Happy Spring!

Spring is here! We are jumping, leaping, springing into the new season with gusto and excitement! And why wouldn’t we?! After a long winter, we have been looking forward to warmer weather and longer days…and the countdown to the MuckFest season. To celebrate Spring 2019, we rounded up some of our favorite “springing” photos from MuckFests past for you to enjoy. We hope they bring a sunny smile to your face!

Have any photos you want to add? Comment with them below and we will add them to the album!

This week is National MS Awareness Week, led by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Every day, people living with MS do whatever it takes to move their lives forward despite the obstacles imposed by the disease.. By sharing their stories and raising awareness about the disease, we help people better understand life with multiple sclerosis and become inspired to do whatever it takes to change the world and end MS forever.

Last month, in preparation for MS Awareness Week, we asked our social media community: Who do you Muck for?

The responses were fast, emotional, and far-reaching. People named their family members, friends, and even themselves. We were honored and humbled by your responses and are proud to share them during MS Awareness Week.

This week, we remember why we Muck. Why we train and fundraise and spend a weekend out in the mud. We remember so that we will never forget. Even though MuckFest is all about having fun, we know that our purpose is much greater than that. We Muck so that one day, there will be a world without MS.

We Muck for all of you. Who do you Muck for?

Sometimes you just need a little pick me up in your day. Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe your to-do list is a mile long. Maybe you just want a little morning motivation! The MuckFest blog is here to help with that.

We post inspiring and helpful stories every week, but in case you have missed one or two, we’re making them easy to find! These are some recent posts that feature inspiring Muckers whose strength, courage and fun are fueling our day.

Christin from Denver never thought she’d be diagnosed with MS, but since her world changed, she certainly has not slowed down. Her commitment to her MuckFest teammates is as strong as ever!

READ ON

Need unique fundraising ideas? How about throwing a giant potsticker party? Milton from Milwaukee has one of the most inspiring, and mouth-watering, stories on our blog.

READ ON

If you don’t know PapaBear yet, now is the time to get to know him. An OCR expert with a flair for stylish MuckFest outfits, he gave us a rundown of his views on the OCR world.

READ ON

We love a first-time Mucker! Especially one who is as strong as Meg P. She is an MS fighter who always has a smile on her face… and she’s sharing that good cheer with MuckFest Denver this year!

READ ON

Leslie L. runs MuckFest Chicago for her “superhero” friend Ron. This one was one of our most popular posts from 2018 and is sure to bring a tear to your eye.

READ ON

We are so lucky to have the support and enthusiasm of the National MS Society local teams on-hand at all our MuckFest events. We do all this for them and a world without MS. New Jersey Mucker Cory Z. is also the MS Society Chapter Lead, giving us a unique look at our muddy event.

READ ON

We followed first-time Mucker, Dave, through the Philadelphia MuckFest course, so if 2019 will be your first year on MuckFest, this is the perfect post to get you started!

READ ON

What are your favorite blog posts? Share the links in the comments!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Muckers! While we try to spread the muddy love all year round, on this day we are feeling especially filled with love for all of you. MuckFest wouldn’t be possible without the friendship, camaraderie, and support you show out in the mud. Some of that is for teammates and friends, but some of that is shown between couples! So, on this holiday, we are sharing some muddy love stories from significant others who have mucked together…

Paul Q. from Philadelphia (above)

Last year was the second run for my wife Stephanie, and the first for our girls. She has been my rock since my diagnosis not quite four years ago. Our daughters have followed suit and I love them for their being strong with and for me.

Samantha L. from Boston

I mucked for the first time with my husband last year! Had so much fun, doing it again!

Sara B. from Chicago (above)

Here’s my guy! He’s there with me through all the MS Muck!!

Megan S. from Philadelphia

John (my fiancé) identified himself as living with MS for the first-time last year.  It was a pretty special moment since it was my first MuckFest as a manager. I got to do the run with him!

Vanessa S. from Boston

My husband mucks with me every year! 😊

Kim F. from Chicago

My hubby and I have mucked it together every year! He helps with shirt ideas, recruitment, whatever I need. The day of the event he watches out for me without being a hawk, and he lets me do it on my own unless I ask for help. He’s definitely there in solidarity and shows his support for all I go through. ♥️

Tim S. from Philadelphia (above)

We ran together last year! She motivates me and I do the same for her. I have to admit…she kicked my butt!

Spike C. from Philadelphia

I’ve been with my beautiful girlfriend Emily for almost four years. She has been by my side since day one when I woke her up bright and early for Walk MS after a closing shift Saturday night bartending. After seeing photos of previous Muckfests and a lil’ push from my friends and family, she agreed to join in on the fun. MuckFest was definitely out of her element but she is coming up on her 4th year participating and loves the day even more than I do. She pushes me to be a better person and is my biggest supporter in this battle against MS!

