The Bride Made Me Do It

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Love always seems to be in the air at MuckFest® MS. In fact, muddy love has taken over! We’ve had couples meet each other at our events, we’ve had couples write us to say they fell in love at MuckFest MS, and we’ve had a handful of couples get engaged after playing in the mud. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve even been featured on the best show for finding love on primetime television. But, all this time it seemed like one special life event was missing… until now. This year, in Boston, we got to add another mud love milestone to our event series. A bachelorette party!

Bride, Jan, has been participating in MuckFest MS Boston for the last four years. Her passion for 5Ks helped push her to sign up after hearing about the event on the radio. Jan recalls that the event sounded like fun because she had always wanted to do an obstacle course race and thought, “Why not?” She signed up and was thrilled to see that the event was helping raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis, too.

The first year, Jan took on the course with a couple of friends and ever since she has tried to recruit more and more people because she thinks, “It’s just SO much fun!” Fast forward to 2016 and Jan was hesitant to sign up. She was in the middle of wedding planning and wasn’t sure if her bridal shower or bachelorette party would fall on the same day that Puck was bringing the muck to the Boston area. But then, something special happened…

One of Jan’s bridesmaids, Lex, suggested that they use MuckFest MS as a part of Jan’s bachelorette party. For Lex, it seemed simple. She knew Jan loved doing 5Ks, she knew Jan loved participating in MuckFest MS, and she knew it was the perfect place to celebrate such an incredible milestone in Jan’s life because it was something that was so… her. Lex suggested that they make getting mucky a part of Jan’s bachelorette party.

“I thought it was a really great idea!” exclaims Jan, “I was excited that they would be willing to do a 5K for me. I’ve been doing all sorts of races for a while now, and while I always extended the invite to friends, I never pushed them to join me. So, when my bridesmaid, Lex, asked if that was how I wanted to start out my party, I immediately said yes and was so excited to be able to run again!”

And that’s exactly what they did! The women took on MuckFest MS Boston complete with team shirts that said “The Bride Made Me” to compliment Jan’s bride shirt. Jan recalls her bridesmaids being a little nervous about taking on the course, but they felt at ease once they arrived at the starting line, and began taking pre-muck photos with each other.

The ladies had a great time and enjoyed taking on some of Jan’s favorite obstacles like Swing Set, Flying Muckers, and The Abbvie Spinner. Jan cheered on her friends and helped them experience all the things she loves so much about MuckFest MS, especially getting into the #MudZone and getting covered in mud!

But a mud mask wasn’t the only spa treatment on the agenda for the day. After the race, Jan’s bridesmaids took her into Boston for a continued spa day. Massages, pedicures, and blow outs included! Once they were sure they were officially un-mucked, the ladies headed out for a night on the town. For Jan, “It was the best bachelorette party I could ask for!”

bride-7Jan tied the knot on June 11th, and while there was no mud at the ceremony, she made it clear that we will absolutely see her next year to get mucky all over again! “I know it can seem scary, but it’s such a fun event. It’s not all about competition, just having a team to run with makes it the best mucking time! I recommend everyone do it at least once – and after that, you’ll be hooked!” Wise words from a long-time Mucker… Jan is really excited to get her new husband hooked on MuckFest MS in 2017 now, too.

 

Ha-Ha Holidays

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If we know one thing to be true, it’s that MuckFest® MS is built for laughs! So, in honor of the holiday season and all of our hilarious Muckers, we’re introducing our Ha-Ha Holidays video blog where you can watch tons of spills, thrills, and frills to keep you laughing all the way to the New Year!

Big Balls come swinging when you least expect them…

No better way to shake off the muck than with a dance off!

This guy is rocking his way right to MuckFest MS stardom. What a muck star!

Even when there are no obstacles in sight, this guy managed to make his own muck slip ‘n slide!   

You can bet there’s lots of “haha’s” on this thrill ride! 

We hope these hilarious ha-ha holiday moments brightened your day! We’re excited to see even more hilarity unfold at all twelve of our MuckFest MS events in 2017

Do you know what’s cooler than playing in the mud at MuckFest MS? Playing in the mud and having photos to prove it! That’s why we’re offering our MuckFest MS waterproof cell phone holder with lanyard for a limited time to anyone that registers before we run out of this exclusive swag!

