Checking in with Cheri Devlin: A Post-New Jersey Recap
Earlier this year, we talked with Cheri Devlin, who will be participating in EVERY (yes, that’s right – every single one!) MuckFest in 2019!
We learned Cheri’s story of running in honor of her father, Mike, who passed away from progressive multiple sclerosis in 2018. Her father was an avid runner who did half marathons, and he lived vicariously through Cheri’s own activities and runs when the disease confined him to a wheelchair. Now, she continues to run in his memory.
Cheri is now more than halfway done with her Muckfest 2019 journey, heading to the Windy City this weekend for her second-to-the-last run of the year. Before she gets muddy with us once again, we checked in with her about her experiences at July’s sunny MuckFest New Jersey…
Mother nature put a damper on my original travel plans to New Jersey, but it all worked out in the end.
I got the call from Katie – MuckFest extraordinaire – Friday afternoon while I was in session at my sales kick-off, letting me know that extreme weather conditions and poor air quality had caused them to postpone MuckFest New Jersey until the following weekend. My first reaction was UGH – but then I took a breath and thought, well, my plans are already set…my hubby is already there, I should just go, and figure out next weekend with points.
There was NO way I’d miss a race – that would kill my whole story for dad – but I’m certainly not one to pass up a date weekend in NYC with my hubby!
Yay for Alaska Airlines Rewards and cash options! I was able to book another flight to New Jersey. Grateful to keep my tribute intact, I made it back to run in the rescheduled New Jersey MuckFest!
I initially wrote this on my flight home from MuckFest, and what an incredible weekend it was! It was the first mud run I’d ever done solo, so to be honest, I was a little nervous, which in hindsight seems silly, because it was an awesome track with a great group of runners.
The course seemed a little different than the past two races, so perhaps it was my imagination…or the heat that made it all seem harder, but I loved it, nonetheless. There was one obstacle that got me to second guess myself as I took the initial leap, but managed to channel Ninja Warrior, which ironically, I caught for a few minutes the night before in my hotel room. Thanks to the teams surrounding cheering me on, I was able to leap to each of the slippery hills making it across the obstacle without falling into the muddy water or banging up my knees.
Likely due to the change in dates, lines at the obstacles were not an issue and I benefited by getting through the course in record time. I took a ride on the Flying Muckers zip line for the first time this MuckFest season, but clearly, I didn’t learn during the last race. I gained back my favorite designer sunglasses that were recovered after the Philly race, but lost my new favorite cheapy pair in the water in New Jersey!
While the track itself was by far the best so far, the real highlight of New Jersey MuckFest was seeing a group of people cross the finish line together sporting KPMG t-shirts. Before joining Microsoft in 2017, I enjoyed several exciting years of career growth at KPMG, so I was certainly a proud alumnus to see them, and of course snap a pic!
Taking post-race pictures was a bit more awkward being there solo, but I made sure to document the day and pause for a few minutes after the race to people watch and reflect on why I was there. Chatting with my dad in my mind during the race was the perfect antidote to take my mind off the humid heat.
I made sure to rinse off post-race better than usual, and my loyal kicks survived race #3. I was able to air dry my shoes overnight and even wore them home, Sunday! I’m determined for them to make it to Denver, so I can donate them there!
As a treat to myself post-race, I took full advantage of having nothing to do and enjoyed local Yelp recommendations for satisfying meals…and even indulged in a 2-hour massage at a spa right around the corner from my hotel! I also got a little shopping in before heading to the airport.
MuckFest Chicago is just a few days away! The lake house is rented and just a short drive from the race start. I can’t wait to venture there with the girls. My “sister” Ana and most dedicated colleague Siobhan will be running alongside me this Saturday, and I’m still recruiting a few locals who I’ve enjoyed working with throughout my career and are amazing people in my life!
MuckFest #3 in the books – Chicago here we come!