Ready, Set, Get Muddy

April 10, 2018

 

Training, said two of the founders of the Daniel Barden Mudfest, makes the difference between a good run and a tough one.

 

“Having fun outdoors like we did when kids is one of the goals,’’ Dan Williams said. “If you’re in decent shape to tackle the course it’s a lot more fun.’’

 

Williams and his sisters Jessica Poyer and Karin Labanca, along with their spouses, created the event at MKJ Farm in Deansboro six years ago. It is done in tribute to Daniel Barden, who lived next door to Labanca and her family when he was killed in a school shooting in Sandy Hook, Conn. in December 2012. 

 

Labanca’s daughter was also in the school that day.

 

The first grader, a kind and energetic little guy, loved playing outdoors. The Williams family created the event not only to raise money for causes in memory of Daniel and the other 19 first graders killed that day, but to provide a day of fun and joy by playing outside.

 

Mudfest also raises money for the Adventure Scholarship for eighth graders from local schools and in Connecticut to spend 12 days on an Adirondack hike with guides.

 

Another goal of Mudfest is healing, as dozens of people from Daniel’s community, including his mom, dad, brother and sister, participate in the event. The course - either a 5k or a 5 mile for those who really want a workout - contains a number of obstacles along with a steady dose of uphill running.

 

“People want to slip and slide,’’ Poyer said. “Most people won’t actually run but use the time between obstacles to catch their breath and get ready for the next one.’’

 

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