Guest post written by Rosemarie P., a MuckFest MS® participant in Detroit
In 2013, multiple sclerosis changed my life. I was a young mother of two, and I was scared. I wasn’t sure what I could do, but I knew I had to fight.
Then I heard about MuckFest MS, and I knew it was something I wanted to try.
Our first year of MuckFest MS, we had a team of over 60 people, we raised over $7,000, and I felt the love and support of not only my family and friends, but strangers who were in this battle with me. I knew after that first year that this was something I would continue to do as long as I am able.
A small team traveled from Detroit to Chicago. I was pregnant with my last child and could not participate, but still felt an outpouring of love.
I’m not a runner, but I am a fighter. I will continue to fight until we find a cure. I am blessed to have so much to fight for!
THANK YOU, Rosemarie, for sharing your story! This event wouldn’t be possible without passionate Muckers like you and team!
More than just the FUN mud run, MuckFest® MS is an obstacle course that raises crucial funds to rid the world of multiple sclerosis. The best part about it—100% of your fundraising goes directly to the National MS Society! Every dime, penny, nickel, and hundred-dollar bill; signed/sealed/delivered!
So how do you do it? How do you make the largest impact possible to benefit those living with MS? How do you make your case that this cause is important to you and worth fighting for?
We’re glad you asked. Let’s get creative.
1. Host an Event
From bowling events to bake sales, golf outings to events at restaurants, our Muckers are known to be creative. Scroll through the images below for Mucker-inspired ideas!
2. Connect With Your Coworkers on the MuckFest MS App
We have an app, and it’s a SUPER useful tool to set goals and track your fundraising progess. Why write emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn Messages, or text messages when we’ve already written them for you?! Make your fundraising journey easy. Download the app through iTunes or Google Play.
3. Get Friends & Family Involved via Facebook
Did you know that 68% of U.S. adults regularly use Facebook? You should absolutely-without-a-doubt tap into Facebook’s potential and fundraise on your Newsfeed! But how?
Once logged into the Participant Center, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Fundraise With Facebook.” Follow the prompts and BOOM, our app will automatically do the work with you and schedule posts. But, if you want to customize your posts and share your story, keep reading to step #4.
4. Tell Your Story & Be Persistent
Whether it’s online or in-person, your story and your passion are the most important driving force when a donor considers giving to your campaign. Why are community resources and MS research important to you? If YOU care about it, so will your friends and family.
Click “Edit My Story” in the Participant Center to customize your landing page and to better connect with your donors.
Those are four ways that you can enhance your fundraising experience, but know that there are many more creative ways to raise funds and bring awareness to your cause! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with fun ways that YOU’VE fundraised, and we’ll be sure to share your ideas with other Muckers. We’re in this together. Let’s get mucky!
Cathy found the obstacle course race that’s right for her. Want to join her in the muck? Click the button below to start YOUR journey!
Mimi is one of those people who lights up your day the second you meet her. More than just a friendly face in Texas, though, Mimi is a fighter. Diagnosed with MS in 2002 and weighing just over 450 pounds a little over a year ago, she knew that something needed to change.
“I was having a hard time; just playing with grand kids, just getting through the day. So I decided that was enough and I learned how to eat right and I wanted to learn how to exercise better.”
She joined a gym, hired a personal trainer, and has now lost over 140 pounds (let’s pause and say HOLY MUCK, Mimi, that’s amazing!) and continues to work towards her fitness goals.
Let the 2018 Training Commence
Aaron put together the workout routine below for Mimi. He also works with her on building her stamina so that she’s ready on September 29 to conquer the three miles between obstacles. It’s important to note that Aaron is a professional and ensures Mimi’s safety is taken into consideration while doing these exercises… make sure you do the same!
1. Ball Slam
2. Battle Ropes
3. Dead Lift
4. Russian Twist
Our obstacles are crazy fun, and we want everyone who comes to MuckFest MS to have the time of their lives. Whether or not you’re able to do every obstacle, we want you to know that you’re welcome here in the muck, and we hope that Mimi’s story shows that YOU TOO can muck it with MS.
A HUGE shout-out to Mimi and Aaron for helping Muckers train around the country! You can check out their full video on YouTube by clicking here. Here are a few final words from Mimi to encourage you as you get ready for the muck:
Want to learn more about MuckFest MS? Click the button below and prepare to get MUDDY.
A Q&A with Philadelphia Mucker Sammi S.
Why do you Muck?
When I participated in my first MuckFest® MS mud run (seven years ago), I had no idea that four years later I would be the one wearing the teal bandana. Ironic, isn’t it? Living with MS is complicated, challenging, hard to understand and even harder to explain, but on race day all of that disappears. It’s beyond overwhelming to see, and feel, the support at the starting line.
Tell us about your team: Are they friends, co-workers, family members, a mix? How did you get them all together?
Seven years ago, my friends and I signed up for our first MuckFest MS to support my friend’s mom, Kath, who had been powering through her MS battle for several years. We sat at their kitchen table and hand wrote “Kath’s Kids” with puffy paint on about 10 plain pink or purple shirts to wear the next day.
We had so much fun that we decided to make this a yearly event and invite as many people as possible.
Fast-forward seven years and our team has grown so large we now must have our shirts printed! You’ll find Kath’s Kids in tie-dye pink and purple shirts in Philly on June 10th! Our team is an incredible mix of family and friends and continues to grow every year.
What’s the energy like at MuckFest MS?
