At MuckFest® MS, we come together though mucky hilarity to work towards a world free of multiple sclerosis. If you’re a first-time mucker, you might be brand new to the incredible work of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Rachael Nuwash, a veteran MuckFest MS Denver mucker and the Director of Emerging Campaigns for the National MS Society, shared the following with us.
The National MS Society’s vision is: A World Free of MS.
The Society’s mission is:
- We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.
- We are a driving force of MS research and treatment to stop disease progression, restore function, and end MS forever.
- We develop, deliver and leverage resources to enhance care for people with MS and quality of life for those affected by the disease.
- We are leaders in the worldwide MS movement, mobilizing millions of people to do something about MS now.
- We are activists.
- We develop and align human, business and financial resources to achieve breakthrough results.
The National MS Society continues to recognize and invest in the value of a nationwide obstacle course event as a means to engage an important new audience into the MS movement and build a significant new source of funds for cutting-edge research into the cause, treatment and a cure for MS. Since its inception, MuckFest MS has raised over $16 million for the Society. In addition, 78% of 2013 participants, many with a connection to MS, were brand new to the Society and had never participated in a Society event, helping us to reach a major goal of engaging a new audience.
Meet Todd Garten, one of our awesome muckers from MuckFest MS St. Louis. With the help of his teammates on Team Doin’ it for Deb Garten, Todd raises awareness and funds for the National MS Society to honor his mother. Todd shares that his mom was a fighter and, if she were alive, she would be doing all she could to raise money and awareness for MS.
MuckFest MS: What made you decide to initially register for MuckFest MS?
Todd: I am a runner and am always looking for new and different races. I had never done a mud fun run and that alone made me want to do it, but when I learned that the event raised awareness and funds for the National MS Society, I was sold!
MuckFest MS: Why do you support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society?
Todd: My mom had multiple sclerosis and lost her battle with the disease in November of 2002. She was only 49 and just two weeks away from her 50th birthday. Before she died, mom was such an advocate for the National MS Society, and recently I decided it was time I took up her torch. I personally don’t have a great deal of money, but I know that when I do my part, I make a difference.
MuckFest MS: When was your first MuckFest MS event, and why do you continue to get mucky with us?
Todd: My first MuckFest MS was last year’s event in 2013. It was a blast! I was able to assemble a team of five to fundraise and conquer the mud and obstacles with me. It was so much fun coming together on the day of the event, putting on our team shirts, and walking around the festival before the race started. Everyone had a great time getting mucky and laughing at each other as we slipped and slid through the course. I will be back this summer in St. Louis to do it all over again. This event is run so well, and the obstacles are really well thought out. Not only that, but 100% of the money raised goes to the National MS Society to help find a cure for this disease, and I know that would make my mom so happy. Just like the name of our MuckFest MS team, I continue to get mucky each year because I’m “Doin’ it for Deb Garten“.
Todd will share more with us before the St. Louis event, so check back to hear how his training and fundraising are going!
Update from Event
Here are some great photos from Pat’s Muckers at MuckFest® MS Boston 2014!
Pat’s Muckers in 2013 vs. 2014
Michael’s Trainer, Jason, & Michael in 2013 and 2014
Michael and his Sister, Julia
What do you plan to wear to the event?
Last year I wore clothing that was quick drying so that I was not carrying the extra weight of soaked clothing. But this year, we have Pat’s Muckers Team shirts that I designed, so I will wear that.
I definitely found gloves to be a HUGE help last year, so I will be using those again. The gloves were helpful for grip (hello Spinner!) and also kept my hands from getting crazy muddy. I actually hate getting dirty, if you can believe it! I think an older pair of sneakers is a good idea. The pair that I wore last year survived but that wasn’t the case for everyone.
We’re excited to check back in with Michael Fagone, team captain of Pat’s Muckers. He runs to honor his mother, Pat, who battled multiple sclerosis for 46 years. MuckFest® MS Boston in 2013 was Michael’s first running event of any kind and followed his decision to take control of his health – which resulted in a 240 pound weight loss. We asked Michael some questions about how he approaches training and fundraising for MuckFest MS Boston.
Do you do any special training before the event?
I have mainly been working on my running. I try to run three days a week – one focusing on distance, one for speed work, and a shorter, more straightforward run. I am also doing a couple days of strength training. Though not essential, it can be extremely beneficial when it comes to some of the obstacles. The Spinner, Mt. Muck-imanjaro and Spider Web come to mind! And my trainer insisted that I mention that you should do some stretching after you exercise to promote recovery and increase flexibility.
Are you and your teammates pumped for an adventure? Next up in our MuckFest® MS “Meet the Obstacles” series is Mt. Muck-imanjaro. Get ready to begin your ascent of this mucking awesome obstacle.
Learn more about the MuckFest MS course here.
Did you get to meet the ‘young at heart rocker’, The Swing Set?
Inspired by her sister, local Pennsylvanian Megan Driscoll found a fun way to challenge herself, have fun with friends, and support Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She participated in MuckFest® MS Philadelphia in 2013, a mud obstacle fun and fitness event with a mission to raise funds and hopes for the MS community. This year, the event will be held on May 31 and June 1, 2014. Megan raised nearly $2,300 on her own for the important cause and $3,715 through her team of 17 people.
MuckFest MS: Why should someone be a part of MuckFest MS this summer?
Megan Driscoll: Participating in MuckFest MS in Philadelphia is such a great experience. It is a fun day filled with obstacles and mud and people helping each other through the course. There are all kinds of really cool obstacles. The best way I can describe it is that it makes me feel like a kid again when I’m jumping in mud puddles and running through obstacles in the mud. It really is a playground for adults.
We’re so proud of muckers like Claire Sinclair! Keep up the great work!
QUESTION: Do any veteran muckers have helpful tips for people starting their training?
Learn more about MuckFest MS here.
In June, I will be participating in my fifth mud-run. This one, The Muck Fest, benefits MS. It is the third Muck-Fest that I will have participated in. I run the Muck-Fest with a team from work. One of our coworkers lost her husband to MS last year and this year we will be running in memory of him.
I use the term, “running” loosely. I actually am not much of a runner. I love to walk and exercise but running has never been my thing. I have been able to complete all five mud runs, but have never been able to run the whole way. I usually do a combination of run/walk and the obstacles thrown in throughout the way break up the running. This year, I would love for it to be my goal to run the whole way. Will I do it? Who knows…
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Get to know our MuckFest® MS obstacles in a whole new light. First up in our “Meet the Obstacles” series is The Swing Set. You can’t help but scream for an encore when you catapult off of this mucking awesome launch pad into the muck. Get ready to rock all day and all night with The Swing Set.