TEAM Newly Diagnosed

Those who run MuckFest year after year know that each experience is unique and special. You make new memories, have all kinds of new fun, and meet new people. A lot of this is influenced by your team! Whether you run with one person or fifty, it’s the people around you who make the mud special.

No one knows this better than Elizabeth G. from Philadelphia. Her Libbie’s Legion team has varied in size, and over the years, she has found lots of positives in having a team size that ebbs and flows. It has allowed her to embrace her team in a new way each year since her first MuckFest in 2014. Stemming from her own diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in 2013, Libbie’s MS journey is ongoing. Her MuckFest journey is ongoing as well. She gave us a taste of that journey by talking about her amazing teammates over the years, reminding us all that it’s not the size of the team that matters…it’s the heart behind the team that makes the difference.

YEAR ONE

I was diagnosed in August of 2013, and June of 2014 was my first MuckFest. My team was made up of my diehard supporters at the time: my husband, of course, and a few close friends. Family members. My sister. My brother-in-law drove down from New England. It was a tight-knit crew who all knew each other.

YEAR TWO

Then you have that second-year crew. A few from Year One, but also a few skeptics who saw the Year One people and thought it looked cool and signed up. My pastor and his wife joined our team, and of course, my husband was there again. We had a close friend of the family who had recently lost her husband to a heart attack, so she was running in his memory. It was a special year.

2018 team

YEAR THREE

But then, as my MS got better, at least to the outside world, my team got smaller. That initial “go, fight, win” urgency died down, and my team size died down with it. People couldn’t get off work, MuckFest was overlapping with vacations, and a few of my friends had babies. Things come up!

But I learned that the smaller the team, the more people worked together. We all mucked together and crossed the finish line together. We were tight-knit, and I could keep tabs on everyone — more like the Team Mom instead of the Team Captain. My dad also joined our team, which impacted me in a way my words will fail to express. I cannot in all my heart and mind tell you what that meant to me. I got to cross the finish line with my husband and my dad, and my heart was on FIRE with love and pride.

YEAR FOUR

In 2017 we didn’t have a team present at MuckFest because I had JUST delivered our second son and wasn’t really “in the mood” to captain a team. And that’s why 2018 was such a surprise to me!

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YEAR FIVE

In 2018, we had our biggest team ever! We had more new team members and less veterans than any other year. I feel like MuckFest really recruits its own members because even though they were all wearing my name across their chests, I knew they weren’t really running for ME. A friend of mine was running for her newly diagnosed husband, so it  was an honor for me to escort her through her first MuckFest, knowing that she was fighting for someone who couldn’t. THOSE are the people that are most impacted by this event. Did I mention we had a set of twins on the team who, when covered in mud, were EVEN HARDER to tell apart? It was a ball!

THE YEAR TO COME…

In 2019, my team is HUGE, and I know probably only 10 people. I also have two others on my team with MS, and as an added surprise, they each have a parent running with us! Will I miss that tight-knit first-year crew? Yes. But even though my name is on the shirts, I know MS is much bigger than me. We won’t all cross the finish line together — we didn’t last year either. And that’s okay. I’ve honestly even toyed with taking my name off the team shirts, because now the team is less about me than ever…as it should be. Libbie’s Legion has become more of a foster family for people who are impacted by the disease and just don’t want to run alone. And I love that. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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The days are getting longer, and sunnier, and that means spring is here at last! All winter long we have been waiting to get outside and have some fun…so let’s go! With the countdown to our MuckFest runs officially on (see you soon, Boston!), this is the perfect time to grow your MuckFest team and have lots of fun with your friends and family. These are some entertaining team-building activities that are perfect for springtime…

Truth or Dare Jenga

While Jenga is an entertaining indoor game,, now that it’s warm you can play with giant Jenga games and take your fun outside! Start by having everyone write dares or questions on all the Jenga pieces. You can even make some MuckFest-themed! When all the blocks have dares or questions on them, stack them up like in Jenga. When people pull a block out, they must perform the truth or dare that’s written on it.

