We hear these questions all the time: Is this course too hard for me? What if I can’t do an obstacle? What if I can’t run or I need to take a break?

Well Muckers, do we have some answers for YOU! Here are four reasons why you CAN, indeed, muck against MS in 2018:

Slide1There isn’t at timer, you aren’t being rushed, and you don’t need to run! If you’d like to track your time, that’s 100% okay, it’s just not required.

Slide2Can’t do an obstacle? Don’t fret! There aren’t any burpees or other forms of punishment on the FUN mud run. Just cheer on your group and move along to the next obstacle.

Slide3If you’re mucking with MS, you can rock a special teal bandana. MuckFest MS participants who are living with MS can wear the teal I MUCK IT WITH MS bandanas during the event. This is great opportunity to share YOUR story with other people living with MS.

Slide4MuckFest MS has raised more than $28 MILLION to support the life-changing work of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We’re Muckers on a Mission!

Don’t let the mud intimidate you! Remember when you were a kid and liked putting frosting all over your face? Well tap into that energy as your adult-self and let’s get mucky in 2018!

The Diagnosis

Guest post written by New Jersey Mucker, Lyndsay W.

It was my senior year in high school that my life was changed by an unpredictable diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I was experiencing numbness in my legs, a tingling sensation in my feet; all while feeling completely uncomfortable and worried about what was going on within my body. I kept hoping that these symptoms would pass, but unfortunately, they continued to worsen and it was time to face the doctors.

With emotions running wild, my mother and I made an appointment with my regular physician as our starting point. I remember walking into his office worried and confused. As we sat down, I began to explain the symptoms I was experiencing. While he was listening, there was this specific look on his face that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and that is when he threw a curveball at us. “This sounds like it could be Multiple Sclerosis, but we need you to get checked out by a neurologist.” My first thought was, “What in the world is Multiple Sclerosis?” As tears streamed down my mother’s face, I feared the worst but I knew at that point, I needed to stay calm. Sequoia National Park_Hiking2

Your first instinct is to go online and research, and if I could give one piece of advice, don’t do it! I received a recommendation for a neurology group and made an appointment right away. The day of my visit, I was scared and my nerves were ever so present. I was asked to explain my symptoms, how severe they were, and also to indicate any other changes I was experiencing. Based upon my answers, I was urged to go get multiple tests done as soon as possible.

Supporting the CauseScript after script, I was going through blood work, MRI’s, a spinal tap, a vision test, all while monitoring the progression of my symptoms. The process took just under a month and it was on my 18th birthday that I had to face the truth. The morning of March 14, I went for the MRI of my brain. Later in the afternoon, I was preparing to have some friends over when the neurologist called and my mom was nowhere to be found. When I ran downstairs, I found her jotting down notes and I knew that the results didn’t look promising. It was 10 days later on March 24, 2008 that my neurologist broke the news to me, “You have Multiple Sclerosis.” It was time to adjust my lifestyle and go into this new chapter in life with positive energy and a determined attitude.

I am here now, a healthy 27-year old woman working full time and making the best of Volunteerevery obstacle that comes my way. I have been lucky enough to share my story with many people and have been a role model to those who have had to face a diagnosis at a young age. Like many people diagnosed with MS, you worry about what people may say, how they may treat you, and overall what they think about you. I was there, but then I realized I need to speak up and share my story. The first time I came out publicly about my diagnosis, the love and support that came from it was amazing. I was even able to help an individual who lives in the same town as me and was diagnosed at a young age as well. It was at that very moment that I knew I had to keep sharing my positive energy and raising awareness for a disease that many people don’t know much about.

Love NatureBeing diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t mean you have to give up or stop doing what you love. It means you have to keep living life normally and show those around you that nothing can ever stand in your way from succeeding. I am proud to be a part of the National MS Society family and I will continue to challenge myself by participating in Walk MS, MuckFest MS, Climb to the Top MS, and all other fundraising events. I walk, run, climb, and put my best foot forward for myself, my fellow MS friends, and all other individuals who want to make MS a thing of the past. There is nothing more rewarding than looking back at the end of the day and seeing the difference I’ve been able to make in the Society and those who confide in me for my positivity and motivation to make MS a thing of the past.

