Frightland may be known for its scares and terrors, but it will soon be known for its mud and muck as well.


    Frightland may be known for its scares and terrors, but it will soon be known for its mud and muck as well.
    The fields of the haunted attraction in Middletown, owned by Denni and Nicholas J Ferrara, III, will transform into a muddy 5K obstacle course for the first-ever Delaware Mud Run Sunday, Oct. 11.
    Teams of four will race to the finish line, but before getting there, they must first make a dirty dash up walls and hills, through mud pits and hay mounds, and across a jungle of trees.
    Proceeds raised from the Mud Run will go to the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware, which was also founded by the Ferraras.
    Denni said she loved the idea of having a Mud Run at Frightland because it’s new to the state and a great way to raise funds for a cause.
    “It’s not every day that people get dirty and have fun, but at the same time make a difference in the world,” she said.
    Denni and Nick, whose daughter Natalia was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was 4 years old, founded the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware in 2007 because they wanted to create a foundation that strictly funded research.  A family friend, Christine Meyer and her son Bradley, who was diagnosed with Leukemia at 6 months old, also played a major role in initiating the fundraising efforts.
    “We’re 100 percent volunteer driven,” Denni said. “We have a small but mighty group of volunteers. Everybody helps in ways they can.”
    Todd Roselle of Middletown came up with the idea to do a Mud Run in Delaware after he heard about a similar event in Oregon.
    “I thought, ‘I’d love to do something around here.’ ”  he said. “There’s nothing like it around here, and whenever you do something new, people are going to have fun.”
    Roselle said he decided to approach the Ferraras with the proposition to have it at Frightland because the space was perfect and it would be helpful to their foundation. Roselle is also looking at incorporating a scholarship fund for local students into future Mud Run events.
    “The goal is for this to be an annual event,” he said. “I have two little girls and we live in Middletown. I wanted to be role model for the girls and say, ‘You can do anything you put your mind to.’ ”
    Denni said the goal is to raise $50,000 from the Mud Run.
    “I would be thrilled if we had 500 people participate,” she said.
    Denni said as of Sept. 29, they had 120 teams registered to participate.
    She said the event could appeal to all kinds of people, active or not. Walkers are welcome and encouraged to participate.
    “I really think it’s going to bring people from A to Z for many different reasons,” Denni said. “I think it’s going to appeal to the bigger corporate people because it’s so out of their realm.”
    The daughters of two local politicians have put together a team to raise money for the foundation and compete in the race. Nicole Cathcart-Romano, daughter of Rep. Dick Cathcart (R-9th District), and Heather Boulden-Baranski, daughter of Ken Boulden, clerk of the peace for New Castle County, will race as the “Muddy Ducklings.” 
    Roselle said fitness vendors will also be on site during the event to provide participants and spectators with information on their programs.
    “We want the whole Mud Run to focus on good health in general,” he said. “We’re going to create a long morning out of it.”
    Denni said the four-person teams make the obstacle a team-building event.
    “You start the event together and you finish it together,” she said. “Nobody will be left behind. Just like with cancer patients, we don’t want anyone left behind. We want them to get to the finish line.”

IF YOU GO
What: First Delaware Mud Run
When: Sunday, Oct. 11; Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. The race will begin at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Frightland Haunted Attraction, 309 Port Penn Road, Middletown
Details: Registration costs $100 per four-person team if registered by Oct. 1, and $120 per team registered after Oct. 1. Each team registered by Oct. 1 will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt.  Participants registering as a single will be assigned to a team. For more information go to www.delawaremudrun.com