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.
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!!