I’ve lived in Arkansas nearly all my life. I’ve visited most all of the southern states in the United States and there is no place that I would rather live than Arkansas. The state parks here some of the most beautiful places on earth.
The Village Creek 25k was held at the Village Creek State Park in Wynne, Arkansas. We had reserved a camping spot and much to our surprise, it was right next to the start/finish line!
The course was an out and back that started by running through a field and into the woods. About 3 and a half miles in we got a view of Crowley’s Ridge. From there the trail leveled out for the next couple of miles with a few hills and several creek crossings. I wore my Altras and Drymax socks so my feet dried almost as quick as they got wet.
The trails were mostly dirt with a few roots here and there, nothing too technical. For the most part they were smooth even with the leaves covering lots of the trail. There were a few stumps every so often that would catch your toe if you weren’t paying attention, as well as an occasional fallen branch or tree laying across the trail. My friend, Susan, had a log jump out and trip her early in the race. Fortunately it wasn’t a bad fall and it was the only one between the two of us.
Miles 5 through 8 were the hilliest. Runners passing us on their way back warned us of the upcoming hills of doom. The trails were pretty well marked with flour and wooden medallions hanging from trees.
At the top of the last hill there was an aid station stocked with pickles, chips, lemon cookies and other goodies. We turned and went about a quarter of a mile down a trail and then turned around to make our way back.
The scenery was amazing. There were all sorts of interesting trees, rock formations and things that made you wonder how they got there and how long they had been there. We even saw a herd of deer run across the trail just a few feet away from us. My husband saw a coyote.
One of the raves about this race was the cinnamon rolls at the end. I was a back of the packer and I fully expected the cinnamon rolls and most everyone to be gone by the time we finished. I crossed the finish line and was cheered for and greeted with a “woodallion” just like the ones who had crossed hours before me. And to top it off I still got hot, gooey cinnamon rolls with buttercream icing.
I will definitely be back next year if I am able to be and I hope to get the same camping spot!