Mucker Q&A – Ali McGreal, Team Greatest Show on Dirt, MuckFest MS Denver

Denver muckers, you are in the presence of a legend! Ali McGreal of Team Greatest Show on Dirt offers us her mucky musings about MuckFest® MS.

MuckFest MS: Describe your first MuckFest MS Denver experience.

Ali: My first MuckFest MS Denver experience was four years ago in Winter Park. It was the inaugural year in Denver, and the course was one of the hardest in the country. I am a fan of endurance events, but since this was the year I was diagnosed with MS, I was able to talk a bunch of my friends who do not love endurance sports into doing the event to support me. We had some war wounds that year, but it was a blast and we all came back again the next year!MuckFest_MS_Team_Denver (1)

MuckFest MS: Who is your inspiration for participating in MuckFest MS?

Ali: My friends and family who donate or come out and do the event year after year to show their support for me and others with MS. This event gave me a really positive way to share my sad news with everyone, and it was very uplifting and inspiring to see the love and support that came out of this event for me. Like I mentioned before, I have quite a few friends who do not like running or mud but come out and do this event with me every year to show their support. It really means the world to me!DSC_0387 Continue reading

Training Tip – Heather Gannoe, Relentless Forward Commotion

We’re super excited to hear from Heather Gannoe, a distinguished mud obstacle run enthusiast and blogger, who will be joining us at MuckFest MS Boston in 2015! Check out her blog Relentless Forward Commotion’s top training tip for mud and obstacle runs. Learn more about her muddy pursuit of greatness here.

MuckFest MS: What is your top training tip?

Heather: My number one tip for training for an obstacle race is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable! In traditional road racing, we tell athletes to train with the clothing and equipment they will use for race day, to ensure there is no discomfort or chaffing. Obstacle racing is a completely different situation: you will be wet, you will have mud in places you never imagined, and you may get your knees and elbows cut up on rocks and walls – so you have to train for that discomfort. For example, on a training run, start off by running straight through a puddle to learn how to handle those miles with soaking wet feet. Don’t practice all of your weight training with cushy kettlebells or neoprene covered sandbags; instead, use heavy rocks and logs to create discomfort. It all pays off race day when you can roll with the OCR punches and cross the finish line with a smile on your face!

 

Mucker Q&A, Al Emerick, MuckFest MS Emcee

We’re crazy excited to chat with Al Emerick, AKA our mucking awesome emcee who gets the crowd ready at our MuckFest MS events. He fills us in on his history with the National MS Society, tells us the funniest shenanigans he’s pulled off at MuckFest MS, and shares insight into his pre-muck routine.

MuckFest MS Emcee Al taking a mucky selfie with participants at MuckFest MS Twin Cities 2014

MuckFest MS: How did you initially become involved with MuckFest® MS and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society?

Al: One of my great friends, Michael Ammiano, is on the Board of the North Florida Chapter in Jacksonville, and he asked me to help out with emceeing the first MuckFest MS Jacksonville. I also have a dear friend with MS and had participated with Bike MS as an emcee as well. The MuckFest MS team is full of amazing, selfless people, and it was an immediate bond.

Continue reading

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!”

Profile Picture

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!

Mark_Pinhasovich1

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?  

Continue reading

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

Continue reading