MuckFest MS is a family event, so the festival area was loaded with lots of families, friends, and couples all having a good time. Music played throughout the event and this only helped make for fun times and smiles.
The course was nice and flat throughout, but it was over 90 degrees and directly in the sunlight almost the entire time. The course started out with an obstacle called “Triple Pits”, which was three muddy up and downs over high mounds of dirt and very muddy water between each mound. Right from the get-go, racers were covered in mud! If memory serves me right, the next obstacle was “Big Balls”, which were gigantic balls swinging over mud trenches.
The course went on a brief trail sprint and eventually the next obstacle was “Tunnel of Love (Over)”, which was a hurdle over two tube crawls. The next obstacle was “Mt. Muck-Imanjaro” a rope ladder/climb obstacle that was one of the more challenging obstacles on the course. The course went on to “Spider Web (Under)”, was many stretchy ropes criss-crossed to make a spider web obstacle that was both fun and challenging. The course then looped around and came back to “Spider Web (Over)” which took racers over the first spider web obstacle via a rope web climb and crawl.
The next obstacle on the course was “Flying Muckers”, which was one of my favorite obstacles of the day! This was a zip-line obstacle over the water and it was fun! The zip-line distance wasn’t that far and didn’t expect it to be, considering the MuckFest course is designed for racers of all age and skill level, but it was still fun and the first time I have actually seen a zip-line used as an obstacle. Swing Set was one of my favorites! This obstacle was a large swing that racers stood on and then held on to the sides and got the swing swinging and then jumped from the swing into water that was deep enough to jump/dive into. I opted to dive off the swing, rather than just jump feet first and it was fun times!
The course continued on to “Spill Hill”, a hill climb up very slippery mud with the assistance of both a rope and other racers. This was the only obstacle on the entire course with a delay as most of the racers required assistance to get up the hill or it just took them time to climb up it. The course had another brief trail sprint and came to “Tight Rope”, which was a rope traverse obstacle that was a shorter distance then I typically see at obstacle course races, but this was good as MuckFest is a race that is focused on raising money for charity than intimidating obstacles. The course then came to “The Spinner”, another obstacle I really enjoyed and a new obstacle for me. The obstacle was basically a merry-go-round with hanging monkey rings and racers have to hold on to the monkey ring and go in a complete circle above the water while holding on to the money ring without falling into the water. I would love to see other OCR’s use this obstacle as I think it’s a challenge for any skill/athlete level and if designed right would not have any issues with long delays.
At this point the course made its way back to the festival area for the last few obstacles. The next obstacle was “Crash Landing”, which was a climb up a high platform and then racers leaped off onto a stunt authentic air cushion landing. A very short distance later was the next obstacle “Skid Mark” and on this one we had to drag ourselves across the mud via a rope on our backs and then immediately after was the obstacle “Belly Crawl” which was a crawl through another tunnel tube that was really muddy! This was the end of the race, but the mud was deep and it took concentration to not fall into it while crossing the finish line.
MuckFest MS was my fourth OCR of the weekend and was the most entry level events of the four. Events like this are great for the industry as they give all abilities levels a chance to experience the OCR industry. I really enjoyed the overall makeup and design of the course and obstacles as they are great for racers looking to have fun and overcome fears. The course had several obstacles in the water and several challenging climbs and also was by far the muddiest course of the weekend for me.
The schwag was a nice shirt, but no finisher medal. I plan to make my own finisher medal though!
Overall Event Rating:
The course was fun and challenging, the weather in Pennsylvania was amazing and with all the water obstacles the heat never really was a major factor. The volunteers and staff were all amazing and friendly and most importantly of all, a great deal of money was raised for a great charity! I am rating the event a 4.8 out of 5 stars.
I have to close this article talking about the best part of this event; MuckFest MS raised just under $600,000 for the National MS Society just from the MuckFest MS Philadelphia event alone!, which is amazing! I would suggest taking part in a future MuckFest MS for sure!
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