Whether you are a seasoned OCR vet, a weekend warrior or have just gotten into the sport, there’s one constant when it comes to racing; FUN! If it wasn’t fun then why would we do it? We love the mud, right? We enjoy rolling around in it with our friends, yucking it up and laughing hysterically.
This weekend I had the opportunity to run MuckFest MS Boston. It was held at the same place it was held at last year in Fort Devens, which technically is not Boston, but close enough. The venue was great, just as open as last year and they let MuckFest do what they needed to do to move terrain about. Parking was super simple and free. Yeah, free! There’s not much of that going on, so it was a great perk.
My brother and I arrived a good hour to hour and half before our heat, and figured we’d check out the scene and see what the course had in store. We’ve both done OCR’s, but amazingly, we have not run together. We were both looking forward to the event and running it together was one of the major bonuses.
Having run it the year before, I knew this was not going to be the most challenging of races. As a seasoned OCR vet (if there is such a thing) my expectation was getting dirty, being competitive with my brother (who’s 12 years younger) and laughing our rear ends off while doing so. MuckFest did not disappoint.
The laughs began at the starting corral. The emcee does a great job taking shots at folks he notices in the crown. One guy was tip toeing around in the mud. The emcee noticed that and immediately called him out. He soon had the racer doing mud angels and splatting his face down into the mud. But it wasn’t all jokes and laughter, the emcee also made sure we all knew why we were there. We were at MuckFest to help raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis research. He made sure to mention that there were folks in each heat that were battling this disease. They all wore a teal/ blue headband and showed the fighting spirit by joining us in the corral. Being a charity event he also mentioned some of the numbers. There was over $600,000 raised. THAT is amazing and I think crushed the last year numbers!
Compared to last year, there were a lot of the same obstacles.
Right out of the gate there were some rolling mud hills and then a staple MuckFest obstacle, the Big Balls which kind of reminds me of something out of Wipeout. Some of the other obstacles that returned this season were the Spider Web, Muck Off, Belly Crawl, Mt Muck-imanjaro, Skid Mark, Swing Set and the Tunnel of Love. They put a new spin (no pun intended) on the Spinner. Last year you grabbed a rope that carried you in circle over water while you held on. This year they used rings, which added a slight bit more of challenge for grip. I loved the new change, I grabbed both rings and flipped upside down for the money shot.
New obstacles were Crash Landing, Flying Muckers and Shake and Quake. Flying Muckers was a fun on. They suspended a zip line over a long pool. You grabbed on until just about the end, and then dropped. No matter how far you got, you were getting wet. And the water was cold. It took quite a few people’s breath away.
This year’s motto was “Built For Laughs” and that’s exactly what this course is about. If you show up thinking you are going for a PR, you’ve chosen the wrong race. They don’t even have timing chips. That is not important to their business model. If you are a seasoned OCR runner and you are showing up with the expectation that obstacles are going to be super challenging, than you will be disappointed. That is also not something that is part of their business model.
Their model is this, FUN! From beginning to end they are trying to do one thing for the participant and that’s to give you a good time. They want you to enjoy yourself, enjoy the company of your friends, family or team. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am appreciative of the fact I got to run this event with my brother as our first. Next, maybe it’ll be something a little more challenging so we can bring out a bit more sibling rivalry!
*Photos By: MuckFest MS