Mucker Q&A 3 – Todd Garten, Team Doin’ it for Deb Garten, MuckFest MS St. Louis

We are excited to check in again with Todd Garten, team captain of Doin’ it for Deb Garten. He gives us some final muck-tastic advice just before MuckFest MS St. Louis.

MuckFest MS: What do you plan to wear to MuckFest® MS?

Todd:  Shirt, shoes, boxers, shorts and socks. More specifically, last year we created a team shirt that had our team name “Doin’ it for Deb Garten” on the front – that way, my mom would be honored and with us throughout the entire event.  We’re in the process of designing our shirt and choosing colors for this year’s event right now. I suggest wearing lightweight clothes, because you WILL be getting wet, and you don’t want clothes weighing you down. One of my buddies wore pants last year, and he will be the first to tell you he regretted it. He almost left them halfway through the course but decided he’d leave them on for the kids’ sake! 

Probably the most meaningful part of our attire last year was our shoes – or rather what we put ON our shoes.  When my mom’s MS prevented her from walking or moving around much, she spent a lot of her time in bed. She would share how lonely it was to be stuck inside all day and night and how some of the hardest times came at night. One of her best friends, Deb Matson, bought packages of those glow-in-the-dark stars and stuck them all over mom’s ceiling. They would glow and help give her a sense of hope and a feeling of peace when she looked at them each night. Mom would give stars to those close to her to carry and remind them of the hope and love we shared. To continue that tradition, and in my mom’s memory, we drilled holes in glow stars and zip-tied them to our race shoes. I was surprised that all of our stars made it through the course, but I guess it’s just another reminder of how strong and tenacious folks with MS can be! 

Team Doin' it for Deb Garten and their clean shoes before MuckFest MS St. Louis

 MuckFest MS: What advice do you have for someone who has never completed a mud obstacle run?

 Todd: Just do it! I have friends who are nervous because they’ve never done anything like this, and my advice is trust me, it’s not as hard as you tell yourself it will be. The obstacles are a blast, and while competitive runners will breeze through them and zip through the course to make their PR, non-competitive runners will consider the obstacles a chance to catch their breath, challenge themselves, and laugh at themselves and their friends. It really is just as challenging as you want to make it. The entire event is well thought out and planned in such a way that everyone will be able to do it and have the most fun possible. If you’ve never completed a mud obstacle run, you won’t find a better place to start than MuckFest MS!

Team Doin' it for Deb Garten flexing after getting mucky at MuckFest MS St. Louis!

MuckFest MS: What are you most excited about for MuckFest MS 2014?

Todd: Last year’s MuckFest MS in St. Louis was awesome.  My brother drove in from Kansas, a former co-worker came down from Iowa, and a couple buddies and I got together in St. Louis to form our team.  We completed the obstacles together and loved every minute of it. This year, my best friend is coming from Chattanooga, three co-workers are joining us, and my brother is coming from Kansas again! I’m still recruiting, so it’s hard telling who is next or where they’ll come from! What I DO know is that this year’s MuckFest MS is going to be incredible, we’ll conquer those obstacles together, push one another in the mud, and enjoy every minute of it! We’ll have stars on our shoes and remember the reason we’re running to begin with, to help find a cure for MS. Look for my team at MuckFest MS St. Louis. We’re “Doin it for Deb Garten.”   

Thank you Todd for sharing your MuckFest MS experience with us. We are looking forward to hearing about Doin’ it for Deb Garten’s mucky adventures at MuckFest MS St. Louis!

3 Comments on “Mucker Q&A 3 – Todd Garten, Team Doin’ it for Deb Garten, MuckFest MS St. Louis

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, Todd. I love the connection of putting stars on your shoes.

  2. Thanks MpPierce. I think my mom would be proud to be remembered and honored in that way. This year, at MuckFest MS St. Louis, we stumbled upon another team who had tokens pinned to their shoes in honor of someone with MS. They said they got their inspiration from me. It was so neat.

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