Padden Mudfest

Sunday, March 3, 2024 – 5K & 10K Trail Runs - 10:00 am

2023 Race Results

Race Description

The Padden Mudfest is a trail run that takes place on the trails of Lake Padden Park in Bellingham, WA.  Ed and Kathleen Harri launched the race in 2003 as a 12k event held in early November during Fall rains.  Tjalling Ypma took the baton in 2008 as race director through 2019.  Over the years weather related site conditions reduced the course length.  In 2020 the 5k event was added to attract additional participants.  The Mudfest continued during the COVID years of 2020 and 2021 as virtual races became the norm in the running community.  

Next year’s event will mark the 22nd anniversary of the race!  The race is unique in offering an introduction to conditions usually encountered in ultra-marathons, but on a smaller and much more manageable scale.  Expect narrow winding trails, steep ups and downs, rocks and roots and, all being well, lots of sloppy and slippery mud courtesy of the Mudfest Monster.  

Both courses follow the upper trails known as the horse trails above the lake, though both finish with a flat lakefront run along the exposed and scenic shores of Lake Padden.  The 5k course is essentially the second half of the 10k course.  Both courses are challenging but the 5k is doable even for relatively young and less experienced runners.  However it’s suggested young runners do a pre-race run on the 5k course.  Maps and more course description follow below.

Footwear note: Trail shoes or running shoes with an aggressive tread and good lacing are highly recommended. Due to the rocky and rooty nature of parts of the course, spikes are not recommended.

PACIFIC MULTISPORTS will provide chip timing for both races.

Course Description and Maps

Both races begin adjacent to the Picnic Shelter near the playground and basketball courts at the eastern (golf course) end of Lake Padden.

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. There will also be an aid station at this point. 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.

Water will be provided on the course at 2 locations: 5k @ 1.8 mile mark and 10k @ 3.1 and 4.5 mile marks.

5k Course Map

Both races begin adjacent to the Picnic Shelter near the playground and basketball courts at the eastern (golf course) end of Lake Padden.

The 10k course begins 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. There will be an aid station at the 5k mark, where the 10k course joins the 5k course.

Water will be provided on the course at 2 locations: 5k @ 1.8 mile mark and 10k @ 3.1 and 4.5 mile marks.

10k Course Map

Entry Fees

  • GBRC members (5k or 10k): $10.00 (chip timing cost)
  • Non-members: $15 for 5k, $20 for 10k
  • Kids 12 and under: $5 for 5k, $10 for 10k
  • Day-of registration: +$5.00 to above fees (cash or check only)
  • GBRC membership fees range from $45/year (individual) to $70/year (family).  Youth and Senior rates are also available!  If you wish to become a GBRC member and enjoy free or reduced price race entry into all GBRC races, please join the club online by using the following link:

Note: GBRC is unable to refund registration fees if you are unable to attend the race. GBRC is unable to refund registration fees if the race is cancelled due to weather, road or air conditions, or other unforeseen situations.  GBRC is a 501(c)(3) NON-PROFIT organization  run by volunteers.

Online registration for the March 3, 2024 race will open December 3, 2023.


Packet Pickup

Race chips and bib numbers will be picked up at the Lake Padden Picnic Shelter the day of the event beginning at 8:30 AM.  There is NO early packet pick up.

Race Etiquette

In order to keep our race safe and enjoyable for all participants, we have a few safety requests:

  • Feel free to listen to anything you please through ONE ear bud during the race, allowing the other ear to hear other runners, traffic, and race information.
  • Baby joggers are not allowed on the race course.
  • NO dogs allowed on the course.
  • This is a zero waste event, if it cannot be easily composted, please take it home with you.
  • Please be courteous to all other trail users, fellow runners and race volunteers.
  • Lastly, have fun! 

Post Race Awards and Food

Race medals and prizes will be awarded to the top three podium finishers overall in the 5k and 10k (female/male).  Medals will also be awarded to the overall youngest and eldest (female/male) finishers (5k or 10k).  Placement ribbons will be given to the first three finishers in each age group (female/male) based on 5 or 10 year brackets from 10 and under to 80 plus.  There will be no age-grading.  Awards will also include random prizes, gift certificates, and/or merchandise courtesy of our sponsors.  All awards will be available for pick up at the awards table at the conclusion of the race.  There will not be an awards ceremony.

Sustainability Prizes: Thinking about carpooling, biking (making it a duathlon day) or even taking the bus to the race?  There will be prizes for the largest carpool group as well as the furthest bike and bus commutes.  WTA’s Route 533 arrives/departs every hour at :25 after the hour at the Samish Way/E. Lake Padden stop.  Please refer to Whatcom Transportation Authority’s website for additional info.

After the race yummy refreshments including hot soup will be available.  The race shelter is covered but not enclosed.  If the weather forecast is cold and/or wet, it’s suggested participants bring extra dry clothing.  GBRC apparel will also be available for purchase on race day.


  • Please carpool or use public transportation or go by bike to get to the race if possible.  See Awards section for more info.
  • Parking is available in the lot above the registration area, along the access road in designated areas, at the boat ramp parking area (1/4 mile from the start) and at the swim area (1 mile from the start).
  • 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.

Directions to the Race

From I-5 Northbound (from Seattle): 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 and GBRC signs 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 and GBRC signs to the playground area.

Past Race Results and Records

The following course records were first established in 2020 when the 5k course was added which necessitated a new 10k course layout.  Of the records shown below, despite difficult conditions, the 2023 race produced 4 new records (noted in bold font).

Overall fastest times:

  • 5k female – Alma McMurtry – 23:10.3 (2020)
  • 5k male – Brooks DeWaard – 20:15.7/6:31 mile pace (2023)
  • 10k female – Aili Emory – 52.19.4 (2020)
  • 10k male – David Larpenteur – 40:02.0 (2022)

Age group 10 & under (youngest finishers):

  • 5k female – Kemmer Speyer 32:45.6/10:32 mile pace (2023)
  • 5k male – Fredrik Kristiansen – 26:40.7/8:35 mile pace (2023)

Age group 70 – 79 (wisest finishers): 

  • 5k female – Susan Bennerstrom 35:41.1/11:29 mile pace (2023)
  • 5k male – Terry Hileman – 29:56.0 (2022)

2022 Race
2020 Race

Race Sponsors

 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

Contact Info

Larry Kwiatkowski, Race Director


Terry Hileman, Co-Race Director