Muckfest MS Mud Run Philly Recap

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | race recap

Jun 14

Remember those silly myths I debunked about mud runs?  I’m glad to say that I stand by everything I said!

Back on June 5, I had the opportunity to run the Muckfest MS mud run, sponsored by the National MS Society.  It was my first time doing a mud run without a team, but I had a really great time and would definitely do it again!

I’m linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patty for Tuesdays on the Run!  The theme this week is on interesting finds on the road while on a run! Be sure to check it out!

I’m also linking up with Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday!  

Disclaimer:  I was offered free entry to the Muckfest MS mud run, but all opinions are mine!

Want to try a fun mud run for a great cause? Check my recap of @muckfest MS plus learn how to get… Click To Tweet

I had the opportunity to participate in a super fun mud run: the Muckfest MS! Check out my review, learn how you can support the National MS Society, plus get $7 off your race at runwithnoregrets.com!

Muckfest MS Mud Run Recap:

I was really excited to have the opportunity to run Muckfest MS, a new-to-me 5K mud run sponsored by the National MS Society.  I first started doing mud runs last year and while I won’t say that I’m addicted to them, they are a real change of pace and just a great opportunity to have FUN and enjoy being active!  Let me tell you how it all went down!

The Night Before:

I have to be honest and say I was slightly dreading the Muckfest MS once it finally arrived.  Not only was I still tired from running the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon the day before, I was going to have do this mud run alone.  My sister was originally going to drive up and join me, but she ran the ZOOMA Annapolis 10K (her first ever!) that Saturday and was too tired to make the trip.  I don’t blame her one bit, but I was looking forward to the new adventure for the two of us.

Then on top of that, we had some severe weather warnings for Sunday.  Torrential downpours were predicted at various points in the day, and there was even a chance that the event could be canceled.

All I could do was lay out my clothes and see what would happen in the morning.

Race Morning:

My scheduled start time was 11:40 am, so for once I was able to sleep in on a Sunday!  When I woke up, I checked Muckfest’s Facebook page to see if there were any updates on the status of the event.  All systems clear!  I also watched a couple of videos to see what I’d expect.  Uh-oh.  One of the obstacles scared the heck out of me, the Flying Mucker!  But I’ll tell you more about that later!

I left home around 10:30 am to drive to Bayard Rustin High School In Westchester, PA where I would park my car and take a shuttle bus to the event in Glen Mills.  Apparently the shuttle buses and drop off points were arranged the night before, but you would have never known because everything was so organized!

I didn’t wear my glasses (and I wouldn’t advise wearing contacts during a mud run), so I squinted my way to the bus and had a nice ride in the countryside to our location.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take off my college ring, so I had to keep an eye on that!

The Course:

The Muckfest MS course is full of over a dozen obstacles that really get you muddy.  There’s no way you can avoid the mud on this course, so I decided to embrace the experience!  I went through every single obstacle and made it through, though it wasn’t always easy!  I really loved the variety of activities.

Muckin’ Corral:

Muckers waiting to start

Muckers waiting to start

I really enjoyed the start of the race, though I didn’t know what to expect.  All of the fundraising teams in our wave were acknowledged and we clapped for all of the participants that actually deal with MS every day.  It was a really nice moment.

We were all standing in mud while the emcee joked around with us, encouraged (aka fooled) the ladies into dipping their ponytails in the mud (no way was I doing that!), and we all rocked out to some Daft Punk before being sent along our way.  I found no reason to intentionally wipe mud on my face…there’d be plenty of that up ahead!

Triple Pits:

The slippery slapstick begins with a heart-pumping slog up and down muddy hills and watery valleys. Give a hand (helping, not applause) to a fellow mucker mired in the mud.

And then we were sent off!  Water was sprayed on us as we crossed the start line and trudged our way through the VERY THICK mud.  We had to climb over 3 mud pits and it was really tough.  I was worried about ripping my clothes or scratching my back on the mud-covered rocks, but thankfully didn’t get hurt!

