Inside the Mud Run

This weekend’s mud run race is a big deal in Jacksonville.  Organized and run by the Northeast Florida Chapter of the National MS Society, the local mud run is an extremely popular race for many reasons.  From the raising of the much-needed money to combat Multiple Sclerosis to the physical challenge of a brutal 6.2 mile race through the mud and challenging obstacle to the bonding opportunities involved with such a unique event, the MuckRuckus MS Jacksonville is special.

Yesterday at work, one of my co-workers told me that he was thinking about not racing in the race and “waiting until next year.”  “Don’t even think about it” I said firmly.  Explaining how much fun it is, the fellowship associated with the event and the ability to raise $$ for a crippling disease was much more important than a few nervous butterflies.  He’s in.

This will be my 4th time I’ve competed in this event.  The first year I raced on a 5 man team with 4 local firefighter friends.  I was hooked 2 miles into the race.  I love running off-road and I’m a huge fan of total body challenges that include mental toughness to do well.  Hence the reason why compete in multi-sport events and why I don’t work in a cubicle in a high-rise office building downtown.

The Fun in the Mud

The sport of mud running is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.  Everyone talks about the popularity growth of mixed martial arts (MMA).  Mudders will tell you that they are very different sports for obvious reasons.  MMA is a sport that people watch dudes getting kicked in the head where mud running gets you off the couch and into the sport.  We have no shortage of reasons to keep people sitting on their butts.  We need more activities to get all of us off the couch and back into enhancing our health.

I’ve finished in 2nd place the last two years in the MS Society mud run’s individual race.  Each race has been very challenging, lots of fun and extremely competitive.  All three reasons are why I keep coming back.

Tips to Get the Most Out of the Mud

If you’re new to the sport and you’re nervous, it simply means that you’re human.  Here are a few tips to help make this race less stressful and more fun.  As the  Sports Medicine Advisor to the National MS Society, I enjoy sharing sports medicine tips to help the racers to stay safe and avoid running injuries.

Sports Medicine Tips for the MuckRuckus MS

 Last Tip

Have fun.  Having a healthy mindset is the best place to start for these type of races.  Enjoy the challenge, laugh with your fellow racers, thank the volunteers, acknowledge the fans cheering for you and be proud of what you’re accomplishing.  You’re stepping out of your comfort zone to make your body stronger, your mind dream bigger and the quality of life for those stricken with MS so much better!  I’m proud of you and you should be proud of yourself.

Let’s get dirty!!

Author: Mike Ryan

After 26 seasons as a full-time certified athletic trainer and registered physical therapist in the National Football League, Mike Ryan has outstanding first-hand experience. His unique professional and athletic background has sharpened his skills in the arts of sports injury management, elite rehabilitation, performance enhancement and injury prevention. Mike is now taking his experience to mainstream America. His mission is simple: Sports Medicine advice that is easy to use and brings fast results. Learn more about Mike Ryan