I LOVED the Run 4 Beads 5K. We made it into a weekend get-away, and stayed at Smithfield Station, which is right on the water and within walking distance to the race. The course was more difficult than I anticipated because I didn't expect hills at all, but I ended up PRing and almost placing in my age division. Parts of the course were beautiful, such as the boardwalk across the marsh to Windsor Castle Park and the park itself. Smithfield is a beautiful little town with some very impressive historic homes.
The race finished on the main street of town, in the middle of a small Mardi Gras festival. Instead of a medal, we got Mardi Gras beads at the finish line. Lots of people were dressed up in Mardi Gras attire, so there was a fun, festive atmosphere. There was a beer garden, food vendors, and several restaurants nearby.
Race host: Isle of Wight-Smithfield-Windsor Chamber of Commerce
Registration: through Active.com or you can print out registration form on their website and mail it in
Cost: 10K - $30 / $40 after January 1
5K - $25 / $35 after January 1
1K - $10 / $15 after January 1
Expo/packet pick up: No expo. Early Packet pick-up Friday, February 5th from 3:00-7:00pm at the Isle of Wight-Smithfield-Windsor Chamber of Commerce, 100 Main Street, Smithfield. They also had race-day packet pick up.
Getting there/parking: We opted to make a weekend of it and stay at Smithfield Station, which was perfect, because we could walk to the race from there. (Highly recommend Smithfield Station.) Finding parking in town may be difficult, so I recommend getting there early.
Total number of runners: In 2015, there were 148 runners in the 10K and 241 in the 5K
Course: The 5K course begins in downtown Smithfield then runs into Windsor Castle Park. In the park, you’re on narrow, mildly-technical trails for a little while, which can be frustrating as people slow down going up the multiple small hills. Once out of the woods, the trail improves, then the course returns to Smithfield by road. There were a number of small hills in the park, then a couple large hills (including one right before the finish) in town. Neither 5K nor 10K is USATF certified.
Management - well done by Peninsula Track Club
SAG: Water stops
Swag: BEADS! Long-sleeved cotton t-shirt
Post-race food: not much, but food vendors and restaurants close by
Post-race party: Beer garden!
Award divisions: 5 year age divisions and best Mardi Gras-themed costume
Awards ceremony: very nice
Bag check: n/a