A Duck’s Halloween

If you’re behind on the times, the mascot for MuckFest® MS is named Puck the Muck Duck. If you’re REALLY behind on the times, we should tell you that Puck loves holidays; just about every single one you can think of. He has celebrated holidays from Awkward Moments Day to Mud Pack Day and everything in between. This month, though, is one of his favorites… Halloween.

We recently did a blog showcasing some of our favorite costumes from 2017, but this post is all about Puck. Here are two costumes schemes that Puck is planning for today’s trick or treating. Which one should he do? Tell us #1 or #2 in the comments below!

Duck Blog Image 2

#1 (Photo/Concept Credit: Colleen, DuckShow.com)

Duck Blog Image

#2 (Photo/Concept Credit: Colleen, DuckShow.com)

DALLAS EVENT INFO: WAVE/START TIMES PUSHED BACK TWO (2) HOURS

The weather forecast is calling for very cold weather in the morning tomorrow, so we are pushing everyone’s wave/start time back two (2) hours. In other words, whatever time you were planning on arriving at Southfork Ranch tomorrow, please come two hours later than that.

You can look up your original wave/start time by logging into the Participant Center with your username and password.

EVENT INFO: COLD WEATHER REMINDERS

Safety is our number one priority, so we are doing everything we can to prepare for the cold weather conditions and ensure your safety on the event.

For runners, being prepared for the cooler conditions will greatly reduce the possibility of illness or injury on the event. Please take a few moments to read through the precautions and advice below.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare for Saturday:

  • Dress appropriately for the cooler conditions and adjust your running outfit if necessary. For example, Saturday might not be the best day for the string bikini top and grass skirt.
  • The cool weather will make the water and mud around the obstacles and the showers colder than normal. So, if you’re not a strong swimmer, maybe think about skipping the couple of obstacles that have deep pools of water.
  • Bring warm clothes to change into after the event.
  • Monitor the weather. Be prepared by checking the weather before you leave the house on Saturday.
  • Hydrate throughout the day today and before you leave for the event on Saturday, just as you would for any other athletic event.

While MuckFest MS is designed to take place rain or shine, we reserve the right to cancel or reschedule the event if we fear for participant safety.

Thank you. We’ll see you on Saturday!

The MuckFest MS Staff

We’re excited to share the story of this unique corporate team getting mucky with us this weekend in Dallas!

Ismail Amla, Managing Partner at IBM GBS North America, challenged his teams in 2017 to get more involved in the communities they serve and to find a way to give back. One evening, over a dinner of Texas BBQ, Pat McDonnell, VP/Senior Partner at IBM GBS and Bill Gillispie, a longtime supporter of the National MS Society, started talking about this challenge and how to do some team building for IBM GBS that would also support the National MS Society. Bill has lived with multiple sclerosis for 18 years, is the Board Chair in Chicago, has participated in numerous Walk MS and Bike MS events, and is a seasoned Mucker. Team Gillispie has raised $1.86 million to support the National MS Society over the years.

During that Texas BBQ dinner, Pat and Bill decided to push the envelope and rally IBM GBS around the Dallas MuckFest MS event. To Pat and Bill’s delight, after hearing all the mucktacular stories they had to share about MuckFest MS, the muddy course, and the reason behind this event, the IBM GBS leadership team decided that mucking it in Dallas was exactly the team-building event they were looking for.

For IBM GBS, MuckFest MS is both ideal for team-building as well as a chance to give back to the community. On Saturday, the entire team of 70+ IBM GBS folks will take on a 5k course with 18 muddy obstacles. Being able to muck it with colleagues and superiors is an exciting, unique team-building experience for this group! We’re so grateful for the $10,000 goal this team has set to help people affected by MS live their best lives possible.

See you this weekend, GBS Mucking It Up!

We’re expecting cold weather on Saturday at MuckFest® MS Dallas. Safety is our number one priority, so we are doing everything we can to prepare for the weather conditions and ensure your safety on the event.

