Home to one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the country, Colorado is a fitting place to host one of the National MS Society’s 12 events nationwide. The National MS Society is the only nonprofit of its kind to entirely own and operate a mud endurance event: The annual Muckruckus. Last year, the National MS Society raised about $45 million toward MS prevention and research with the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter contributing around $1 million. They now bank on the continued popularity of mud endurance races to increase their fundraising.
“We have been doing walk and bike events for over 20 years,” said Jenifer Doane, director of marketing communication with the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter. “We got into the mud endurance races about four years ago, and within those four years, we doubled the amount of participants, growing at 50 percent a year. And so that’s why we decided to go on our own and create the event and expand it.”
This year, Doane projects that MuckRuckus will bring in more than $360,000, more than double last year’s proceeds from Mud Run.
MuckRuckus provides a range of challenges that all participants can enjoy, boasting three courses with varying levels of difficulty: an amateur course, a competitive course and a kids’ course. There’s also the choice of running a 5-mile course or a 3-mile course. And if the only place you’ll ever be caught wallowing in mud is at a day spa, you can still sign up to sit in the spectator stands, where you’ll be allowed to fling mud at contestants as they run by.
Brooke Iverson knows how important the money raised from MuckRuckus is. She was diagnosed with MS in 2009 and experiences periodic episodes of severe fatigue, accompanied with numb, tingling limbs. The daily injections of medication that help stabilize her condition so she can work and enjoy an active life are a direct result of the kind of research funding that events like MuckRuckus help raise. Iverson competed last year in Mud Run, and will be competing again in MuckRuckus this year as captain of her team, the tutu- and bandana-sporting Sloppy GI Joes. She’s also one of the event’s coordinators.
“Last year, one of my friends found the Mud Run, and I just wanted to not only raise money for that, but I also wanted to show people that even if you have MS, you can still do great things,” Iverson said. “I want to get across how important the event is for Colorado, because MS is Colorado’s disease. The more people we get, the more funds, and one day, hopefully, a cure.”
Date August 4
Location Grand Park in Winter Park
To register Go to muckruckusms.org, call 303-698-7470, or show up on the day of the event.