DEANSBORO, N.Y - Cold, snowy, and of course very muddy, that was the scene at MKJ Farms in Deansboro for the 7th annual Daniel Barden Mudfest.
Runners came by the hundreds to take part in either a 5K or 5 Mile run uphill through cold water, mud, and various obstacles throughout the course.
Mudfest was created in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting back in 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 children. One of those victims was 7-year-old Daniel Barden, the run is dedicated to his memory.
"He was an amazing boy, he would run down the driveway and wave goodbye as you were leaving. When he was in kindergarten he would ride the school bus and if he saw someone crying because they missed their mom or someone, he would sit and comfort them," said Karin Labanca, Daniel Barden's neighbor.
Karin's brother Dan Williams designed the course based off of Daniels Personality. He created obstacles throughout the course that require runners to work together to get passed.
Runners throughout the community came out today to participate and show their support. One of those runners was Marshall Peck.
"The first year I did it, and people who I have no idea who they were, coming up and patting me on the back saying are you OK? I keep coming back because its a sense of community it really is," said Peck.
When runners crossed the finish line at the bottom of the hill, a medal was waiting for them as well as a crowd of spectators. But organizers are hoping that runners today will leave Mudfest with more than just a medal and muddy feet.
" Today we are going suffer in the rain, and it's going to be cold and it's going to be snowy. So we are asking you to suffer for a couple of hours. And if you can try and imagine what these families will suffer from for the rest of their lives, when they lose a loved one to gun violence, its a ripple that never goes away," said Labanca.
All of the money gathered from Mudfest goes towards sending eleven 8th grade students on a canoe trip in the Adirondacks. The money that is left over will be donated to various charities throughout the community.
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