Being prepared for the cooler conditions will greatly reduce the possibility of illness or injury on the event. Please take a few moments to read through the precautions and advice below.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare for Saturday:

  • Dress appropriately for the cooler conditions and adjust your running outfit if necessary. For example, Saturday might not be the best day for the string bikini top and grass skirt.
  • The cool weather will make the water and mud around the obstacles and the showers colder than normal. So, if you’re not a strong swimmer, maybe think about skipping the couple of obstacles that have deep pools of water.
  • Bring warm clothes to change into after the event.
  • Monitor the weather. Be prepared by checking the weather before you leave the house on Saturday.
  • Hydrate throughout the day on Friday and before you leave for the event on Saturday, just as you would for any other athletic event.

While MuckFest MS is designed to take place rain or shine, we reserve the right to cancel or reschedule the event if we fear for participant safety.

Thank you. We’ll see you on Saturday!

The MuckFest MS Staff

Meg’s Story

We’re proud to share a message from our National MuckFestival sponsor, the Traveler Beer Company.

For the past several years, the Traveler Beer Company has been a proud sponsor of the National MS Society and the MuckFest® MS mud runs. As we close out the 2017 season, we wanted to shine a light on a story from one of our own. Meg Devlin, from our human resources team, knows quite well the struggles of living with multiple sclerosis. Her mother was diagnosed with the disease in 1999. As our final guest blog post, we wanted to share Meg and her mother’s story as a reminder of what we’ve been spending the better part of a year fighting for.

Here’s Meg’s story…

As an employee, I was beyond thrilled to discover that Traveler Beer Company was going to be sponsoring the MuckFest MS mud runs across the country, and was actively recruiting employees nationwide to participate in the events. The fight against multiple sclerosis hits close to home as my mother, Adrienne, was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS when she was only 29 years old. She was a mother of two young kids, working full-time and incredibly active within our community.

Over the years MS has taken its toll on her body. She has recently retired, and is living a slower paced life with my dad amidst the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Even though her energy levels are at an all-time low, most of her “good hours” are devoted to doing kind things for others, like cooking for those in need, and crocheting or painting beautiful gifts for her loved ones. She is brave, stubborn, perseverant and generous. She is the most amazing woman I know.

When I found out that I could pull together a group of my closest friends under the Traveler Beer Company’s team to Kick the Muck Out of MS, I was all in! In just a few weeks, we raised almost $3K to go toward MuckFest MS Boston. I’m honored to work for a company that supports a cause that means so much to my family. I am so grateful to the MS Society for putting on such an amazing event that is both fun and educational about multiple sclerosis. It truly captures the incredible spirit of the fight against this disease. I was moved by everyone I interacted with on the course (spectators and runners alike). It was great enjoying a Shandy with my fellow Muckers and hearing from other runners about their motivations for being a part of the event. I look forward to following the MuckFest MS team as they celebrate the strength of those who live with MS and raise awareness for this disease.

To all of the 2017 Muckers, it was a pleasure getting down and dirty with you this season. We look forward to sharing a Shandy with you in Texas and So Cal. Cheers!

Guest post written by Dallas Muckers Roxanne C. and “Captain Muck”

Dear Friends and Family,

Why does a grandpa and mild-mannered engineer sign up to run a 5K obstacle course IN THE MUD?

A) They said all it takes is a pair of sneakers and a sense of humor.
B) His wife made him.
C) He leads a double-life as a superhero.
D) There’s beer at the end.
E) All of the above.

Thomas and I signed up for this mucky 5K mud run at Southfork Ranch on October 28th.  Aside from the muddy fun and the chance to ride in an ambulance (we hope not), we wanted to support the cause because we have a family member living with MS.

Whether or not you donate below, you will still be subjected to the following lame photo montage of our quest.  Sorry.  Really sorry. 

Faster than a sprinkle donut.

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Able to leap tall buildings in his imagination.

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It’s Captain Muck and he is out to END MS.

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If the spirit moves you to donate, visit our team’s website The Farce is With Us and click on donate.

You can register and participate with us, come and watch, or just say a prayer for us.

Stay tuned for more adventures of Captain Muck!

Thank you dear friends!

-The Farce is With Us