Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K (24:31)

Confession: I am not a trail runner.

Each weekend, the Charleston area has multiple races and events, and 90% of the time, I choose the road event. I like running the bridge, roads, bike paths, and on the track. Repeats on the “evil oval” are my idea of a good time, and I don’t mind the treadmill.

I’m scared of snakes and other wildlife in the woods, and I don’t like dirt and mud. If I sign up for a trail race, it is for a good cause.


The Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K was a great cause in memory of Peyton, my friend Noah’s son who passed away due to a seizure in 2013. Peyton was nine years old and already wise beyond his years. He helped his dad coach the MooreOnRunning Couch to 5K class, encouraged other runners, and was a rockstar athlete for the Mt. Pleasant Recreational Department- throwing javelin, running track, and playing football. Peyton was a boy scout, honor roll student, and all around good kiddo.

Hundreds of runners, walkers, and volunteers came together on Saturday to remember Peyton and support his family by participating in the 5K or 50K (10 X 5K format, which is 10 hours with runners completing a 5K on the hour each hour).

Race Day

The “everyone 5K” started at 11 AM, right in the middle of the 50K (10 x 5K) run. With a late start, I slept in until 8 AM, drank coffee and ate breakfast, and went for a shakeout run in my neighborhood. Normally, I opt to warm up at the race, on the race course, but with the ultra and relay runners on the course, this wasn’t an option.

I also wanted to make sure my old, worn out, shoes worked before wearing them during the race. I don’t have trail shoes, so I just save my worn-out trainers for dirty runs, and I hadn’t worn these since last year’s Peyton 5K. For the record, I wore Mizuno Wave Precision, which were last made in 2013- so they were OLD. The shoes felt okay so I headed out for the 45 minute drive to Laurel Hill Plantation.

A few ultra runners gave me course updates on Facebook, saying it was pretty muddy and technical. The 50Kers ran four 5Ks before the “everyone 5K” started, so the course got worse as the day progressed.


I’ve worked for years to drill road racing strategies into my head and legs, and this trail run would go against those strategies. First, you have to race the course, not the clock. Second, I had no clue who the competition was. Some runners on the course were ultra runners and some were “everyone 5Kers”- and there was no way to know who.

With no mud at the start, I started too fast on purpose. I wanted to get ahead of as many people as possible because passing would be hard on a single-track trail in the woods. I also wanted to run as fast as I could on the non-muddy, dirt road areas. Most of my running was slower because the course only had a few sections of hard, packed, terrain. The course signs had pictures of Peyton, and this was a nice touch and reminder of who the race honored.


We hit the mud pretty early in the first mile, as well as a 180 turn straight into the woods- and more mud. My first mile split was 8:08, and I found myself asking where all the mud came from because it hasn’t rained in Charleston in several weeks. It wouldn’t surprise me if Noah dumped water on the course the night before and created the mud holes himself. I avoided as much mud as possible, but when I couldn’t, I felt my feet sink into the mud. My already-too-heavy-for-5K-racing trainers soaked up the mud and got heavier.

In Mile 2 (8:36), I found myself running by 2 kids and behind another female. I knew she wasn’t running the 50K, but thought she went out a bit fast. I couldn’t speed up to pass with so much mud, so I conserved energy until we got to a patch of dirt road. This wasn’t a clean race at all- not only was the course dirty, but so was my language when I hit the mud puddles. I felt bad because lots of kids were around hearing me!

In Mile 3 (7:46), I hit the giant puddle and got my singlet muddy. Darn- I was hoping to keep all mud below the waist! We hit an out and back section of a dirt road, and while it had a lot of rocks, I was able to pick up some momentum and pass the other lady. I saw Chris and Cortez from Without Limits Charleston at the aid station, which was a nice boost and reminder that the finish was near. The mud was over, so I focused on holding the other female off, cruising it in to finish in 24:31.


After the race, I cooled down on the course, cheered for some friends, and hung out with some ultra runners between their 5K races. I also got some refreshments. Ultra marathons have the best refreshments. I had a PB&J sandwich and Nutter Butter cookie, which tasted so good- I think PB&J might be a new recovery meal for me.

The awards ceremony was at 1 PM. I never saw the results, so I’m glad I stuck around for awards because I was 3rd place female overall. It was a rather small 5K, and the fast ladies (minus the two ahead of me) must have run elsewhere that morning or opted for the 10 X 5K.

For placing, I received a painted rock. I have a painted rock from winning my age group at last year’s Peyton 5K, so I placed this one beside the other one on my porch. Age groupers won tervis tumblers full of chocolates/candy.


Post-Race Thoughts

While I had no goal time for this race (hard to set a time goal on a trail), I met my #1 goal of finishing injury-free. At least two runners sprained ankles on the course. I am kind of a klutz, and with the Cooper River Bridge Run coming up, I’m glad I didn’t get hurt.

Last Saturday, I was too sick to walk to my mailbox, let alone run a 5K. After skipping the Bosch 5K, I was thankful to show up at the Peyton 5K, run, and be with friends. Regardless of race results, awards, and times, I love the atmosphere of a Saturday morning race. I missed that when I was stuck on the couch, and I was glad to experience it at Peyton’s run.