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It’s the perfect way to keep your phone mud free and still show off your muck face to all your friends while you’re playing with us at MuckFest MS. So, sign up to muck it in your city before the deadlines to guarantee you’ll be one of the Muckers that gets to muck it up while showing off your new accessory!

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Check out this calendar so you know the last day you can register and still snag this sweet phone protector!

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MuckFest MS 2017 is here!

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It’s a good day to MUCK! Register NOW for the MuckFest MS 2017 series! 

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It’s official! MuckFest® MS 2016 has come to a close. We had an epic year with all of our Muckers, volunteers, and supporters and we can’t wait to get muddy with you all again in 2017! Until then, here’s a photo recap of some of our favorite #MudZone moments from each MuckFest MS event in 2016.

Boston:

Check out these awesome muddy moves from May 14th and 15th from our first event of 2016 in New England!

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Philadelphia:

The second stop of the year took us right outside Philadelphia on June 4th and 5th for two days in the mud at a brand new site!

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New Jersey:

We took off to the Garden State on June 25th and 26th for our last two-day event. New Jersey was even crowned the best mud in America!

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Denver:

On July 16th we went across the country to muck it up in the mountains with our Colorado Muckers!

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Detroit:

The muck took us to Detroit on August 6th for a beautiful sunny day filled with laughs.

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Twin Cities:

You could find us in the Twin Cities area on August 20th! We had rain, but that just made for a super soaked, delightfully muddy course.

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Chicago:

The windy city offered us one of the biggest MuckFest MS teams EVER on September 10th and man did they bring the excitement to the #MudZone!

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San Francisco:

Bay Area Muckers are pro-mud no matter what! We hit our first stop in California on October 1st for fun in the sun.

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Houston:

Howdy! We made our way to Texas on October 15th and we had so much fun getting mucky with y’all.

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Dallas:

We brought the muck to Dallas on October 29th for the very first time and these Muckers showed us that everything is truly bigger in Texas, especially the piles of muck!

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So Cal:

The very last stop of 2016 brought us back to California on November 12th and our So Cal Muckers closed out the season with a bang and LOTS of laughs!

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Thank you to every single person that helped make every MuckFest MS a success this year! Without all of you, we’d surely have less mud, laughs, and memories to keep us muckin’ into 2017. We hope to see all of you in 2017 so we can capture even more #MudZone moments like these!

 

MS Will Knot Defeat Us

Thousands of participants, spectators, and volunteers across the country visited the AbbVie tent at MuckFest® MS where they contributed to the MS Will Not Defeat Us Shoelace wall. This wall is an inspirational display of support, overcoming obstacles, and of our Muckers’ passion to end MS forever.

The bright shoelaces shared stories of people mucking for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, and for themselves. Some shoelaces mentioned specific names, others that we “Muck for a cure”, and some simply and powerfully say a single word: “ME”.

Each inscribed shoelace was added to a display emblazoned with that city’s name. The walls traveled from event to event, and the symbolic light of the bright shoelaces grew brighter and brighter as we grew from one event to two…four…seven…and ultimately ELEVEN events, ELEVEN panels strong.

We hope you were able to join us in 2016 and add your story to a shoelace. It is a powerful reminder that when we are united and tied together, MS Will Knot Defeat Us.

 

 

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we wanted to show our Muckers how we incorporate muck into our menu of turkey and green bean casserole. You might be thinking right about now, “Muck for dinner? We’ll pass!”, but all true Muckers know that Puck the Muck Duck is a bona fide chef and can make just about any recipe a little muckier. So, wow your family and friends with our top choices from his arsenal of mucky holiday recipes!

Puck the Muck Duck Ice Cream Sandwiches

Nothing screams MuckFest® MS quite like a plate of Puck the Muck Duck shaped desserts on the dinner table! Our absolute favorite duck dessert comes in the form of ice cream sandwiches. They are the perfect way to satisfy your post-dinner sweet tooth without creating extra mess in the kitchen thanks to being plate free. 

