Virtual Padden Mudfest

Mon March 1, 2021 to Wed March 31, 2021 – Virtual

The 2021 Padden Mudfest Virtual courses are the same as last year.

There is a 5k option as well as a 10k option. The 5k course is essentially the second half of the 10k course, and the 10k course is significantly different from the course that has been run in past years. Both courses are hilly, going up and down the trails on the hills surrounding the lake, though both finish with a flat lakefront run along the exposed and scenic shores of Lake Padden. The course maps can be viewed below.

2020 Race Results

Race Description

The Padden Mudfest is a trail run that takes place on the horse trails around Lake Padden in Bellingham. If you have not run the horse trails yet, you are in for a rooty, rocky, and muddy treat! There are aggressive climbs, twisty single-track, and enough to hold your attention. From the winter into early spring, the horse trails are full of slippery mud and a fair amount of water over the trail, which makes it the lovely Mudfest that we relish! This year’s theme is the Mudfest Monster. Watch out, some of these muddy areas will pull your shoe right off and devour it! Slip and splash into an avalanche of mud. (Clean change of clothes not provided this year!) Defeat the Mudfest Monster this year, on your own time, March 1st – March 31st and be eligible for prizes. Run it multiple times and give us your best time. The first time you run it is an eye-opener. Subsequent times, and you’ll just get faster!

Submit your muddiest post-race pictures for prizes to our Facebook page for our photo contest.

Note about footwear: We recommend trail shoes, which can be purchased at our local neighborhood running stores, BBay Running and Fairhaven Runners. (Your race director loves her waterproof Altra Lone Peaks and Timps!)

Please support your local running stores, they have all the gear we need, and they support our incredible local running culture. They are passionate about our running community, and we wouldn’t be where we are as a running club without them!

…and a Note about Group Runs: We look forward to the day when in-person races and our weekly running groups are a thing again. Your race director is longing for the days of GBRC Monday night’s Weekly Trail runs, Tuesday night’s Fairhaven Runners All-Paces, Wednesday Night GBRC Track Workouts, Thursday night’s BBay Pub Runs, Renegade Runners, and BTRC’s trail runs, and free-style Fridays. When group running returns, why not consider joining up with one of the many group running opportunities we are so lucky to have here…you are all missed beyond measure!

Race Rules

  • This is a mixed use trail. Please be aware of other trail users, practice social distancing, and please pull a face covering over your nose and mouth when encountering other trail users. If you are running with a dog, please keep them leashed or under your control in non-off leash areas.
  • There are no aid stations in the virtual edition of the race, so please bring your own hydration and snacks.
  • To submit your race results, please indicate “elapsed time” rather than “moving time.” Specifics for registration, prize categories, and submitting results are forthcoming. Thank you for your patience as your virtual race director works out the details!

Course Description

The virtual race begins and ends at the dog park side at the eastern (golf course) end of Lake Padden. Please begin and end your race at the trailhead sign.

The 10k run starts with a 5k loop over the hill behind the golf course. This first loop begins with an only moderately steep but very long and sustained climb to the high point of the race, followed by a long and winding descent with some quite steep and potentially very muddy and slippery parts, especially near the end. 

The 5k course begins with a very cheeky steep climb up to the ridge that forms the southern edge of the lake basin. It then goes along the ridge, with some potentially very muddy stretches. After a few ups and downs there is a steep descent to the lakeshore at the point where the creek exits the lake.  A brief excursion down the gorge leads to a short rise into the woods behind the western end of the lake, from where the course emerges onto the lakeside and heads to the finish.

Short Course Map
Long Course Map


Online registration details are forthcoming. Beginning February 1st, please register for either the 5K or 10K on Webscorer. Registration is free for all participants.


  • The virtual Padden Mudfest is free for GBRC members and non-members. 

If you wish to become a GBRC member, please join the club online prior to the race by using the following link : Your running club thanks you for your support.

Directions to Lake Padden

From I-5 Northbound: Take the N. Lake Samish Exit 246 and turn left (north) at the stop sign. Drive approximately 2.5 miles to the East Lake Padden entrance. Turn left and follow the road to the playground area.

From I-5 Southbound: Take the Samish Way Exit 252 and turn left to cross over I-5 at the light. Turn right at the next light onto Samish Way. Follow the road for 2.5 miles until the East Lake Padden sign (it will be the second sign for Lake Padden). Turn right and follow the road to the playground area.


Please do not park in either the gravel or the paved parking lots adjacent to the dog park – these are reserved for dog owners and other park users.

Parking is available in the lot above the Rotary Shelter, along the access road, at the boat ramp parking area 1/4 mile from the start, and at the swim area 1 mile from the start.


Awards and categories for prize eligibility will updated.

Race Sponsors

Running Shoe Recycling Program

BBay Running and GBRC have joined together to start a program for runners to recycle their old running shoes. So bring all your old running shoes with you to the Padden Mudfest and we will take them off your hands and keep them out of our landfills. For more info on this program go to shoe recycling & reuse at

Member, Participant & Attendee Benefit

15% Discount Rate at Oxford Suites Bellingham for GBRC Members, Participants & Attendees of the Padden Mudfest.
To access the discount through the Oxford Suites Bellingham website, your members can type “GBRC” in the Promo Code box.
It’s a quick and easy way to make a reservation!

Oxford Suites Bellingham Website >

Contact Info

Your Virtual Padden Mudfest Race Director for 2021: Lindsey Boldrin

For questions, please contact

See our Facebook page for updates!