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Seventh annual Mudfest honors memory of Sandy Hook shooting victim

\Get ready to crawl, climb and clamber to the finish line at the Seventh Annual Daniel Barden Mudfest (DBM) on Saturday, April 27 at the MKJ Farm in Deansboro, N.Y.  

DBM – officially dubbed “The Boilermaker’s Dirty Little Brother” – is a rough-and-tumble mud run obstacle course that offers something for everyone. For competitive obstacle course runners, there is a timed 5-mile run, or a timed 5K. For the less competitive runners who still want a muddy challenge, there is an untimed 5k. There is also a Kids’ Fun Run for ages 5 to 11, so you can get the whole family involved. Plus, hot showers are available to all after the run, meaning no messy cars on the drive home.   

The course is riddled with rugged and whimsical obstacles like the Irish Ninja Warrior, Gravity Cavity, Ring the Bell and more. Each obstacle is uniquely designed and hand-built by the Mudfest masterminds to challenge runners in ways they never imagined. When they cross the finish line, they will feel an incredible sense of accomplishment and grit.

“We are so excited for our biggest Mudfest yet,” race co-founder Dan Williams said. “This year, we’re featuring a few surprise obstacles that will keep our participants talking for months to come. We’ve also made improvements to our kids’ course.”

Whether you choose to run or spectate, you will enjoy music by local talent like The Old Main, BOCNY, 3rd Stone Blues Band, Alternate Universe, The Swamp Divers and Grit and Grace. After the run, fuel up by visiting one of the local food vendors on-site, including Ray Brothers BBQ, Dean’s Concessions, Mangia Macrina’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Grapevine Food Cart.

“This is more than just an obstacle course run; it’s a party,” Williams said. “Participants can look forward to Central New York’s biggest barn dance with a dynamic line-up of local musical talent.”

DBM honors the memory of Daniel Barden, one of the first-grade children killed in the Sandy Hook, Conn. mass shooting in December 2012. A niece of the organizers of the event was inside Sandy Hook Elementary School that day. She escaped physically unharmed, but her friend and neighbor Daniel, did not. Daniel was a kind and gentle child who touched the hearts of everyone he met.

Proceeds from DBM will benefit the Daniel Barden Adventure Scholarship, which selects students for an all-expenses-paid 10-day canoe and camping adventure through the Adirondacks in July in order to instill perseverance, team work, physical fitness and mental wellness. Winners are chosen based on a series of essay questions they submit to apply. As an added bonus, the winners get to designate a charity of their choice to equally fund with DBM proceeds.

Athletes may register for DBM online at bardenmudfest.org until midnight on April 24. They may also register in person at MKJ Farms Friday, April 26 from 5 to 7 p.m., or the morning of the event.

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