Recipe & Photo Credit: Chicago Pastry Chef Aaron Manuyag

Creamy Muck & Cheese

The best way to the heart is through the stomach and you can bet you’ll be feeling the love when you arrive with a big dish of ooey gooey mac & cheese! Or as Puck the Muck Duck likes to call it… Muck & Cheese! Follow this recipe to make a crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving dish that doubles as a nod to MuckFest MS!

Recipe & Photo Credit: Spend with Pennies 

Chocolate Mudslide Cake

Anyone who’s ever taken on Triple Pits knows that it’s a certified mudslide! That’s why a chocolatey mudslide cake is the perfect ode to one of our muddiest obstacles. This will be a hit for any chocolate lovers at your dinner table and they may even come back for seconds. Or like a true Triple Pits lover, thirds! 

Recipe & Photo Credit: Beyond Frosting 

Big Ball Cheese Ball

This recipe will take you just a couple minutes to complete and will surely be a hit for anyone who enjoys cheese as much as Puck does! We recommend doubling this recipe to truly serve a muck-approved Big Ball. Or even better, make nine cheese balls in honor of our swinging obstacle Big Balls! 

Recipe & Photo Credit: Yummy Healthy Easy

MUCKFEST MS So Cal PHOTOS

Check out this SNEAK PEEK of photos from MuckFest® MS So Cal on November 12!

Don’t see a shot of you in your ‪#‎MudZone? A link to all participant photos will be shared later this week.

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While we believe the anyone can have fun at MuckFest® MS with no training required, it’s always a good idea to stretch your legs and buff up your mud throwing hand to make sure none of your teammates outrun you when you try to cover them in mud! That’s why our friends over at Crunch Gym Cerritos have put together some simple and easy training tips to make sure your body is ready for a day of laughs, spills, and thrills.

Fitness Manger, Broderick, suggests tackling training in three phases…

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Phases:

Phase 1- Focus on Improving Conditioning Movements & Motivation 

Phase 2- Focus on Building Stamina & Work Capacity 

Phase 3- Focus on Maximizing Work Potential – “Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone” 

Application:

Phase 1- Learn to love lunges and squats! These body weight exercises create the most agility.

Phase 2- Learn to increase your stamina by completing more reps/rounds per workout routine. This will help you last longer as you make your way through the obstacles. 

Phase 3- Work on reaching a “best record” by focusing on doing one of the below workouts for a best total amount of rounds completed in the allotted time. This will help you understand how to get comfortable pushing yourself.   

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Workouts:

At Home Body Weight Circuit: 15 min

  • 5- Squat Thrusters
  • 5- Reverse Lunges with Knee-upper leg
  • 5- 180-degree jump squats
  • 5- Mountain Climbers per leg
  • 5- Push up position with knee tucks (to modify hold the push-up position for 45 sec)

Battle Rope Circuit: 15 min

  • 12- Double Waves
  • 12- Power Slams
  • 12- Lateral Shuffles with Alternating Waves (single arm movement)
  • 2- sled pushes

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Tips for the day before the event:

Nutrition: The day/night before the race focus on consuming more carbs than normal. This is known as carbloading before an event. Carbs will help keep your muscles fueled with glycogen. Your body utilizes glycogen as energy to fuel your muscle movements. A good source of carbs are sweet potatoes, brown rice, and pastas. 

Sleep: Get a good night’s rest before the event. Recommended is 7-8 hours. 

Hydration: I would recommend drinking a sum of 1.5 gallons the day before the race to begin the hydration process. You will perspire more than that during the race in the form of sweat. Dehydration causes muscle cramps and body fatigue. 

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Tips for the day of the event:

Nutrition: Depending on your race time, you do not want to consume a high amount of food 1-2 hours prior to the event. Breakfast should consist of proteins and minimum fats. Breakfast should have about 2 servings of fruits, preferably 2 servings of banana for potassium. 

Hydration: We recommend you consume around 12 oz. of a sports drink before the run. Sports drinks are fueled with electrolytes and dextrose sugar. Both of these components can be utilized for energy and also prevent muscle cramps. 

Stretch: You should spend at least 30 minutes static stretching before you take off. This will help get your muscles limber and flexible for the long course ahead. 