Since 13.1 miles is enough for me on most weekends, I didn’t do much running on the course between obstacles.  I walked up the steep hills and kept things light since I was still pretty sore

Big Balls:

There are nine of them. They’re big. They swing. And they’re suspended above watery mud pits. Good luck.

This was really tough!  You had to walk across this narrow pathway while trying not to get hit several giant balls.  The workers tried their best to swing the ball so it would knock you into the mud pit…and they got me!  I was so glad to get out of there!

Muck Off:

Take a flying leap with friends. This one’s a scream in more ways than one.

This obstacle literally has you jump off a platform and into about 7 feet of muddy water.  This was the point where I realized, “Hey, let’s do this”.  I am not the strongest swimmer in the world, so I was definitely scared, but it was really thrilling!  Just remember to keep your mouth shut, and grab on to one of the ropes to pull yourself out of the water to safety!

Shake & Quake:

muckfest ms shake and quake

Made it across safely!

This no-hands water crossing over a mesh bridge will give you a serious case of the Jelly Legs. Sweet talk the volunteers or they may blast you with a special surprise from the muck cannon.

This one was pretty easy, though I did see some others struggle with keeping their balance.  I just made sure to keep moving!

Spider Web:

First, pass below through a tangled web of elasticized mayhem. Later, climb above and say Hello to our giant arachnid, Steve.

The tangled web was really tough, actually.  I’m not a fan of kissing the muddy ground, but you really had to get low to pass through the web!  Even the army crawl wasn’t good enough to make it through.   Thankfully, the rope net wasn’t tough. These are usually the types of obstacles where those who are afraid of heights have a struggle.  The ropes were slippery from the mud, so you had to take your time!

Flying Muckers:

muckfest ms flying muckers

Loved this one!

Put on your flight suit and hang on, Zippy! Take off on 35-foot zip lines, then stop short and soar a bit more until making a spectacular water landing.

This was a lot of fun, and unfortunately, since only 4 people could go at a time, this was the big bottleneck on the course.  Since I was a solo Mucker, I did get to skip a few people but it was still a long wait.  But it was so worth – I’ve never been on a zipline and it was a real blast!  I was also glad to rinse a bunch of mud off of me since it was so itchy and uncomfortable!

You may also like:  Rock and Roll Philly Half Marathon Recap

Swing Set:

muckfest ms swing set

My elegant landing after jumping off the giant swing!

A standing swing launches you into the stratosphere before Mister Gravity intercedes and gives you an aquatic spanking. Yes, you may have another.

I also have a picture of the “before” when I was waiting to launch of the swing.  I got good height but didn’t get the best timing when I jumped off…as you can see here!  Again, it was scary, but apparently jumping in mud isn’t a problem for me anymore!

The Abbvie Spinner:

Hold on tight while giant arms swing you over a pit of water. Watch for acrobatics from circus-minded muckers.

I was so hoping to find a picture of me on this obstacle since it was one of my favorites!  We had to hold onto a ring (like you’d find in gymnastics) while being transported over more muddy water.  You would go two at a time (it was like waiting to get on a ski lift), and some people tried to kick each other off and into the water.   I held onto one ring with both hands and was able to keep my legs up above the water so I considered it a success!

Mt. Muck-imanjaro:

You’ll achieve significant altitude on this ropey A-frame. Feel free to pause at the top to dispense some new-found wisdom… or just yell.

Another rope net?  No problem!

Crash Landing:

If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to be a stunt double, then wonder no more, my fine feathered mucker.

This was a cool obstacle!  There was a giant inflatable that we had to jump off a platform and land either on our butt or our back…just like the stunt doubles.  It was fun!  While we were waiting in line, I talked to a really nice woman who was participating with her husband.  She was wearing the special headband indicating that she has a connection to MS.  It was really nice to talk to her and laugh about the crazy obstacles.

