Mud, music and memories await mudders

Runners can register day of event at the farm

Are you ready to get muddy? Runners, spectators and volunteers are preparing for the time of their life at the fifth annual Daniel Barden Mudfest. The event, which has been coined “the Boilermaker’s Dirty Little Brother,” is happening Saturday, April 29, at MKJ Farm in Deansboro. The event features a five-mile race, 5K run and a kids half-mile obstacle course.

Each course features both natural and manmade obstacles including mud-filled pits, waterlogged terrain, hills, monkey bars and ropes courses. The 5-mile race is a timed event at 9 a.m., targeting competitive athletes. The 5K run is for people of all abilities with heats starting at 10 a.m., with the last heat at 11:30 a.m. The kids obstacle heats start at 11 a.m. Spectators and athletes will be treated to music including along the course including Gary Robertson, Jr., and outside the big barn including Irish band Simple Props, Grit n’ Grace, Alternate Universe, Crushing June and Third Stone Blues featuring a special guest. DJ’s from WOUR and K-Rock, along with Rockin’ Ron, will entertain runners along the course. Local fare including Ray Brothers BBQ and local fare from the Celtic Harp will satisfy everyone’s post-event appetites.

The Mudfest proceeds will benefit the Daniel Barden Adventure Scholarship. Winners will participate in a 78-mile canoe leadership experience through the Adirondacks in July. As part of the application process teens name a charity that affects them in some way. The Mudfest will donate equally to the charities named. Last year, 15 eighth-graders from Central New York and Connecticut pushed themselves to unimagined lengths as they paddled, camped and meditated in the Adirondack wilderness.

Daniel Barden was one of the first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook, Conn., tragedy in December 2012. A niece of the organizers of the event was inside Sandy Hook Elementary School that day. She escaped physically unharmed; her dear friend and next-door neighbor Daniel, did not. Daniel was a kind and gentle child, who touched the hearts of everyone he met.

Athletes may register for the Daniel Barden Mudfest at www.bardenmudfest.org until midnight Thursday, April 28, or the morning of the event at MKJ Farm in Deansboro. For the convenience of past runners and their friends who are new to the Mudfest, we have extended our early bird deadline until March 17.

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