Race Name: Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K, 50K, and Relay

Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC (Laurel Hill Plantation)

Date and Time: March 12, 2016, 11 AM 5K start

Swag: Short sleeved tech shirt (gender specific), backpack, towel (5Kers), hat (50Kers), finisher’s medals for all runners.

The swag bag was really cool- I picked it up the day before and had fun unpacking it and finding little surprises like a toy monkey and a granola bar.

Post-race food: Jim and Nick’s BBQ sandwiches, refreshment table (PB&J, oranges, candy, pretzels, cookies, bacon, bananas), water, gatorade.

Weather: 75 degrees, 69% humidity, sunny. First post-race sunburn of the year!

This entry was posted in 5Ks, Moore On Running, Mt Pleasant, Race Recaps, Race Reviews, RUN4P, Trail running and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K (24:31)

  1. KrisLawrence says:

    What a great cause. As a parent of three kids around Peyton’s age, I can’t even imagine his parents pain. It’s wonderful to see the community and his family remember him in a fun way that he would have loved.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I cannot imagine their pain, or the pain of any parent who has lost a child. A lot of runners rally around this event each year and support it. It truly brings people together, everyone from very experienced runners to beginners.

  2. Pam says:

    I love reading your recaps of this race each year. Charleston seems to have a wonderful running community that supports so many people/causes. Congrats on your third place female finish.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You’re right about the community. Runners support each other like no other. It’s almost like the community a church would have- people stick together and are there when someone is going through a hardship or tragedy. That’s what this sport is all about… supporting everyone.

  3. laurenweiner says:

    I think I remember you doing this race last year. Sounds like a very nice race for a great cause. Congrats on a great run!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I did run last year and have talked a bit about Peyton, the Moores, and Moore On Running group here on the blog. They do a good job with their events each year.

  4. Trail races are a completely different beast! I also do the same thing as you – go out fast because the trails get crowded and it’s really hard to pass other runners when you get in the thick of it. CONGRATS on your awesome time and your 3rd overall finish! I love the medal 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It is really hard to “race” on a trail- completely different strategy. You can’t set any sort of time goal because even if you see a course map, there’s no way to know the conditions of it before the race. I didn’t realize this one would be so muddy because it is so dry here. You just have to run a very tactical race if it’s on a trail.

      The medal is really cool. I will hang it on my Christmas tree this year. I wore it all day after the race.

  5. Angela says:

    I remember you doing this race last year. Congrats on another great run, what a great cause and a fun day xo

  6. Christine says:

    Trail races are such a different beast. I’ve done two and they definitely can be muddy! I’m also afraid I’m going to trip over things and roll an ankle, so I end up slowing down as I navigate the bumps. Trail running is fun though. So relaxing. I don’t do it as often as I should. Congrats on another good race!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thank you- yeah, I slowed down a lot and even came to a complete stop a few times (interesting to look at the Garmin data and see) to figure out how to navigate the mud. I just didn’t want to take any chances on getting hurt! This one is a neat run though, I plan to continue being involved with it :).

  7. Kara says:

    Sounds like such a fun race…and a great cause! That family’s story breaks my heart 😦
    I love trail running, although not as much when it’s super muddy like that! Still, it definitely adds some fun to the day. Congrats on a great finish!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It breaks my heart as well.

      I’ve known the Moore family since I moved to Charleston (I actually found Noah’s running blog *before* I moved here, when I was searching for info on running in Charleston).

      I remember when Peyton passed away and how heartbreaking it was for the entire community. But through that, so many people have found inspiration from Peyton, even people who never met him while he was alive.

      Peyton’s spirit will always live on.

  8. Wow, what a wonderful race for a wonderful cause. Nice job, too, Amy!

  9. Nice work! You got it… you can’t race the clock, just the trails. I think that’s what I love about trail running, some of the pressure is off. People always ask about my goal times and I just shrug and say, who knows!

    You did great. And I thought the same thing…. “Did Noah bring a hose out here!?” haha.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m still convinced he took buckets of water out there the night before and made the mudholes. I bet that was his idea of “setting up the MooreOn village” or whatever he said was going on between 5-7 the afternoon before ;).

      It was good seeing you out there, even if we didn’t get to hang much because of your ultra. Looks like you guys both really enjoyed yourselves!

  10. Laura says:

    Such a great cause for a race, and like others said I cannot imagine what Peyton’s family is going through. Nice work adjusting your gear (trainers) and race plan for the course, definitely important to do on mixed terrain. Congrats on 3rd OA too!

    I agree trail and ultra races have the best snacks! Candy, chips, oh my!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m a junk food junkie and would much rather have that post-race. I think every race should have PB&J now… I’d forgotten just how good one tastes after a run 🙂

  11. I always love your recaps!
    Trail races are a different kind of race, and I’m glad you were able to navigate the course safely,pretty quickly and with both shoes!So did the overall winner ever find the shoe that the mud ate?
    : )

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I should ask him! It was Kevin Clark (he does Race the Landing and runs for NGU in Greenville). I think a relay kid lost a shoe too in one of the other races.

  12. supereli23 says:

    Trail races are definitely a different kind of challenge, but I always find that it breaks the race up so that it goes by even faster. Although you do have to worry about if and when you are going to biff it constantly. It’s wonderful that you do this race, such a heartbreaking story but a touching tribute each year.

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