Don’t miss Delaware’s largest mud run Sept. 20

September 5, 2015

The largest mud run in Delaware will take place Sunday, Sept. 20, at Frightland in Middletown. To the Ferrara family it will mean a lot more than running a race and getting dirty. Instead, it will be a sober reminder of the battle their daughter waged against leukemia and a way for them to give hope to those who face the same disease.

In 1998, Nick and Denni Ferrara were faced with the harsh reality that their 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter Natalia had been diagnosed with leukemia. All they could do was hope, pray and trust in the doctors to save her life and bring her back to health again. It would undoubtedly be a long and difficult journey, but they had no choice, so they dug in for the fight and put their trust in the man upstairs.

Fortunately, with the help of state-of-the-art technology and some amazing doctors, Natalia made a full recovery and is now a 21-year-old college student in her third year at Neumann University. The family's struggle ignited a passion to make a difference and find a way to help fight against this awful disease. Natalia’s mother Denni began volunteering at leukemia organizations to try to give back and help others facing the same hardships her family had lived through. In 2007 she branched out on her own and established the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware. This small organization was founded with the idea that 100 percent of the proceeds be used to fund blood cancer research by holding annual fundraisers. Through these efforts, the Delaware Mud Run was born.

The run started out as a 5K, but when a friend suggested the unique idea of changing it to a mud run, they never looked back. The event has grown each year. The mud run was purposely designed to be run in teams of four, and team members must start and finish together, symbolizing the support and cooperation families facing the disease will need to make it through the difficult times. In just a few years, the race has grown into a huge event with 15,000 spectators and nearly 4,000 participants, and has raised over $1 million for leukemia research. “The race can be as aggressive as you want if that’s what you want, but it’s also a fun-filled family event with tailgating, breakfast foods and costumes with a Mardi Gras theme,” said Mike Womer, a close family friend of the Ferraras and the owner of 1614 Fitness in Bear. “Go run the race, have a good time and have a scrapple sandwich when you finish."

Registration ends Friday, Sept. 11, at 11:59 p.m., so don’t wait. This race will not disappoint, and it will continue to grow and raise money for a noble cause. If you want to have fun doing something physical, have an awesome time and support a great cause, go to and sign up now. The race is also looking for volunteers to help and spectators to cheer until every team crosses the finish line. If you can’t participate, you can still be part of this wonderful event.


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