Lowcountry Trail 5K Recap

Two weeks after the marathon and I’m already running races again!

Notice I said running races, not *racing*.

Since I felt kinda crummy for an entire week post-marathon and had some rough runs, I’d like to say running in organized, timed, events rather than racing. In other words, I’m not going *PR or ER*, as my friend Alex (Tour de Blue Shoes) says. Not even close. 


Knowing how competitive I can be in road races, I picked a nice trail run 5K today, the Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K.

Hosted by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, this inaugural event was more of an event than a competitive rat race. The coveted award of the day was the “Golden Horseshoe”.


If you’re coming back from a marathon or just want to run to enjoy it, I recommend trail runs. My times on trail runs are always pretty slow- mostly because I’m a klutz and scared of falling, but the trails are beautiful and nice to your knees!

I pre-registered for the Lowcountry Trail 5K on Friday, and I woke up on Saturday morning at 6:30 to caffeinate, hydrate, and drive 25 minutes to Mullet Hall on John’s Island. Sleeping until 6:30 felt like sleeping in- normally by 6:30 on Saturday mornings, I’m 3 miles into a long run!

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It was fun to sleep in, and the weather was still great from 8:30-9:00 when I was running, but I knew it’d be a little warm for the half marathoners. It’s been unseasonably warm here in Charleston lately…

I got to the race at 7:40ish and found Virginia to take some pre-race pics. It’s her first race back after having Stella, so it was fun welcoming her back to the running community post-pregnancy!


The 5K started at 8:30 and we were off. I held back the first mile secretly hoping for a negative split (when you run each mile faster than the last), but that’s next to impossible on a trail because they’re so unpredictable! You never know what kind of terrain is around the next turn, and since this was an inaugural race and not super close to home, I couldn’t run or drive the course before. The first mile was actually the easiest terrain!

At the water stop, the girl ahead of me physically *stopped* to drink her water, leaving me asking volunteers if I was going the right way! Yikes! She ended up passing me again later on the 2nd mile (she finished 3rd overall).

All the times were slower because the trail was pretty rough. At one point, we ran through sand that felt smushy underneath my feet, and I even saw a slithery reptile- yikes! Luckily, it was one of those harmless little green snakes.

I crossed the finish line in 26:08 according to the clock, and the course was right on a 5K, not long or short. No coveted horseshoe trophy for me, but I left Mullet Hall with quite the “haul”.


With all the roots, rocks, limps, and leaves on the course, I really can’t complain. The trail was tougher than the CrossBridge Pancake 5K I did the week before my marathon. I’m not running fast so I can’t expect to race fast, and I’m playing it safe two weeks after a marathon!

Virginia finished in just around 30 minutes and her friend Sara finished right after me, we got really sweet pint glasses for winning our age groups!


The Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K was also a great event because it was just that- an event. Complete with an after party, the half marathon and 5k featured post-race libations from Palmetto Brewing, along with pizza, hot chocolate, and music from a local band. The race fee was a steal- only $28 for Charleston County residents, and it included a pretty cool long-sleeved, blue tech shirt, along with the beer and Coastal Crust pizza.


Coastal Crust is a mobile pizzeria, which is a really fun concept. The brick oven is built into the truck, and the owners drive to cater races, bike rides, and brew events. The pizzas are made to order, then fired inside the brick oven. They’re pretty fast making them, and the pizza was delicious and light- some of the best post-race food I’ve ever had. I definitely made up for the lack of post-race food at the Darlington Marathon by enjoying half of the Coastal Crust pizza (they weren’t huge pizzas).


Virginia, Sean, Stella, Sara, and I hung out underneath a shade tree and ate our pizza while watching the half marathoners finish the race. Lots of them finished muddy due to their course also being rough and a few falls, but they got through it- including a few first timers. Kudos to anyone who did this as their first half marathon on such a tough trail course.



I really enjoyed the Lowcountry Trail 5K; the race organizers and volunteers did a great job, especially for an inaugural event, and it had a really fun atmosphere. I hope to do it again next year because it was a really fun run!



