IRVINGTON, NJ – Dr. John Taylor, the Irvington High School Athletic Director, is a self-proclaimed avid mud runner.
In fact, he has participated in the MuckFest MS New Jersey for the past few years. MuckFest MS New Jersey is an event that donates all proceeds to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
“Overall, I think I’ve done around 20 mud runs from different organizations (I.e. tough mudder, spartan race, warrior dash),” wrote Taylor in an email to EssexNewsdaily.com.
“My daughter, Molly, now 6 years old, has been doing mud runs for the last year,” continued Taylor. “MuckFest was her fourth event. She’s also run one Color Run, one 5K, and over 30 1/4 mike, 1/2 mile or 1 mile races. Many races are fundraisers for charitable causes. But I’ve never had an emotional attachment to a race I’ve done before.”
Over the last year, Taylor said he and IHS head football coach Smoke Pierre have gotten to know one another and learned that their wives both suffer from debilitating illnesses. Taylor’s wife,, Andreya, suffers from gastreoporisis (paralysis of the stomach and small and large intestines), and Coach Pierre’s wife, Jasmine, deals with MS.
“We tend to bond a bit as guys who love our jobs and want to support our families. We both have young children, and at least for me, there’s always the anxiety of when I’ll get the phone call saying Andreya has to go back in the hospital again.
“When it was time to sign-up for Muckfest again, I felt that emotional attachment towards a race for the first time. I immediately thought of Coach Pierre’s wife, and wanted to sign myself and Molly up to run it.”
This year’s race took place Saturday, July 21, in Somerst.
The race is expensive, with a $85 per entrance fee. “But knowing all the money went to the MS Society, I thought it was worth it,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he set up a team page and asked for donations via social media. “All together, I got $105 in donations, meaning we were able to give $275 to the MS society between race registration fees and the donor page. It’s not much in the overall scheme of things, but it’s something,” Taylor said.
“I tweeted out pictures of Molly running the race, and was immediately contacted by MuckFest about including Molly in their social media campaigns,” continued Taylor. “I told them about Coach Pierre’s wife, and that was the main reason we ran and did some fundraising. They said they wanted to include that in their campaign, but at this point, I don’t know what their plans are.”
According to MuckFest’s website, there were 3,000 runners. In all, they grossed $318,000 for the events. Since the MuckFest race began, they’ve raised over $30 million for the National MS Society.
Here is the link:
Photos courtesy of Dr. John Taylor.
The photo gallery shows Dr. John Taylor’s 6-year-old daughter, Molly, taking part in MuckFest activities.