Getting dirty to fight leukemia

Thousands slogged their way through the muddy course to raise money for medical research.

The weather in Delaware has been mostly rainy in recent weeks and has brought about a dreary start to the fall season.  But this weekend, Mother Nature provided sunshine and humidity to provide a perfect day for the annual Delaware Mud Run.

This event is held by the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware to raise money for the study of leukemia and other blood cancers. Over 14,000 people attended to show their support and to have a great time.

The morning started with partly cloudy skies for the Mud Run’s opening festivities. During this time runners were mingling with one another and doing their pre-race rituals. The Philly Phanatic was in attendance offering another source of entertainment to the participants.

Governor Jack Markell was also on hand and offered a few inspirational words about the efforts of the Leukemia Research Foundation and all cancer survivors. “It’s really great what you all are doing and God bless,” said Markell addressing the morning crowd.

Over 830 teams signed up for the run and came out in various costumes and creative ensembles. A team called “The Angry Birds” won the contest for most creative costume for dressing up like the self-titled video game characters. Other notable team names included the Ninja Turtles and Fudd Mudders.

With all of the fun that people had, they didn’t forget the cause behind this great event. In addition to the 830 teams signed up, 80 individuals also ran and donated money. The grand total of all money raised by this event is upwards of $320,000. Awards were given to the top fundraising team “Chromes for Colin” for the third straight year for helping to raise approximately $4,000 for the cause. The Association of Builders and Contractors also received an award for their notable efforts.  A.I. duPont/Nemours’ oncologist Dr. Andy Kolb received a $75,000 check from the Leukemia Research Foundation to fund continued research.

 “The turnout gets better and better every year,” said Denni Ferrara, executive director of the foundation. With nearly 14,000 people there was a large staff needed to orchestrate this event. To the 120 volunteers who made this event possible, Denni says, “Thank You. God bless to all who participated – donors, volunteers, and runners”.  She continued by stating how “amazing” it was to see the turnout and how she hopes to continue this event for years to come.

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