Rapid Fire Questions with MuckFest MS SF’s Kim Johnson

Today, we’re doing rapid fire MuckFest® MS questions with Kim Johnson, San Francisco Mucker from Team Snow Leopards.

MuckFest MS San Francisco Blog

Q: Why did you initially sign up for MuckFest MS San Francisco?

A: To raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis. 

Q: Why is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society important to you?

A: The National MS Society has a great leadership team who are doing amazing things for both the mental and physical impacts of MS. The programs offered through the Society really help people with MS and their families. That is why our family supports them and their efforts to help as much as possible to erase MS. 

MuckFest MS San Francisco Blog 

Q: What is your favorite part of MuckFest MS?

A: Seeing all the people who come out to support the event to raise money and awareness for the disease…and the mud! 

Q: Do you have any fundraising tips for our readers?

A: Use social media. I utilize Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and all have been a big help for me to raise money. Simply tweet out an article on MS or post a story or picture with a link to your fundraising page, and people may see it and donate. 

Q: If you had to describe MuckFest MS in 3 words, what would you say?

A: I need 4. Wet. Silly. Muddy. Fun. 

Q: If you could share a message with all of our Muckers, what would it be?

A: Thank you for donating your time and money to help people with MS. Your participation in events like MuckFest MS supports critical programs that help people living with MS every day and funds the search for a cure! 

Thanks so much for stopping to chat, and we hope you have a blast at MuckFest MS SF!

MuckFest MS Twin Cities: Beautiful. Just beautiful!


We were hoping for good weather, but instead we got incredible weather: a picture-perfect day that could not have been more sunny. Things got muck-tacular from the start in an especially muddy Muckin’ Corral, where Al—aka Sir Muck-A-Lot—kidded and cajoled runners to take the magical mud bath that transforms them into muckers. Crash Landing afforded friends, family and teammates a prime spot to cheer on leaping muckers, many of whom are now looking into second careers as stunt doubles. The other new obstacle, Flying Muckers, was a definite favorite, and you flew (and splashed) like birds…dirty birds, that is.

Yes, the obstacles were super-fun, but it’s that unique Twin Cities spirit and energy that make this event a one-of-a-kind-experience. You see it in the teams and the clever and inspiring team t-shirts. You see it in the smiling faces in the photos. To be there and feel it, well, that was something truly indescribable.

None of it would be possible, however, if it was not for the outstanding work of the dedicated volunteers. On behalf of everyone at MuckFest® MS Twin Cities, we want to thank our incredible volunteers for helping to make the muck-magic happen; we sincerely appreciate everything you did to make the event memorable and meaningful. Thanks also to Somerset Amphitheater for being such a great event partner and for providing the beautiful location for all our muddy shenanigans.

A special message from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National MS Society.

Thank you for coming out and making MuckFest MS Twin Cities such a great success. We would like to thank all the runners, volunteers and staff who came out to run, help and support each other this weekend. Every day of the year, we work hard to support people living with multiple sclerosis. There is still time to support the mission behind the “muck” and help us reach our fundraising goal. Make a donation online at www.MuckFestMS.comor call the chapter.

What’s that you say?

On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram here’s what you’re saying about MuckFest MS Twin Cities:

  • “We had SO much fun, thank you for an amazing course and all that lovely mud.” – Kari G.
  • “Thank you all for an awesome day! This was our first time, and everyone was so inviting and kind! And as a person living with MS, it was awfully nice to get a pat on the back and a ‘you’re doing great’ as we went along!” – Heather K. B.
  • “Great course again this year! Thanks for the fun and memories!” – Ellen B.
  • “Had a blast yesterday at the Twin Cities event! Emcee Al was a hoot!” – Jen T.
  • “Best time ever!” – Hines B.

Top Fundraising Individuals and Teams

Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to our Top Fundraising Individuals and Teams*. You are truly a great inspiration to us all, and your hard work fundraising individually and as teams is sincerely appreciated.

Individuals (Amount Raised)
1. Clyde Kringlen ($3,730)
2. Stacy Kringlen ($2,410)
3. Danielle Shaffer ($2,013)
4. Carly Allen-Tice ($2,010)
5. Elaine Mulcahy ($2,000)

Teams – Captains (Amount Raised)
1. What the Muck 2015! – Clyde Kringlen ($6,140)
2. Green Ninja Brigade – Daniel Endreson ($4,686)
3. Team Tatge – Jessica Tatge ($4,485)
4. The Mud Flaps – Chrissy Tauber ($3,505)
5. ReRe’s Racers – ReAnn Arcand ($3,440)

*as of 11:15 a.m. Central, Tuesday, September 22

MuckFest MS Twin Cities: Meet Heather Briese of team Spider Pigs

Hey there, Muckers! Today, we’re excited to hear from Heather Briese of team Spider Pigs. Heather will be getting mucky for the very first time on Saturday at MuckFest® MS Twin Cities.

