Saturday’s 5K opens York River State Park’s Estuaries Day

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York River State Park will celebrate Estuaries Day this Saturday. (Photo courtesy of DCR/Virginia State Parks)
York River State Park will celebrate Estuaries Day this Saturday. (Photo courtesy of DCR/Virginia State Parks)

The York River State Park 5K returns this Saturday with proceeds from the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Event to support Friends of York River State Park and Walsingham Academy’s Athletic Booster Club.

Runners will take to a one-loop course that begins on the asphalt park entrance road and heads onto wide, scenic, hard-packed dirt trails through the woods and around Woodstock Pond, with the finish line near the park’s visitor center. The course is mostly flat, with two hills.

“It’s a fun course to run,” said Walsingham Cross Country Coach and Colonial Road Runners member Rich Higgins. “There are some challenging hills, a nice variety of terrain. I think any runners that come out are really going to enjoy themselves.”

Race day registration is $30 and runs at the park from 7 until 8:15 a.m., with the first 200 runners to register receiving a commemorative race shirt and race bag. A one-mile fun run begins at 8 a.m.; registration is $10 and does not include a T-shirt or bag.

The race will also feature food and drinks, along with an awards ceremony that begins at 9:45 a.m.

Entrance to the park is complimentary for race participants and volunteers, with the 5K run the kick-off event for an activities-packed Estuaries Day at the park. Activities are family-friendly and include exhibits, kayaking, canoeing and hiking. For more information on Estuaries Day, call the park hotline at 757-566-3036.

The park’s Friends organization is a nonprofit that supplies funds, materials and labor for special projects at York River State Park.

“We are really excited to be a part of this great event,” said Walsingham Athletic Director Neil Bailey. “York River State Park is such a wonderful community resource, and it means a lot to us that our event can help its mission.”