This entry was posted in 5Ks, John's Island, Race Recaps, Trail running and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Lowcountry Trail 5K Recap

  1. LilMysNinja says:

    I’m pretty jealous of your trail races. We don’t have many of those around here probably cause we don’t have many good trails for a race. Next time I’m down, I’d love to meet up for a run on one of those trails if you don’t mind showing me one and of course, going my slower pace? 🙂

    How cool to have a brick oven in a mobile truck too! That pizza looked deelish!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      We do have a lot of trail races and trails here. Our trails are pretty flat though, this is Charleston… but some are harder than others (I consider this one of the harder ones I’ve run).

      Come down and we’ll run. It’s not like my pace is all that anyway and in trail runs, it’s not so much about speed- which is what makes them fun sometimes.

      The pizza was pretty delicious :). A pizza making truck is just so fun!

  2. Congrats on your age group win! That pizza looked amazing! I may have to stalk the pizza company to see where they will be at next haha! My knee is starting to feel better so I’m pretty confident I’ll be running with you soon after I get back from Puerto Rico!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Hooray for your knee feeling better!

      Coastal Crust is great, it’s thin crust neopolitan pizza. But, it’s not like your ordinary food truck. Roti Rolls, AutoBahn, etc… those trucks go somewhere, park, and serve. Coastal Crust mostly does catering or events, rather than just showing up at the Farmer’s Market or at a food truck rodeo, etc. It would be neat if they did though, they could definitely get the business!

      Have fun in PR, that will be a nice way to recover from 26.2!

  3. Steph says:

    An age group win 2 weeks post-marathon? That is awesome. You are awesome.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks, it was a pretty small race though. Only like 42 people did the 5K. If I’d pushed the pace and set out to “race” it, I could definitely beat the time I ran.

      I just want to be careful right now, but I am feeling a lot better so I think I will start back with some intervals or hills this week!

  4. Jessica R says:

    Nice race! Probably a smart move taking it easy this soon after your first (right, this was your first?) full marathon. Good jab snagging an AG award.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah- it was my first (and probably last) full.

      I actually like trail races when I need to take it easier on my body. The distance itself is harder, but I know I won’t push my pace like I would on the road. If I’m on pavement I can go a lot faster and that probably wouldn’t have been the best idea. I always slow down on trails because I’m so paranoid about falling!

      • Jessica R says:

        You don’t want to do another full? I need a redemption full for my first disaster then we will see how I feel about them after that. I have never done any trail running. Another thing I need to look into.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        I thought about a redemption full because I know I could do better, but the training was super hard on my body and I don’t know that I want to put it through that again so soon.

        Marathons take a lot of out you physically, but also mentally- and it takes a lot of time away from other things you might want to do- including other sports/activities and just having free time to do non-running things with friends and family.

        Even if I did decide to do another full, I would probably wait a few years and it would be a meaningful or fun race.

  5. allieksmith says:

    I’m glad you’re getting back into races (even if your not PR or ERing–haha!). I think it’s a smart idea to do trail runs and races to kinda slow down and enjoy it all instead of race race!!

  6. Nice to see you running again, I am sure it feels good! Congrats on the AG win and enjoying the race- that’s what is most important!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly, yeah it does feel good just to get back out there after the marathon. I’m hoping to do some more 5Ks and 10Ks soon in the next few weeks. It’s so much more fun to race and run a shorter distance!

  7. Wow! Wonderful job on the trails! Were these hard core trails, as in uphill, downhill, S turns, etc.? That’s amazing! My parents and I just went for a walk on one of the nearby trails here, and we had a hard time just walking uphill. We’re all out of shape, but I’m willing to start working with it.
    That’s awesome how Virigina is running well after having a baby, and how you’re running well after your marathon. 🙂
    The pizza looks good, minus the olives… unless they’re kalamata olives. But I only like kalamata olives in the Greek salad we have at work (which a customer informed me that it’s not a “real” Greek salad. haha).
    Have a good day!

  8. I really liked this race. I was impressed. I think I will do it every year. Great job on your wonderful finish.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks, it was a lot of fun. Really great race for a first year event and so close by. Glad to see another half marathon in the Charleston area too, really good for people like you who are training for full marathons to use as a training run, or anyone who wants to do a trail race.

  9. Pingback: Trail run expected to provide Omaha food bank with 24,000 meals | Sykose Extreme Sports News

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