About Crunch Gym:

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Crunch offers a diverse, inclusive culture for all types of people and all levels of fitness. They strive to encourage, empower, and entertain. They pride themselves on fusing fitness with fun and have a no judgment philosophy that welcomes all types of people to try out their approximately 20,000 square foot state of the art gym that offers personal fitness, group classes, and many other amenities. They have also been recognized as a leader in the fitness industry for over 25 years.

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We had the chance to talk to one of our many military Muckers who participate in MuckFest® MS. Tracey “Tra” Cooper-Harris will be joining us at MuckFest MS So Cal on November 12 for her third time in the mud! Tra lives with MS and mucks it for herself, her mother who had MS, and her dear friend’s dad who was also affected by MS. She knows first-hand how MS touches so many people’s lives throughout the world and comes out to support the MS community and get closer to a cure.

She also served in the Army for many years and knows many veterans, military members, and military families that have also been touched by MS or know those who live with the disease. She uses MuckFest MS as a platform to support others in these communities! And her love for playing in the mud runs deep. She recently thought about getting a Puck the Muck Duck tattoo in honor of the event, finding a cure for MS, and because her wife has a slight obsession with ducks!

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MuckFest MS: Hi, Tra! We’re so excited to have you join us again in Southern California for MuckFest MS! Are you excited?!

Tra: I am! I love doing MuckFest MS, even when I’m there solo. This year, it’s even more exciting because it’s right on the heels of Veteran’s Day and Marine Corps Day which are important days for me.

MuckFest MS: That’s awesome!           

Tra: Yeah, being a military Mucker and interacting with military communities and their families for work has made MuckFest MS a sort of dedication to both the MS community and the military community; both of which I’m a part of and that play a huge role in my life.

MuckFest MS: So, what motivated you to sign up for MuckFest MS initially?

Tra: It looked like fun! Plus, with all my buddies posting that they were doing all these obstacles course events, I thought maybe I should give it a try. Then, I thought if I have this disease (MS), I need to be doing something to make a difference as long as I can as I’m still mobile.

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MuckFest MS: So, you’re living with MS?

Tra: Yes, I was diagnosed in 2010.

MuckFest MS: Is MuckFest MS your first event hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or have you participated in our MS events?

Tra: I’ve done patient-centric dinners, a thank-you luncheon for top donors (by participating in MuckFest MS in 2014), and volunteered when I was in the Army at the NMSS in Portland, ME circa the 1990s.

MuckFest MS: Is there someone specific you muck for beside yourself?

Tra: I muck for my mom and my best friend’s father-in-law, both of whom fought MS and have passed from the disease. I also muck for my fellow military and veterans who have MS.

MuckFest MS: That’s incredible! Looking toward this year’s event, what was your absolute favorite memory from 2014 or 2015?

Tra: Kicking off the first wave by taking a HUGE splat in the mud right before we headed out on the course! Also, hanging out with the fabulous guys from team Men at Twerk. We kept encouraging each other throughout all the obstacles and the whole event. We had a blast and they told me I could join them in 2016 if I didn’t have a team of my own this year!

MuckFest MS: Describe MuckFest MS in three words.

Tra: Dirty, Muddy, FUN!

MuckFest MS: Which obstacles are you most excited to take on again?

Tra: I really like the AbbVie Spinner because you get to swing and land in water!

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MuckFest MS: What would you say to someone who has never done MuckFest MS before?

Tra: You don’t have to be a Spartan or a Tough Mudder to do this event! I tried it because another friend did the event in St. Louis, MO back in 2014, and she said that if she could do it, I could do it. There’s enough obstacles and muckiness to be a challenge, but nothing crazy like fire or electricity. And you’re helping folks with MS like me looking for an actual cure to this disease.  

MuckFest MS: Anything else you want to add?

Tra: Doing this event shows what you CAN do and it’s for a great cause! Plus, you get nice Puck the Duck swag and a free beer. Can’t beat that!  

Are you a Mucker in the military? We recently partnered with the site GovX to provide discount registrations to military participants. We would love to have you out at MuckFest MS in 2017 to support military communities who are also affected by MS. Sign up for GovX today!