Do you have a story of doing MuckFest with your significant other? Share it in the comments!

Also, check our Instagram for more photos like these from our Muckers in Love <3

It’s official. We are already gearing up for our 2019 MuckFest events! We are so excited to welcome returning Muckers but also folks brand new to the mud run world. Returning Muckers know the whole muddy drill, and they live for the excitement of our obstacles and the fun you have all day long at MuckFest.

But if you’ve never been to a mud run before, how can you know what to expect? Following us on Facebook and Instagram are good places to start, as is continuing to read all the awesomeness on our blog here. We wanted to dig deeper into the proverbial mud and get you some down and dirty advice for first-timers. We asked our favorite experts, the folks at Mud Run Guide, what advice they would give to a first-time mud runner.

Boy did they deliver!

Chris Lewis, co-founder of Mud Run Guide, keeps it simple…

“Just have fun. Go with some friends. And don’t stress. You can skip any obstacles you need to, or your friends (or anyone you find on the course) can help you on any obstacles you are having difficulty with!”

Matt Willis, the Mud Run Guide Crew Chief, has different advice based on how you want to approach the Muck…

“This all really depends on how you are walking into your first mud run. Are you going out there to have fun, challenge yourself, or compete?

If you are having fun… there ya go. Run around, jump and climb on s***. Throw things around and have a blast while having an amazing workout.

If you are wanting to challenge yourself, give everything an honest try. Don’t think to yourself, ‘I can’t do that.’ Instead, just get out there and freaking DO IT! Then use that experience to train for your next MuckFest and get even better. If you are going to compete…you know what you have to do. Just don’t wear any cotton and get yourself a pair of cleats to help on your muddy quest.

Getting the most out of every mud run goes hand in hand with the above. I do recommend being out there with friends though. That will always make the experience awesome. If you can’t convince friends to come, just join a group out there and be cool. This sport is welcoming of everyone, and you’ll be able to meet new people and make new friends out there without even trying!”

Bonnie Wilson, Mud Run Guide Social Media Manager, is understandably all about making those connections out in the mud. She says to stay present!

“Enjoy the little moments. Celebrate your first climb, cheer for a stranger who was scared but pushed through and did it, laugh when you come out with mud caked in places you never thought you could or should.

Also, connect to the community. There are so many groups and teams out there and they love welcoming first-timers and helping you through any questions you may have. And if you are struggling at an obstacle, it’s this community that is going to pick you up and help you through.”

Kristen Stewart, Mud Run Guide Sales & Marketing Manager, is here to remind you to get loose and have fun!

“As a first-timer you should above all else, check your ego at the door. You WILL get muddy, so only wear what you may need to throw away after. Don’t forget to bring a towel and change of clothes with you. Costumes are always fun.  Bring lots of friends and be sure to take plenty of before-and-after pictures!

You can make the most out of any mud run by enjoying yourself and not worrying about your time. A lot of people walk or jog in between obstacles. If you are running with friends, you can help each other over obstacles.

Now, you’re all prepared for MuckFest 2019! So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now and get ready for a muddy good time!

If you’ve already gotten mucky with us in the past, tell us YOUR best MuckFest advice in the comments!

“New year, new you” is a phrase we all have been hearing a lot recently. And while we think all you Muckers are amazing just as you are, we also want to support all your goals and resolutions for 2019. We plan on making 2019 our best year yet, and we can’t do it without your help!

We’re all in this together! So, here are our tips for making the most of your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions…

  1. Be honest with yourself: Think about what you really want to focus on this year and make that the priority. Whether it’s mucking in a new city, fundraising a certain amount, or just running more…focus in on one primary goal! Then also give yourself smaller, secondary goals to tackle throughout the year.
  2. Write it down: It might seem silly, but writing down goals AND keeping them in a visible spot is sure to keep them top of mind.
  3. Make it fun: Goals don’t have to be these scary things that you’re afraid to tackle. Put a fun spin on them like trying something new or tackling them with a friend (see below). If your goals are related to MuckFest, you can rest assured they’ll be fun…and muddy!
  4. Try something new: Lots of people make resolutions to perfect a skill they already have. Balance those out with a goal to try something totally new. Getting out of your comfort zone can be scary, but it’s well worth it! For example, if you haven’t done MuckFest before, 2019 might be your year to join us!
  5. Keep yourself accountable: Post on social media. Tell your friends and family. Write your goals on your mirror. Do whatever you need to hold yourself accountable, especially as the year goes on.
  6. Set small goals…and then big ones! Give yourself halfway goals and smaller check-in accomplishments. This will make your progress easier to track and give you wins to celebrate on the way to your main goal.
  7. Get your friends in on the game: Everything is better with friends (even resolutions)!
  8. Plan regular check-ins: The name of the accountability game is consistency. Check in with yourself monthly, or more if you need it, to make sure you’re on track to hit that goal.
  9. Leave room for change: It’s okay to change or update your resolutions or add new ones as the year goes on. The whole goal of a resolution is to promote change, after all.
  10. Reward yourself: There’s nothing like a little treat to make all your hard work worth it! That’s why we offer Fundraising Rewards on MuckFest, and why you should make your own rewards part of your 2019 resolutions.