Skid Mark:

If your backside wasn’t muddy before, it will be after you pull yourself through this mucky pit. Pro tip: shake out your shorts as you exit.

This obstacle was absolutely miserable!  It was really hard to drag yourself along the ground, or maybe I just didn’t have the strength to do it!  I could see the finish line so I was looking forward to finally being done!

Belly Crawl:

Just like when you were a baby, except without the soiled drawers. Oh wait… never mind.

I had to crawl through one more tunnel of mud, one last little bit of torture before making it to the finish line and ringing the bell of victory!

After the Race:

showers-muck

Everyone “trying” to get clean!

After the event, I made sure to get a couple of muddy photos of myself, grabbed my bag from gear check, gave away my muddy shoes for charity, and then headed to the rinse-off area.  I thought it was a pretty good set up, but obviously, it’s impossible to get all of the mud off!  I appreciated that there were bottles of conditioner for people to wash their hair, but I think the water pressure was too low to really get decently clean.  Everyone had to “double up” by helping the person in front of them get clean in order to expedite the process.  But at least everyone was friendly about it!

Once that was done I was able to head to the changing tents.  I’ve been at other mud events where they have huge “tents” where you can go and get changed, but then end up walking through a ton of mud anyway.  This wasn’t the case at Muckfest!  You actually got individual tents to change into!  This made things so much easier!

Finally, I ended the day with a Traveler beer.  You may have seen my photo on Instagram!  I had the lemon shandy and it was fantastic!  Of course, I had some drama with getting in to the 21+ section (Dude, I’m 30).  Once that was done, I headed to the bus and made my way to my car and back home!  Mission accomplished!

Takeaways:

janelle-duck

Me and the big duck!

I had a wonderful time at Muckfest MS.  I had no idea about this mud run and that it does such great work for Multiple Sclerosis research.  I will be telling everyone about this event and making sure I come with a big team next year.  I had a blast and met some really friendly people along the way!

Pros:

  • Very well organized event!  I was so impressed with how everything was a well-oiled machine.  Check in was smooth and all of the waves started on time from what I could see.
  • A good mix of challenging and fun.  I think that all levels would have enjoyed Muckfest.  Some obstacles were pretty straightforward, but you still had to use some upper and lower body strength!  I definitely felt the effects the next day!
  • Great location.  I wish I could have taken pictures while walking/running in the corn fields.  It was so scenic, though a little cloudy!  Getting to the event was so easy, and it was great to have access to a shuttle.
  • Family friendly event.  I loved seeing kids participating and having a good time.
  • Awesome changing tents!  I really appreciated the privacy of the individual tents.  It gave me a little dignity at the end of the day!
  • Great afterparty.  I liked seeing all the games on the field for people to play – cornhole, horseshoes, etc.  And the Traveler beer was great!  I wish I tried the grapefruit shandy!  I could have a lot more fun if I didn’t come to the event solo.

Cons:

  • The showers weren’t very effective.
  • A few bottlenecks on the course dragged things along.  Waiting to do the Flying Muckers for so long was frustrating.  It was worth the wait, but took away some of the momentum.
  • The music during the course could’ve been better.  Now I will say that the music they used to pump us up at the beginning of the course was a lot of fun!  At other points, the playlist left much to be desired…but that’s just nitpicky!

Shoutouts:

Thank you SO MUCH to Muckfest MS for giving me the opportunity to participate in this event.  If you would like to donate to the cause, it’s not too late – my fundraising page is here.  I appreciate any support you can provide!

Don’t forget:  If you want to participate in a future Muckfest MS, you can sign up and get $7 off registration with code SPORTY7.  There are upcoming events this year in New Jersey, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, and LA!  Please share with friends and family that you think would want to join in the fun!

Get $7 off any upcoming @muckfestms event with code SPORTY7! Find out how: Click To Tweet

Do you enjoy team activities or prefer going solo?  Have I convinced you yet to try a mud run??

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