Cross it off my fitness bucket list: on Saturday, the Mighty Mucks completed the inaugural Boston MuckFest MS Mud Run. And we had so much fun!
It was only a matter of time before I did one of these messy obstacle courses, so when my aunt told me she was forming a team, I immediately said yes. Plus, I loved how the mud run functioned as a fundraiser for the National MS Society. If you can use your passion to help others, then why not do your part? My fundraising efforts went much better than expected, and our team raised the second-most money out of all the Boston groups; we ended up being one of the top 10 fundraising teams in the nation. Yaya, Mighty Mucks!
On Friday morning, I traveled to Boston, and my aunt and uncle picked me up at the train station; we spent the day exploring the city before we met a few teammates for dinner at an Italian restaurant located in the North End. We actually didn’t know everyone beforehand—some are from Syracuse, N.Y., others from Philadelphia, and a few from Boston suburbs—but we felt like old friends by the end of the weekend.
Our team of nine registered in the 11:30 a.m. recreational wave, so we got to sleep in and leisurely make our way to the race site. Major props to race organizers and volunteers: even though there were about 3,000 muckers (yes, I’m making it a word!), it took us less than 10 minutes to get our bibs and timing chips.
The Mighty Mucks had two goals: have as much fun as possible and make sure everyone crossed the finish line. Our laidback outlook was refreshing for me. During my training and events, I’m used to hitting specific splits, holding certain paces, and basically pushing nonstop. I really valued taking a step back and doing an athletic event for total, 100 percent fun—with no finishing time or “secret goal” in mind.
OK, so let’s talk about the course—and the obstacles.
Thanks to my stellar investigative reporting skills, I found this video online. As you can see, the route contained 20 obstacles and took participants through several different surfaces including grass, concrete, and trails. There were also some very hilly sections, so if my coach asks why I didn’t ride this past weekend, let’s say I did hill work on Saturday, OK?
Anyway, this post would be way too long if I described each obstacle, but I will mention a few highlights. First, I found “The Spinner” to be the toughest one. (It starts at 1:10 in the video.) Basically, this merry-go-round-like contraption had several ropes that muckers had to grab and hang on to for dear life while the device slowly rotated. Since I have basically zero upper-body strength and haven’t been on a rope since elementary school (did anyone else have a rope-climbing unit?), I struggled; I started loosing my grip and sliding down immediately and thought I’d definitely end up in the water! Luckily, though, I pushed through.
Unfortunately, there weren’t a ton of super-muddy obstacles. Out of the 20, maybe three or four had a significant amount. The last one, though, was definitely a favorite.
I’m the pale-looking one on the right. Yes, I also got sunburned.
We had to crawl through these tubes army-style, which were lined with mud (and stones and pebbles). Very mucky and very fun!
Team Mighty Mucks crossed the finish line in about two hours (1:53), and the race absolutely flew by! The obstacles broke up the running, so we never jogged for more than a quarter of a mile or so. Honestly, we were sad when we reached mile four; we wanted the course to be longer.
Some of the ladies.
We’re obviously doing MuckFest again next year too!
Have you ever done a mud run? Would you consider it?