Barden MudFest returns dirtier than ever after two-year hiatus

DEANSBORO — After two years without an official large-scale event due to the pandemic, the annual Daniel Barden Mudfest returns “bigger and muddier than ever” on Saturday, April 23 at MKJ Farm.

Mudfest – officially dubbed “The Boilermaker’s Dirty Little Brother” – is a mud obstacle course, according to the organizer. For competitive obstacle course runners, there is a 5-mile timed race or a timed 5k. For less competitive runners who still want a muddy challenge, there is an untimed 5k. There’s also a Kids’ Fun Run for ages 5 to 11, so runners can get the whole family involved. Hot showers are available for all after the race, which means there are no messy cars on the way back.

This year’s event will feature new obstacles, in addition to some returning favorites. Each obstacle is uniquely designed and hand-built by the masterminds of Mudfest to challenge runners in ways they never imagined, organizers say, so that when participants cross the finish line, they will feel an incredible sense of accomplishment and camaraderie.

Athletes can register for the DBM online at until midnight in April
20. They can also on the morning of the event, before the start times of the race.

After treading the mud to the finish, attendees will find downtown New York’s largest barn party with food, drink and music.

The main sponsor of the event is PepsiCo. Vendors include Ray Bros BBQ and Mangia Macrina’s wood-fired pizza. Musical guests include Grit N Grace, Janet Batch, the Four-Bangers, Alternate Universe and others.

“It’s been two long years of not being able to safely host Mudfest as we know it and
I love it during the pandemic,” said race co-founder Dan Williams. “We are so thrilled to have that sense of courage, spirit and togetherness back – all in memory of Daniel.”

The event honors the memory of Daniel Barden, one of the first grade children killed in the
Sandy Hook, Connecticut, December 2012 mass shooting. A niece of event organizers was inside Sandy Hook Elementary School that day.

She escaped physically unscathed, but not her friend and neighbor Daniel. Daniel was a kind and gentle child who touched the hearts of everyone he met, organizers said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Daniel Barden Adventure Scholarship, which selects
students for an all-expenses-paid 10-day canoeing and camping adventure through the Adirondacks in July to instill perseverance, teamwork, physical fitness and mental well-being. Winners are chosen based on a series of essay questions they submit to apply. As an added bonus, winners can nominate a charity of their choice to equally fund DBM’s proceeds.

Mudfest offers sponsorship opportunities and information is available online at: They are also looking for volunteers who can register online at: