muck-poetry that’s been written about me, most notably by a recent U.S. Poet Laureate who strangely denies having ever met me:

There once was a duck from Nantucket

Who really knew how to muck it

With swaggering pluck

He drove around in a truck

Cause the Big Balls don’t fit in a bucket.

Now you have a better sense of the real me – the duck behind the mask, or something. So when you see me at MuckFest MS, don’t just give me a head-bob or a lame wave, come up and really say, “Hello” by giving me a squeeze! I’ll be sure to squeeze you back and wish you, “Good muck!”

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Mucker Q&A – Mark Pinhasovich, Team Reality Mucks, MuckFest MS Chicago

MuckFest® MS is super excited to sit down with Biggest Loser Season 10 At Home Winner and Chicago participant, Mark Pinhasovich. Since choosing to focus on his health and fitness, which culminated in a 213 pound weight loss during the show, Mark has become a mud and obstacle run enthusiast. He is ready to take on MuckFest MS Chicago with several Biggest Loser alum, friends, and family. Team Reality Mucks is eager to get mucky!

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MuckFest MS: Why did you decide to register for MuckFest MS?

Mark: I enjoy doing mud and obstacle runs and also have been doing a lot of charity work the last few years. When I heard MuckFest MS was coming to town, I decided it was the best of both worlds! 

MuckFest MS: What is your mindset going into your first MuckFest MS adventure?

Mark: I have done many mud and obstacle runs in the past, but this time around, I’m doing it to raise money for a great cause. My mindset is to be as generous as possible in my fundraising efforts. 

MuckFest MS: Tell us about your team!

Mark: My team will be compromised of people from The Biggest Loser (myself included) as well as family and friends! 

MuckFest MS: How are you approaching training for the event?

Mark: I’m working on upper body strength and cardio, so I will be able to pull myself over obstacles as well as jog in between them. 

MuckFest MS: For what part of the event are you most excited?

Mark: The Spinner looks like a blast! I may just be the one beating his chest like Tarzan when I swing around on it… 

 We can’t wait to hang with Mark and team Reality Mucks at MuckFest MS Chicago on August 23rd in Lockport. Thanks for your support, Mark!

Mucker Q&A – Angelena Colon, Team Like Butter On Pancakes, MuckFest MS Chicago

We’re super excited to talk with MuckFest® MS Chicago participant, Angelena Colon of Antioch, Illinois. As a MuckFest MS Indianapolis alum, she has great insight for our first-time Chicagoland muckers!

MuckFest MS: Why did you initially decide to register for MuckFest MS?  

Angelena: I love running on forest trails that wind up and down every which way. When I stumbled across the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s new MuckFest MS event, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to merge my love for running and support research for those living with MS. Being diagnosed with MS can be challenging at times, but embracing the idea of making others aware is inspiring. I want to educate others and advocate for those dealing with MS and MuckFest MS is one way to do it.  

Angelena Colon at MuckFest MS Indianapolis 2013

MuckFest MS: What is your mindset going into your second MuckFest MS adventure?  

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Mucker Q&A – Casey Welsh, Team Muddy Paws

Casey Welsh is a 3-time MuckFest® MS participant and team captain. She shares with us her description of MuckFest MS, some advice for first time muckers, and why she mucks.

MuckFest MS: What made you first decide to do MuckFest MS?

Casey: My sister Nellie Barrett is really the person who initiated the Muddy Paws! She herself has been diagnosed with MS, and because of her, the Muddy Paws came to be. For many members of our team, supporting Nellie is our main reason for participating. We have several other team members who have a parent living with MS, so there really wasn’t one reason we all decided to take part and raise money- there are many!

Molly, Casey, and Nellie of Team Muddy Paws

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The Muck-Magic Doesn’t Make Itself, My Friend

Earlier this season we took you behind-the-scenes at the super-secret MuckFest® MS obstacle design facility and the mysterious man named “Mike” at the center of it all. Today, we’re out in the field talking to “Slade” and “Jake,” two of our far-flung event production managers who take those muck-tacular obstacles and event sites and create the muck-magic that is MuckFest MS. They are responsible for finding, securing and building-out the event site. They make it look easy, but what you see on the event is really the culmination of months of hard work and many bad-hair days. We caught up with them at a rest area halfway between St. Louis and Twin Cities.

MuckFest MS production team

This might be “Slade” and “Jake”, and our volunteer queen, “Kat”. Or it might be their stunt doubles.

MuckFest MS: So, when do you start working on a site, like a week before the event?
Slade: Technically, the site work begins about a year before the event. That’s how long it sometimes takes to secure a site.
Jake: After we find a suitable location, then there’s permitting and contracts and multiple hoops to jump through. It takes a lot of time.
Slade: So when we show up a few weeks before the event to excavate the site, it’s like the final scene of an epic drama.
Jake: A drama that includes a lot of stale coffee, paperwork and heavy equipment, of course.