The National MS Society became important to me after my own diagnosis. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on April 28, 2014. My family has a history of cancer – I’ve lost my mom, my uncle, and my grandparents to the disease – so for my entire life I had sort of conditioned myself to be ready to hear the words “you have cancer.” When I felt numb on that early Sunday morning last April, I went in to Urgent Care thinking that I either had a tumor, had suffered a stroke, or had MS. The doctor assured me that I had none of them.

MuckFest MS TWC

I was substitute teaching that following Friday when my fellow teachers asked me what was wrong – why was I limping. I had pain in my hip and didn’t think much of it, but I went ahead and made an appointment with a neurologist the following week. She was amazing and did a full work up, scheduled me for an MRI that afternoon, and called me that night to schedule a spinal tap. 

In hindsight, I would say that I had been having symptoms all winter long. I made the comment when teaching one day that my eyes were “weird,” I frequently said that I felt like I was drunk, and I told my sister I thought I had Restless Leg Syndrome. Then, at the age of 43, I heard the  words I won’t ever forget: “I’m sorry to tell you, but you have MS.” It was a shock.

I started meds in mid-May that made me sick throughout the summer. I was down in the dumps, and I couldn’t teach the rest of the year after I started the medication because I was so sick. I was miserable and really upset.

I heard about MuckFest MS last year but I wasn’t ready to sign up for it, emotionally or physically. So I made the decision that I was going to do it in 2015. First, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MUD!!!! When we go 4-wheeling, the more mud I can find, the happier I am! So I have to say that was probably the first draw for me. The second draw of MuckFest MS is pretty obvious. It is supporting the National MS Society, and I thought, “What better way to support them?”

I told my family that I wanted to do MuckFest MS, and they said they wanted to join me. I figured it was going to be me, my husband, my daughter, and my son. I was doing this for obvious reasons: to feel like I could do it and to overcome the things this disease has thrown at me. What I never expected was this: my sister signed up, along with her oldest child, then a classmate of ours and his wife, some firefighters (my husband’s been on the department for 18 years) signed up with their spouses, a classmate of my daughter from beauty school, and my brother-in-law and his wife. What I thought was going to be a small group of us has grown to more than I could possibly imagine. These people didn’t have to spend the money to register, to run next to me, or to take a Saturday out of their precious early fall. But they did, and I cannot tell you how beyond grateful I am to them! I am still in shock, to be honest!

MuckFest MS TWC

As this is my first MuckFest MS event, I have to say that I am most excited for the mud! Seriously I am, but I have to admit that I am kind of nervous. My legs tend to hurt very easily. When my husband and I go for walks, we don’t go very long distances because my legs get so tired, and sometimes my foot drops…it stinks! But I am excited and truly honored to have all of these wonderful people come out with me and to have, what I can only imagine, is going to be a wonderful time!

If I could share a message with all of the Muckers out there, I would say “thank you” to those of you who do not battle this disease on a daily basis: to the caregivers, the families, and friends, your love and support does not go unnoticed! To those of us who do battle this disease, we’re not alone! Even on the darkest days when you feel things could not get worse, always remember that there are others out there you can lean on! Whether it’s a support group you physically go to, an online support group, or whatever else it may be, reach out because chances are someone out there is either feeling the same thing or might have just the right words or encouragement at just the right time! Because of all of us out there mucking it and doing our part, my hope is that together we can #EraseMS!!

Big Mucking Shoulders!

Thank you, Chicago!


After a morning in which Mother Nature got busy and turned the MuckFest® MS Chicago course into a gooey, shoe-sucking mud-scape, you burst onto the scene to show the world how to muck it in style. You brightened the day with your can-do attitude, white suits, flaming orange wigs, multi-colored tutus, and some of the most inspiring, cleverest and sassiest team t-shirts of the season. A big shout out of thanks and sincere appreciation to all runners and volunteers who traveled from across Chicagoland and neighboring states to be there, including Erin Dorn, the series-wide Top Fundraiser so far, and her powerhouse team, Erin’s Mudskippers.