What are your 2019 Resolutions? Tell us in the comments! And check out our website for more fun ideas on how to make this year your muckiest one yet!

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Unless you are some of the lucky people who live in a warm climate, the winter can be a bit of a downer time of year. You’re chilly, stuck inside, and MuckFest is still months away. What is a Mucker to do? It’s time to get creative! Here are fun and easy ways to prep for MuckFest even when you’re stuck inside.

Work with what you have

You can do a lot just with your bodyweight! If you can’t make it to the gym or exercise outside, you can still get in muck-tastic OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) shape with these bodyweight exercises and routines! You’ll be surprised at just how quickly you’ll break a sweat!

Expand your fitness boundaries

Join a class. Work out with a friend. Try a new activity. You can even watch work-out videos on your TV. You can get active in all sorts of ways now! So even if you must get moving inside, you can still make it fun.

We recommend seeing if your MuckFest teammates will join you! That will make it more fun, build up your teamwork and trust, and start making your 2019 memories early.

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Get the family involved

Kids love nothing more than creating games from just their imagination. So, ask your family to help create an indoor obstacle course to help you get MuckFest-ready. Use the couch, chairs, even the bathtub if you really want to get crazy! Just remember, please Muck responsibly, especially at home.

Do the chores!

Have a mile-long to do list? Don’t really want to do it? Make it fun by reminding yourself that when you get dirty dusting, scrubbing muddy floors or cleaning out the laundry filter…you’re just preparing yourself for the MuckFest course! Get dirty now and you’ll be more comfortable jumping straight into the muck this summer.

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Relive the magic and get excited for 2019

There’s nothing like looking back to make you even more excited for the future. Luckily for you, we have made that easy!

Love a big splash? We have compiled our list of awesome wipe-outs on our website to shout out to those who got muddy with abandon.

Have you conquered a tough obstacle? Or lost a battle to those giant swingin’ balls and flippin’ zip lines? We feel you! Check out our best obstacle moments HERE!

You can also see all the photos from our 2018 events on our blog, and make sure you didn’t miss a single muddy shot of you and your team. You might find an awesome shot you missed at first glance!

Plus, you can share your favorite muddy moments by using #MuckFest and your photos will appear on our website! It’s the perfect way to brag about 2018 and set new goals for yourself in the new year!

Don’t let the cold weather slow you down! Let’s go!

ms girls

“I have been supporting MuckFest since 2012. One of my childhood gymnastics teammates invited me to be on her team to support her MS journey. At this time, I never thought I would be diagnosed….”

Christin Hungerford was a long-time Denver Mucker on her friend’s MuckFest team. In 2016, she was also diagnosed with MS. Even after getting that life-changing news, Christin didn’t slow down. She kept on mucking, kept supporting the cause, and promised that she will continue to do so until we can all live in a world without MS.

This year was especially important, as for the first time, she led her own team of friends and family members, the “Top Gun Pilots.”. Though it was a tough choice to branch off from her long-time team, Christin said it was so touching to hear that her friends wanted her “to feel the love and support that MuckFest brings when you have your own team.” Now, on the other side of that new and exciting experience, she’s telling us more about her MuckFest journey…

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What’s one thing you wish you had known for your first MuckFest? 

I wish I would have known that this truly is a fun run, not a competition. It really does cater to any fitness level and is a complete blast. I caught myself and many of my other friends asking, “Why haven’t we done this yet?!”

Also, make sure to take lots and lots of pictures, and remember that we are doing this to find a cure.

What keeps you coming back again and again? 

In August of 2016, the cards were turned on me, and I was formally diagnosed with MS. Hearing the words “You have MS” is something I pray no one else ever has to hear. I will return every year until a cure is found.

What is your favorite obstacle and why? 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Slippy Sloppy slip n’ slide! A few of my friends and I last year might have gone down it 10 times!

grand canyon 18

What are your favorite parts about MuckFest? 

I love the community, the support, the energy, and the encouragement to never give up!

What does it mean to have your parents and other friends and family Mucking alongside you?

It means the world to me to have my tribe running alongside me. MS not only impacts me, but it impacts my family as well. They see the hard days I have from time to time, the tears of fear, and what it takes to fight this disease.

What are some of your fundraising tips in general? 

