Michigan MS Society holds third MuckFest

Evan Carter
The Detroit News
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Huron Township — More than 2,000 expected participants in this year’s MuckFest MS Detroit are going to get more dirty and mud-caked then they’ve ever been in their lives.

Individuals and groups will be slogging through the course in separate “waves” every 20 minutes Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.at Willow Metropark, just south of Detroit Metropolitan Airport

And while this mud race isn’t nearly as intense as others like Tough Mudder and Spartan Dash, it’s obstacles will provide participants with a sloppy challenge.

Individuals and groups will be slogging through the course in separate “waves” every 20 minutes Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.at Willow Metropark, just south of Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Organizers say the race is meant to be fun, but it’s also an important fundraising opportunity for the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This is the third year the society has run the event and hopes to raise $250,000, said Elana Sullivan, the chapter’s president.

“MS is a really serious disease, but it doesn’t mean people can’t have a good time trying to fight it,” she said.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms vary and can range from mild to severe, according to the national society’s website.

The Detroit MuckFest is one of 11 mud races being held coast-to-coast to benefit multiple sclerosis research. Since its inception in 2011, the race has raised $24 million for multiple sclerosis research.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society began hosting MudFest races to attract a new audience to its fundraising events. The Michigan chapter also holds walk-a-thon and bike-a-thon fundraisers in Metro Detroit.

A Chicago group poses at the finish line at a MuckFest MS event.

Saturday’s race is designed to be fun, but force participants to break out of their shell, with a DJ pumping them up and randomly picking members of the wave to get muddy before the race even begins.

Then the race begins. And you begin to get dirty, then wet and then muddy.

The obstacles are nicely spaced out and they're not all the same. Some will require participants to wriggle through mud and others will have them leaping into into pits of water. Some obstacles are technical and involve using a swing to leap into a pool of water or climbing a giant A-frame called Mt. Muck-Imanjaro. Then there’s the simple but profound obstacle where they “walk on water.”

Race officials said the course usually takes one hour to complete, but can take up to two hours.

Money raised through race registration goes to multiple sclerosis research and programs.

excarter@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2613

Twitter: @evancarter_94

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