This past weekend, I participated in Muckfest NJ! It is set up as an OCR/Mud Run where the proceeds go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a charity that I have donated to as long as I can remember. My grandmother, who passed away at the young age of 56 (when I was 16), had Multiple Sclerosis. A friend of mine has done this mud run for many years and I have always kind of been a chicken about it. I did one mud run back in 2010 and man, those obstacles were tough. I am not great at cross training, and lord knows I can’t hold my body weight. Buuuuut this year I gave in and decided to sign up! I raised some money for an awesome cause, and, as it turns out, had a lot of fun!
The race itself was about 50 minutes away from me, near the Turtle Back Zoo in NJ. The drive up was super easy. I had some insider information to use the Zoo’s parking lot, since apparently the lot that the race uses is further away and requires bussing back and forth. So thanks to that 411, I parked and walked mayyyyybe a half mile to the course’s start. Fun fact: if you had raised over $1,000, you got VIP parking at the McCloone’s, right next door to race start. I’ll have to make that a goal for next year!
Our start time was 1:20 so by the time I arrived the place was already hopping. Getting bibs, finding gear check, and seeing the lay of the land was all incredibly easy. It was in an open field, so everything was right there. They had some fun games set up, as well as the required hoses/shower area and changing tents. Nothing was hard to find or inaccessible.
I was definitely nervous to start, since I was with a team of 23 other people, only about two of which I knew. I didn’t want to get left behind in pits of mud! However, turns out I was silly to worry! We all ended up sticking together in little packs, and as we hit each obstacle, we’d wait around for the rest of the team. It was so nice to do something where it isn’t about a finish time for once.
This run is set up as a 5k (my friend told me it had been longer in its first years) – and was super approachable. Kids, older folks, people of all ages were out on the course. If you couldn’t handle an obstacle (or didn’t want to attempt), you just walked around it. No pressure! I am proud, however, to say that I made it through all of the obstacles. It was really a FUN mud run, not meant to be too terribly challenging, all about having a good time, donating to a charity, and getting muddy. Added bonus? A free beer at the end! Woohoo.
Honestly, I was nervous for no reason. I will definitely do this mud run again. I can’t say I’d be down for one of the really hard OCR/mud race type items because my strength is totally lacking – but this was doable. And, as it turns out, I brought my brother’s GoPro with me…. so hope you enjoyed the muddy pics as much as I enjoyed the day!
Have you done the mud run thing? Like? Hate? Eh?