Ask for HELP! Reach out to the community and do a fun fundraiser that gets people excited, and don’t hesitate to ask everyone to contribute!

It is so important to participate because every dollar truly goes to help find a cure. If everyone does their part, we will get there.

How do you prepare for MuckFest? What keeps you coming back? We want to hear more stories of strength and perseverance, like Christen’s! Share them with us in the comments and tell your MuckFest story!

 

Milton Hwang has known about MuckFest since it began in the Chicagoland area but was never able to make the drive from his hometown of Milwaukee until 2018. Though he has supported multiple sclerosis causes and events for the two decades since his wife’s diagnosis, he had never experienced the muck.

That all changed this year.

Milton worked with the MuckFest team to connect with another Chicago runner, the famous Brian “PapaBear” Mahon, to run MuckFest Chicago in August. After so much anticipation, what did Milton think of his first MuckFest?

“I had researched MuckFest a ton, but you don’t REALLY know what to expect until you’ve done it.

I expected it to be great…and it was! The fact that all the awareness and fundraising goes to the National MS Society makes it great no matter what, but the experience itself was amazing! I wanted to keep running it over and over.

You’re muddy and dirty and tired but your adrenaline is pumping and you’re ready to go.”

Though he had originally signed up with his son, at the last minute his son couldn’t attend. That’s where PapaBear and some MuckFest magic came into play.

“Brian and I would never have met if not for MuckFest. In this world, there would have been zero reason for us to ever meet. But getting to know him and his story was amazing, and we had so much in common. Connecting with him was a highlight.”

Another highlight was the Flying Muckers zipline!

“There’s no question that was fun! And you get washed off a few times throughout the race. So, you start to think that you’re not THAT muddy, but then you’re all muddy by the end.”

MuckFest is not the end of Milton’s journey to support MS causes. Aside from planning on coming back to Chicago in 2019, this time with his son, Milton has big plans for year-long fundraising and support of multiple sclerosis…including a truly unique idea for a fundraising event!

“For the past few years, we have been throwing a big annual event in Milwaukee called “Fight MS, Eggroll Style.” We invite a ton of people, and when they arrive, they donate and then can eat as much Chinese food as I can cook. We finance the whole thing, so all the money can go to the National MS Society. Last year we had 260 people show up! They eat, have tons of fun, and all the money goes to a great cause.”

The cause is especially important to Milton now, as his wife’s condition progresses, and she comes up on the 20th year since her diagnosis. Supporting their local National MS Society Chapter, as well as the national organization, has become a family-oriented part of their lives.

Photo from a past “Fight MS, Eggroll Style” event from OnMilwaukee

“Next year is coming up on the 20th year since my wife’s diagnosis, and so we as a family decided we would do 20 events for MS this year, whether that be fundraisers or walks or runs. And we have been using #20for20 on social media to track our progress.

Plus, our eggroll event is already set for next year in March, too. So, stay tuned for lots of egg rolls!”

Lots of eggrolls. Lots of love and support. And hopefully lots more mud.

Note: You can learn more about Milton’s year-long fundraising and events at his wife Sarah’s MS Walk personal page here.

The holidays are coming up fast, 2018 is coming to a close,and 2019 is almost here! Instead of freaking out about gifts to buy, parties to plan, or New Year’s Resolutions left undone, let’s focus on the AWESOME!

2018 marked an important year for us, as we hit the $30 million mark raised by MuckFest for the National MS Society! All our muddy fun and hard work is making a difference for those living with multiple sclerosis,and we were so excited to reach this fundraising milestone together! We know it is only the beginning.

Aside from fundraising, we also had some hilarious, funny, unforgettable muddy moments this year!

We have compiled our list of awesome wipe-outs on our website to shout out to those that jumped into the mud with abandon (whether they meant to or not!)

You also took on our course of obstacles like champs! There were some new challenges this year, but every Mucker also battled the infamous giant swingin’ balls, flippin’ zip lines and super-charged swing sets that we’ve loved year after year. The fight between humans and obstacles didn’t always go as planned though… with hilarious result! Check out our best obstacle moments from 2018 HERE!

If these videos and memories are getting you all nostalgic for MuckFests of the past,don’t worry! You can see photos from our 2018 events on our blog, and make sure you didn’t miss a single muddy shot of you and your team.

As these photos and videos prove, not only do we work hard for an amazing cause, but we also have a lot of fun doing it! That’s why we are so honored to have been nominated by the Mud Run Guide as the Best Mid-Size Race Series, Best OCR (Obstacle Course Race) Series for a Beginner, and Best Event of 2018! You can still vote for us, but today is the last day (12/17) so vote NOW and help us truly end the year on a high note!

To say that 2018 has been wonderful would be an understatement, and we can’t wait for more muddy goodness in 2019! Thank you all for making MuckFest magic happen.