Muddy Buddy Nick Waaler

Muddy Buddy: Nick Waaler

Nick Waaler, of Sandy Hook, CT, is a four-time Mudfest participant. He is a friend of the Barden family, and that makes participating in the event especially poignant. It is always the beginning of the run that stays with Nick. “I really love the start of the mud run, where we honor Daniel on one knee, repeat the oath, and bless each other with a little mud.  That moment of remembrance stays with you the entire run.”

Nick also loves the element of challenging fun Mudfest presents. “The first obstacle is brilliant because you’re left under no illusion that you’re truly going to get super filthy once you discover you’re shoulder height in muddy water. All of it really, from crawling under the net in a mud pit, through tubes underground, walking tightropes, going uphill using ropes, going downhill using ropes, climbing walls, going through tires and finally onto the balance beam, at the end, where you are awarded your well-deserved medal closely followed by a warm water hose down.”

Of course, the celebration at the end of the race – and the celebration of the life of Daniel Barden – are what draw Nick, his wife and their children back to the event each year. “The icing on the cake is the gathering afterward with great music and food on offer; it is such a fun filled day that honors life in a unique and special way. Mudfest has become an annual event on our family calendar.”


Nick said that for his children, Mudfest takes precedence, even over a spring break vacation. “We always make a weekend of it, staying at a local hotel, and we continue the party late into Saturday night. We love the mud, we love the mayhem, we love the music and we love the memories. Mud, Mayhem, Music and Memories.”

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