Suggest people bring at least one friend to the game, and that way they can learn more about MuckFest in a fun environment under the sun.

Masterpiece MuckFest Murals

Find space outdoors and create some MuckFest art! Buy art supplies on sale from a local crafts store, then give each member of your team a canvas and brush. Let everyone create a colorful spring masterpiece on their canvas. This is a fun activity that can have a double purpose. These could also be used as fundraising tools for Muckers on a Mission, with larger donors receiving artwork as a thank you.

 

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The MuckFest Trust Course

Find an open space, like a park or sports field. Place objects like cones, balls, chairs, and more across the open space. Have everyone bring one friend they want to join your MuckFest team, and pair them up. One person from each pair will put on a blindfold and the other person must lead their blindfolded teammate from one side of the open space to the other without stepping on the objects — using only the verbal instructions.

It’s a perfect exercise in communication, teamwork, and gets all the teammates moving! This is a great option for teams with kids and teenagers.

Game of Possibilities

MuckFest is all about thinking on your feet and having new experiences! This activity will certainly prepare you!

Each person on your team brings the most random item they can find. Then, everyone secretly picks a random object out of a bag but doesn’t let anyone else see! One at a time, everyone will go in front of the group and describe a use for that object. Just don’t accidentally say the name of object! The rest of the team must guess what the player is demonstrating.

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Human Shapes

Working together as a team, the group must use their bodies to form letters and words. You can lay on the ground to form them, transform your body while standing, or even use your fingers to make words together! Spell out your team name, the name of the person you’re mucking for, or phrases like “MuckFest” or “Muck Yeah.” Take photos and tag us on social media! We might just re-post on our Instagram!

How do you get to know your teammates or recruit new ones? Tell us in the comments!

 

Extra, extra, read all about it! MuckFest is coming your way soon! Have you spread the word? As our 2019 MuckFest events get closer, it’s only natural that you’re going to want to shout for the world to hear that you’re participating in the most fun mud run around. 😉

What?! You haven’t been shouting it from the rooftops? Well, what are you waiting for?!

Social media makes it super easy to spread the word about MuckFest, whether you want to recruit new Muckers to your team, fundraise for the National MS Society, or just spread the word about all the muddy fun. Here are a few simple ways to use social media to spread the good news.

Tell People You’re Getting Muddy!

If you haven’t shared that you’re participating in MuckFest this year, that’s a great place to start! Make a Facebook status, shoot out a tweet or post a muddy photo telling people which MuckFest event you’ll be going to. You can also click “Attending” on our Facebook Events to see all the latest updates for your local MuckFest.

Invite Followers to Join Your Team

It’s time to call out your friends and bring them into the mud! Tag friends on social media and ask them to join your MuckFest team. This is especially important and effective if you have any friends who have done MuckFest with you in the past, but maybe haven’t signed up yet. Remind them of all the fun you had and encourage them to get back out in the mud!

Or, share your favorite MuckFest photos and tag your friends in the caption, asking them to join you this year!

Fundraising

There are tons of ways to use social media to help with your MuckFest fundraising! Some ideas are:

  • Set up a Facebook Fundraiser! Log into your Participant Center, click “Connect Fundraiser to Facebook”, and you’re ready! With one click, you’ll be able to easily post requests for support, thank your donors, and keep everyone updated on your fundraising progress! Visit our Facebook Fundraiser FAQ for help and more info.
  • Set a challenge for your Twitter followers with a specific donation amount and deadline (Example: $10 per follower by the end of the month).
  • Set an online challenge for yourself where you will do something crazy, silly, or adventurous if your fundraising goal is met by a certain date! May we suggest jumping in muddy puddles or a mud pie to the face?
  • Ask 10 friends to change their Facebook status to a message asking for donations for you.
  • Change your email signature, asking everyone to forward your fundraising link to 10 more people!

How are you using social media to tell the masses about MuckFest? Tell us in the comments!

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!