Things got mucky from the get-go in the Muckin’ Corral and one of the muddiest and most challenging Triple Pits ever. And let’s just say we were blown away by your last slog through Skid Mark, Belly Crawl and the Finish Line. Runners were triumphant, covered head-to-toe in Midwestern clay mud. That ringing bell for a world free of MS also signaled that this was indeed the city of Big Mucking Shoulders. Well done, and thank you for coming out and making it your own and making it muck-tacular!

Our thanks go out to our dedicated volunteers, who soldiered through the rain out on the course and also brightened the day with their smiles and groovy dance moves in the Festival area; we could not have done it without you. Thanks also to the Lake County Fairgrounds for being such a great event site partner and host for our mud-venture.

A special message from the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National MS Society. Thank you for coming out and making MuckFest MS Chicago such a great success. We would like to thank all the runners, volunteers and staff who came out to run, help and support each other this weekend. Every day of the year, we work hard to support people living with multiple sclerosis. There is still time to support the mission behind the “muck” and help us reach our fundraising goal. Make a donation online at www.MuckFestMS.com or call the chapter.

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Featured Event: MuckFest MS


Excited to work with The Cube on MuckFest MS Chicago!

Originally posted on The Cube Blog:

Muck Fest, a 5k that’s helping raise money for MS!

By Chloe DeMars

This Saturday (8/29) we’re beyond excited to live stream our very 1st Muck Fest in Chicago, IL! So what is Muck Fest? It’s a fun and adventurous mud obstacle course open to everyone. The 5K route requires no prior training – but be prepared to get muddy! 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.

Photo Credit: Gameface Media & MuckFest MS Photo Credit: Gameface Media & MuckFest MS

If you’re based in Chicago and want to raise money for a worthy cause, all while having a fun, active day in the mud – sign up for Muck Fest HERE!

Can’t make the race, but looking for some outrageous entertainment this Saturday? Tune into our live stream HERE!

Photo Credit: Gameface Media & MuckFest MS Photo Credit: Gameface Media & MuckFest…

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Meet MuckFest MS Chicago’s Jamie Kruse.

MuckFest MS Chicago I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on August 1, 2002, when I was 18 years old. It was a bit of a shock, but I was lucky enough to have had and still have an amazing support group as well as a team of neurologists that never made me feel like the diagnosis was something that I couldn’t handle.

Everyone I interacted with was encouraging, until one day when I received a spinal tap. I distinctly remember a doctor entering my hospital room when I still couldn’t move and say, “You know, it is times like these when people ask God, ‘Why me?’”

I was so angry, because not once had I approached my circumstances with that perspective. At that moment, I made a vow to never look at my situation in that way going forward.

I immediately sought out information from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society about questions I had about the disease. To prevent a similar situation happening to others, I became a multiple sclerosis mentor through an online program when I was in college.
MuckFest MS Chicago

My mom heard about Walk MS, and in 2003, she participated in her first walk in Chicago. I couldn’t join her at that first event because I was away at college, but since then, family and friends have joined us every year at different locations.

My husband, Kyle was the one who first heard about MuckFest® MS in 2014. He and I have participated in various mud obstacle events, and we immediately signed up for MuckFest MS Chicago using our team name “Krusen’ 4 a Cure”.

We gathered my brother, sister-in-law, a great friend of mine, her husband, two of Kyle’s cousins, and my mother-in-law to take part in the muddy 5K with us. Only four of us had ever done something like it before, so it was amazing and hilarious to be a part of a team that didn’t care about dominating the obstacles. Rather, we focused on helping each other and laughing through it. My mother-in-law was knocked down by the Big Balls, and so many of us slipped in the mud that we could not stop laughing! 

As I said before, for 13 years, I’ve surrounded myself with positive people who never let me question, “Why me?” Instead, they encourage me to test my limits. The National MS Society and my family and friends constantly help me reach my goals and support me through everything.

If I’m stalled, we find ways to move forward.MuckFest MS Chicago

I love being able to take part in MuckFest MS, where everyone gets to take on physical and mental obstacles and experience what I’ve learned – having fun-loving people who help you get past things and support you makes those obstacles seem less scary.

The Schott Sisters Talk MuckFest MS Fundraising and Team Building

MuckFest MS: Thanks so much to the Schott sisters for joining us today to chat about their experience at MuckFest® MS! Would you introduce yourselves to our readers?



Lauren: I’m the oldest sister! I’m 24 years old and am in my final year of the Rutgers University Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. I graduated from West Chester University in 2013 with a Bachelor in Exercise Science. 

Lindsey: I’m the favorite child! I’m 21 years old and will be graduating this spring from Lehigh University with a Bachelor in Industrial and Systems Engineering. 

