Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

10k Trail Mardi Gras Run 4 Beads

Trails, trails, trails! ¬†I love trails ūüôā ¬†And if you have never been to Smithfield, Virginia or Windsor Castle park its a real treat.

If you’re looking for a small mid winter trail race this is a great one! Smithfield is a beautiful old-fashioned kind of town. The 10k course loops through the slightly hilly dirt packed trails of Windsor Castle Park. Most of the race is on the dirt trails with a small portion of paved trail. It was a cold one this year (27 degrees) for Virginia but the scenery of the trails and the trees blocking some of the wind made for a wonderful run. The 10 AM start also let is warm up from the chilly teens earlier in the morning. I was a little concerned about staying on course since the race has some crossing loops, but the volunteers were great about keeping you on the right track. There was one water table, which you pass twice due to the loops.

The run is timed the old-fashioned way with rip off tags you hand in at the end. Yes there are still such races! ¬†No timing mats or anything of that sort here. If your plan is to place and go out fast, you need to start at the front of the pack. Everyone’s time starts when the horn goes off.

This year there was also a 5k fun color run which started at 11 AM.  No one I know participated but they looked like they were having a good time.

Packet pick up was the day before (Friday). No type of expo or anything like a bigger race, which wasn’t expected.

Swag includes a t-shirt and a free beer/soda at the end of the race. If you wait around for the “party” after the 5k fun color run finishes up (at noon) You are given one ticket for one free beer / soda.

SWAG etc:

There is NO BLING at this race.  Other than the few plastic bead necklaces we got in our bag.  So if bling is your thing your out of luck.  Also NO FREE FOOD whatsoever unless you bring cash, no banana, bars nada.  There was a Barbecue truck and a Chik-Fil-A food truck with food for purchase. The t-shirt is nice and colorful, long-sleeved but it is cotton

The trails and scenery made up for the lack of swag for me.  There are hills, nothing steep, but rolling hills throughout the trails.  So much more interesting that a flat road.  Parking is literally right by the start line so no issues there.

Showers were available at the local YMCA if you finish the 10k and have time to head over there for a shower and a change of clothes before the noon party and awards. I guess that would all depend on how fast you finish.  We chose to skip that and head out to town for lunch.

Smithfield is lovely and has an lovely step back in time type of feel to it. Nice shops, restaurants and bakery are a short drive from the park.

Pre-race "Wear all the clothes" because its cold selfie!

Pre-race “Wear all the clothes” because its cold selfie!

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