MuckFest MS coffee pot

The magic ingredient behind the MuckFest MS on-event team? LOTS of coffee from our mucky coffee pot. They take theirs with cream, two sugars, and a pinch of mud. Continue reading

REBLOG: The Mud Run Obstacle Course Guide to Your Career

Thanks to  for sharing her great insight about the connection between mud and obstacle courses and your career.

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Original Post on 7/18/14 on Huff Post Business.

If you log into my Facebook account, you’ll see that I’m constantly being ad-targeted by obstacle race organizers. A day doesn’t go by without the temptation to click on a sponsored ad for an upcoming Spartan, King of the Mountain, Mudderella, MuckFest, or Insert-Clever-Mud-Term-Here Race.

You see, I’ve become an obstacle race junkie. I’ve done about six of them so far, each providing me with a sense of empowerment; hilarious and fulfilling memories; some fun medals, t-shirts, and head bands, and — yes — even a scar or two. These races, or “torture workouts that we love,” as some friends and I jokingly refer to them, are challenging, exhilarating, and oftentimes, messy… kind of like the workforce.

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(That’s me, second from right!) Continue reading

Mucker Q&A – Chris Anderson, Team Victory, MuckFest MS Twin Cities

Meet Chris Anderson, number one fan of Team Victory at MuckFest® MS Twin Cities. We’re excited to share his story, what MuckFest MS means to him, and his advice on how participants can get the most muck out of their MuckFest MS experience.  

 MuckFest MS: What made you first decide to become involved with MuckFest MS?

Chris: I started my involvement with the National MS Society in 2005, shortly after my own diagnosis. I started Team Victory at that time. My girlfriend, Haley, heard about MuckFest MS and was captain of the MudSeekers in 2012. At that time, I wanted to expand Team Victory into an additional event and MuckFest MS was the perfect opportunity. In 2013, Team Victory debuted at MuckFest MS. I have helped the team to more than double its size. While my fundraising season was once confined to the springtime, it has now become a year-round thing for me. 

Team Victory Group Picture at MuckFest MS Twin Cities 2013

MuckFest MS: Why is supporting the National MS Society important to you?

Chris: While I live with MS, this cause has become so much more important to me since I have talked to so many people who have MS or people who have loved ones who live with it. My purpose is to help others living with this disease and to prevent it from reaching one more person. I do not want anyone to have to live with what I have to live with. I have seen that there are so many with the same passion that I have. I cannot take this cause on alone and more and more, I realize that I do not.

Team Victory's number one fan Chris Anderson at MuckFest MS Twin Cities 2013

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MuckFest MS St. Louis – Sneak Preview

Are you ready to get mucky, St. Louis?! We’ll see you tomorrow at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, 1550 Herky Horine Rd., Pevely, MO 63070.

Remember, the forecast is for very warm weather and high humidity this weekend, so please make sure to stay hydrated, dress appropriately, take your time on the course, and take advantage of our cooling tent!

Check out this sneak peek at our course!

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Mucker Q&A 3 – Todd Garten, Team Doin’ it for Deb Garten, MuckFest MS St. Louis

We are excited to check in again with Todd Garten, team captain of Doin’ it for Deb Garten. He gives us some final muck-tastic advice just before MuckFest MS St. Louis.

MuckFest MS: What do you plan to wear to MuckFest® MS?

Todd:  Shirt, shoes, boxers, shorts and socks. More specifically, last year we created a team shirt that had our team name “Doin’ it for Deb Garten” on the front – that way, my mom would be honored and with us throughout the entire event.  We’re in the process of designing our shirt and choosing colors for this year’s event right now. I suggest wearing lightweight clothes, because you WILL be getting wet, and you don’t want clothes weighing you down. One of my buddies wore pants last year, and he will be the first to tell you he regretted it. He almost left them halfway through the course but decided he’d leave them on for the kids’ sake! 

Probably the most meaningful part of our attire last year was our shoes – or rather what we put ON our shoes.  When my mom’s MS prevented her from walking or moving around much, she spent a lot of her time in bed. She would share how lonely it was to be stuck inside all day and night and how some of the hardest times came at night. One of her best friends, Deb Matson, bought packages of those glow-in-the-dark stars and stuck them all over mom’s ceiling. They would glow and help give her a sense of hope and a feeling of peace when she looked at them each night. Mom would give stars to those close to her to carry and remind them of the hope and love we shared. To continue that tradition, and in my mom’s memory, we drilled holes in glow stars and zip-tied them to our race shoes. I was surprised that all of our stars made it through the course, but I guess it’s just another reminder of how strong and tenacious folks with MS can be! 

Team Doin' it for Deb Garten and their clean shoes before MuckFest MS St. Louis

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