Padden Mudfest

Sunday, March 5, 2023 – 5K & 10K Trail Runs - 10:00 am

2022 Race Results
2020 Race Results

The Padden Mudfest will be an in person event this year!

All ages of runners/walkers are welcome.

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.

Race Description

The Padden Mudfest is a trail run that takes place on the hilly and wooded trails around Lake Padden in Bellingham. The race is unique in offering an introduction to the muddy conditions, narrow rocky and rooty trails, and challenging hill climbs and descents usually encountered in ultra-marathons, but on a smaller and much more manageable scale. Even the 5k option is challenging, but it is very doable even for relatively young and less experienced runners. Expect narrow winding trails, steep ups and downs, rocks and roots, and—all being well—lots of sloppy and slippery mud.

Note about footwear: 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.

Covid Protocol

If you aren’t feeling well the day of the race, please don’t attend. Please wear your mask/buff at the start and end of the race. When participants pick up their bibs on race day, everyone 12 and over will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their event. We are dedicated to keeping all participants, staff and volunteers safe at the Padden Mudfest Runs. Masks are required at Bib pick up and in common areas during the event. This includes the start and finish lines, gear check & restrooms. Once you have started your event and are safely distanced from others, you are welcome to remove your mask. Please replace your mask at aid stations and after you cross the finish line.

At the time of the event, GBRC will follow all CDC guidelines. If GBRC needs to adjust our policies, participants will be expected to adjust with us. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

Link for more COVID information: hhtp://


This year we will be providing water on the course at 2 locations: 5k @ 1.8 mile mark and 10k @ 3.1 and 4.5 mile marks.  Water and “refueling” goodie bags will be available at the finish.  Unfortunately no soup this year 🙁

Course Description

The race begins adjacent to the Picnic Shelter near the playground and basketball courts at the eastern (golf course) end of Lake Padden. 

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

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 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.

5k Course Map
10k Course Map

Race Rules

  • Please wear your mask/buff at the start and end of race.
  • Baby joggers and dogs are not allowed on the race course.
  • Please do not run with headphones.
  • Please be courteous to all other trail users, fellow runners and race volunteers.
  • Do not leave any litter on the trails or in the start / finish area.
  • This is a zero waste event—if it cannot be composted easily, take it home with you.
  • Have fun, and don’t be a jerk.


  • Free for GBRC members.
  • $15 for non-GBRC members who register online for the 5k race.
  • $20 for non-GBRC members who register online for the 10k race.

There will be no registration refunds or reassignments in the event of race cancellation, rerouting or rescheduling. While we aim to run the race as scheduled, the weather does not always cooperate.

Membership fees range from $35/year (individual) to $60/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 this and other GBRC races, please join the club online by using the following link :

Online registration is now open until March 3rd 11:59pm. There will be no day of registration this year.

Bib pick up: 8:45-9:45  Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test required.



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.

  • Ribbons will be given to the first three competitors in each age group based on 10 year brackets from under 20 to over 70.  There will be no age-grading.
  • Awards will include random prizes, gift certificates, and/or merchandise courtesy of our sponsors.  Must be present to win.

Directions to Race

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 carpool or use public transportation or a bicycle to get to the race if possible.

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 registration area, 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.

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 >