The energy at MuckFest MS is indescribable — it can only truly be understood once you’ve experienced it. It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by hundreds of people showing their support by raising money to find a cure for MS.
How has MuckFest MS empowered you to conquer life’s obstacles?
MuckFest MS gives you hope that a cure will soon be found. It’s seeing all those teal bandanas conquer every obstacle that gives you strength and courage. Crossing the finish line with Kath rocking our teal bandanas was inspiring beyond measure.
Anthony’s support system in Chicago is pretty muckin’ amazing. His crew gets together every year at MuckFest® MS to conquer the obstacles and raise awareness about MS.
Interested in learning more about the FUN mud run that’s raising funds for the National MS Society? Click the button below and be prepared to get muddy.
Guest post written by Boston Mucker Heather O.
Up until last February, I had no idea what MuckFest® MS was. Prior to being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in November, my life consisted of training for obstacle course races such as Spartan and Mudderella. All were for fun and were to challenge myself, but none of them were for a real purpose other than personal satisfaction. How could I not have known MuckFest MS existed?
Last year was a trying year for me and my family. I suffered from six separate relapses which had me pretty immobile for the entire year. Depression was setting in. Thoughts of “why me?” overcame my brain. One afternoon my sister happened to call me with news that she hoped would cheer me up. She told me that her husband works with a woman close in age to myself (early thirties) who also has MS. This woman was signing up for a mud race to fundraise for the National MS Society. I was so excited to be part of something that not only helped others suffering from MS, but also involved what I loved most…obstacle course racing!
Three weeks before the event, I happened to have another relapse that left my entire right side numb for two consecutive weeks. Such is my luck, huh? Two days before the race I completed the last day of my five-day Solumedrol treatment. I was told by my loved ones that just showing up was enough. It wasn’t enough for me. I needed to fight this disease. There was no way I was going to let it win. The day of the race, I put my team shirt on and jogged (okay, I limped) alongside 14 of my family members and friends.
“I needed to fight this disease. There was no way I was going to let it win.”
Did I have to skip some obstacles? Sure. Did I feel like I was missing out on some of the fun? At times. Did I show up and give it everything I had? Absolutely! Looking around the day of the race, there were very few people with MS bandannas on. I felt lucky to be able to participate that day not only for me, but for everyone else who couldn’t. This was the greatest experience and one that I will continue to be a part of for as long as possible. If you’re thinking of signing up, don’t think twice. Do it, you won’t regret it. You have MS, MS doesn’t have YOU!
Laura R., a St. Louis-turned-Chicago Mucker, first mucked in 2014 with family and friends. In 2015 she had the largest team in St. Louis, and we’re thrilled to have her road-tripping to Chicago in 2018! Thanks for sharing why YOU muck, Laura!
Why do you Muck?
I muck for myself and my friend Melanie. We were both diagnosed within a few months of each other. We are neighbors and our youngest kids are friends. We became inseparable and each other’s support system. We both like to read, walk and volunteer at the MS Center of St. Louis.
Tell us about your team: Are they friends, coworkers, family members, a mix? How did you get them all together?
The Dirty Birds of St. Louis are friends and family. 2014 was our first year and we had 8 members. The following year our team grew to 44 members making us the largest team in St. Louis! I asked everyone to recruit 2 people and they really came through. In 2016, we had a MuckFest® MS road trip to Chicago. We understandably had fewer members. We raised a lot of money and had fun even though it was absolutely freezing! We took a year off but 2018 is going to be the best one yet.
If you had to give someone ONE tip about fundraising, what would it be?
Facebook is a great fundraising tool. Many people have been affected by MS and want to donate. I always make sure to thank and tag the donor on Facebook so their friends can see and spread the generous donations.
Some people are worried that MuckFest MS would be too difficult… what would you say to them?
Some of our team members are scared of heights or small spaces. They just go around that obstacle and wait for the team to complete the obstacle and join back in. I’m not the best runner so I do what I can and walk the rest. MuckFest MS is not a “race” so there is no pressure to be fast. Just enjoy, take your time and take advantage of the great photographers.
Does Laura’s story pique your interest and ignite your desire to get MUDDY? Learn more about the FUN mud run by clicking “Register Now” below.
Puck will get smarter with time, so please be patient as he hatches from his egg. As always, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that arise.
CONGRATS to all of the winners below, and THANK YOU to everyone who played along this week! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest mucktackular news.
If your name is listed below, please email your full name, mailing address, t-shirt size, and which day you won to email@example.com.
Monday, Rubber Duckies
- Shannon W. (Tagged friends: Steve & Christina)
- Rachael M. (Tagged friend: Elena)
- Marian W.M. (Tagged friend: Shari)
Tuesday, MuckFest MS Baseball Cap
- Boston: Suzanne L.
- Philadelphia: Dave G.
- New Jersey: Jamie C.
- Detroit: Carrie S.
- Chicago: Stephanie M.
- Dallas: Tami K.
Wednesday, MuckFest MS Hoodie
- Sheila T., Dirty Dudes and Divas
- Brittany S., Bad Mother Muckers
- Heather O., Mucking Off
- Jacenta M., Grandma’s Angels
- Patsy S.P., Root Down
Thursday, Puck the Muck Duck T-shirt
- Katelyn G., Philadelphia
- Kerri H., Boston
- Jeffrey C., New Jersery
- Stephanie R., New Jersey
- Hali M., Pennsylvania
Friday, Free Registration (2 winners)
- Audrey S. and her mom, Robyn