Nicole: I’m the youngest sister and am 19 years old. I am studying biomedical engineering at The College of New Jersey.

MuckFest MS: The reason we’re here today is to talk about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and MuckFest MS. Why is your family involved in supporting the National MS Society?

Lauren: Our mom was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago. We’ve watched her struggle through the progression of the disease. We try to do as much as we can to help her and support the National MS Society.

Schott Sisters with Mother


Lindsey: Like Lauren said, we’re just trying to do anything we can to help the fight against MS. 

Nicole: Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to help out others who have been diagnosed with MS just like our mom.

MuckFest MS: We know from the way you all talk about your mom and each other that your family has a very tight bond. What does participation in MuckFest MS and fundraising for the National MS Society mean to your family?

Lauren: Every year, putting a team together and organizing fundraising events has brought the three of us closer together. Our teams, friends, and family, who are all such an important part of each of our lives, come together as one big team in support of the fight for our mom.

Lindsey: We’ve also learned a lot about each other in terms of working together professionally. We’re able to see a whole new side of each other as we work together to reach a common goal. 

Nicole: We have all been involved in MuckFest MS for 5 years now, including other members of our family. Our aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins have participated or have come to watch and support the team. It really encourages us to raise more money and brings us closer together as a family.

MuckFest MS: We understand that all three of you are very involved in athletics. Can you tell us which sports and where you play?

Lauren: I played field hockey for West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where we won back-to-back Division II National Championships in 2011 and 2012. 

Lindsey: I play field hockey for Lehigh University which is a Division I level, and we compete in the Patriot League. 

Nicole: Since I inherited my height from mom, I play basketball at The College of New Jersey which is Division III in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Schott Sisters

MuckFest MS: Can you tell us how each of your individual teams have played a role in your MuckFest MS experience? Continue reading

The spirit of St. Louis is MUCK-TACULAR!


Thank you, St. Louis, for putting the muck in MuckFest® MS, for revealing the true heart and soul of the event, and for displaying a seemingly endless capacity for having fun. With some of the best mud of the season (gooey, viscous, drying to a fine plaster), the course was primed for action, and you delivered in a big way. St. Louis muckers owned the obstacles—including a lengthy Walk on Water—and attained a level of bodily mud coverage that broke all previous records. Big props for conquering one of the most difficult Spill Hills yet, a feat made possible by incredible teamwork and enthusiastic camaraderie. Happily, the hilarity didn’t stop at the finish line. After the run, there was quite a bit of toasting and celebrating, and many muckers made quite a splash, so to speak, in our log-rolling pool, turning it into a muddy dunk tank. Sincere and special thanks go out to the St. Louis volunteers…let’s just say your hard work, friendly smiles and positive attitude redefined the meaning of dedication in our muck-dictionary. And big thanks again this year to Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 for being such a great event partner.

5 Best MuckFest MS Moments

In her final post, Jennifer Hollandworth, a five-time St. Louis Mucker, put together a list of her top five favorite MuckFest® MS moments.

5. I enjoyed checking out all of the MuckFest MS team outfits from the past 5 years. Mustaches, tongue-in-cheek team names, chicken hats, and, of course, getting to embrace my love for neon when my team went full on 80’s!


4. I’ve been known to redo obstacles for the challenge and the photos. I redid The Spinner because I thought I could hang on the whole time and couldn’t on my first try. (I got it on round two!) Getting back on the Swing Set to perfect my awesome victory pose might sound crazy, but it was worth all the memories. Plus, an epic cape flying photo sure helped spruce up my thank yous and fundraising page for the next year’s MuckFest MS!

MuckFest MS St. Louis Swing Set

3. The monkey bars made me bananas. I went back to the monkey-bar-style obstacle three times at my first MuckFest MS event. The challenge of this obstacle motivated me to train and became a large component in how I challenge myself.

MuckFest MS St. Louis

2. Once, I wore a full wedding dress to Trash the Dress for MS. Nothing says crazy quite like a white dress at a mud obstacle run. My getup was complete with a veil, garter, bouquet, and even a groom! As I went through the course, I cut away the dress for fun and necessity; trains get heavy when covered in that much muck! Just ask the ladies from The Bachelor!


1. I formed the team, Wayne’s Warriors, in 2014 to support a friend who lost his dad to MS in January 2014. It was such an honor to wear Wayne’s name and honor his memory. This will always be my top MuckFest MS moment.

MuckFest MS Wayne's Warriors

Thanks for your incredible support, Jennifer!