Leave your shiny, new running shoes at home this weekend. The Lucky Bucket 7K Trail Run is Saturday, and it promises to be a rugged, dirt-filled race.
Organizers expect about 1,200 runners at Mahoney State Park in Ashland, Neb. for the third annual event. Nearly 900 people registered for the first race in 2011, and that number grew to more than 1,000 last year.
Race director Chris Sund, who also works for Lucky Bucket Brewing Company, said the combination of running, adult refreshments, and scenic views of the Platte River keep people coming back.
The course follows existing walking and horseback riding trails but also veers off the beaten path into rougher terrain and shallow creek crossings.
“You get to see a part of Mahoney most people never see,” he said.
There are hills, too, of course.
“It's not a flat, easy race where you're on the concrete, and people are throwing colors at you,” Sund said. “It's a workout.”
Still, he added, people of all shapes, sizes and athletic abilities have completed the 4.3-mile trail trek – it's all about whether they want to compete or run for fun.
There is a beer break at mile two, about halfway through the race. Sund said the first-place finisher last year skipped it, but the second-place finisher stopped to chat and tossed one back before continuing toward the finish line. There is also water for those who would prefer it.
After the race, runners can redeem two drink tickets (included in registration) at the Lucky Bucket after-party. Additional beer is available for $4 a cup. Spectators can join the fun, too, for a $5 entry fee, plus the cost of whatever drinks they consume. There will be live music, lawn games, food for sale and two beer trucks, each with 20 taps.
Sign up for the race online for $45 through Friday or in person for $50 on race day. Click here for more information.
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