Celebration of Life – Trail Trek Half Marathon & 5k

Sunday, September 24, 2023 Willits, CA

Celebration of Life – Trail Trek Half Marathon & 5k - Willits CA

The Celebration of Life – Trail Trek is just around the corner, and it promises to be a day filled with community, wellness, and the spirit of celebration. On September 24, 2023, participants from near and far will gather for this memorable event, an annual tribute to the power of perseverance and the joy of living life to the fullest.

The excitement begins at 8 am when open or same-day registration opens at the Par Course parking lot. For those who enjoy last-minute adventures, this event is ready to welcome you with open arms. Friends, family, and all participants can convene at this location, a hub of anticipation and enthusiasm. The real trek begins at 9 am from the same spot, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey.

Parking is a breeze, with options available just a short distance away at the Brooktrails Community Center/Golf Course. There are also limited spaces at the Par Course and a few at Ohl Grove. The journey to the starting point takes you from the north end of Willits, with the N Main Street traffic light marking the way. You’ll navigate onto Sherwood Rd, meandering for about a mile and a half. Then, veer left onto Birch St, where you’ll find the Par Course parking lot. Alternatively, you can choose to continue to the Community Center.

But what truly sets this event apart is the trail itself. While the 5K and half marathon routes include well-maintained surfaces like gravel and pavement, the majority of the journey leads you onto single and double-track trails, minimally maintained and natural. Along the way, you might encounter rocks, branches, and trees—nature’s obstacles reminding you of the untamed beauty that surrounds you. This adventure demands the right footwear, so be sure to come prepared.

Nature enthusiasts, take note! It’s a good year for poison oak, and it’s part of the landscape. If you’re particularly susceptible to it, sticking to the trail is a wise choice. As you traverse these paths, you’ll find yourself in the heart of wildlife territory. Awareness and stewardship of these beautiful forests are essential. Remember, “Take out what you bring in,” preserving the wilderness for generations to come.

With the California sun shining down, sunscreen is a must-have. It’s a reminder of the importance of being well-prepared for the journey, with hydration and protection at the forefront of your preparations. On hot, sunny days, like the time our late trekkers arrived around 1:30 pm last year, sunscreen becomes your ally.

As you traverse the trail, keep an eye out for the three snack tables thoughtfully placed along the route. The first, initially at the Par Course, relocates to the Finish Line once our final half marathoner passes. The second awaits you at the intersection of Mike’s Trail, Mossy Rock Trail, and Lilac Rd. The last table offers respite and sustenance at the start to the Dutch Henry.

To ensure you stay on course and experience a seamless trek, a map and GPS resources are provided. You can download maps in various formats, such as png, jpeg, kmz (Google Map, Earth, Apple Map), and gpx (GPS file). While these digital aids are a valuable tool, it’s essential to pay attention to trail markers and flagging. The route’s digitized representation is a close approximation but might not be exact, so stay vigilant during your journey.

The Celebration of Life – Trail Trek is not just an event; it’s a celebration of resilience, an embrace of life, and a reminder of the cherished memories that give us strength. This event holds a special place in the hearts of its organizers, Crystal and Davey Bowles, who are hosting this trek in memory of their son, Sam. Sam’s spirit of taking life in stride and finding every moment “worthwhile” continues to inspire.

It’s a tribute to the enduring bond of family, the support of friends, and the joy of shared experiences. This event is not just a race; it’s a celebration of the simple yet profound moments that make life beautiful. It’s an opportunity for families to come together, embrace the great outdoors, and bask in each other’s company.

As you embark on the Celebration of Life – Trail Trek, you’re not just a participant; you’re part of a community celebrating life, cherishing memories, and making new ones along the way. It’s a trek through the heart of nature and the heart of humanity, a testament to the power of togetherness and the joy of embracing every moment life has to offer.

Race Weather & Climate

Willits, California, is a charming town situated in Mendocino County, located approximately 140 miles north of San Francisco. Known for its picturesque landscapes and connection to the California Redwood Coast, Willits offers residents and visitors a tranquil rural lifestyle with access to the natural beauty and outdoor activities of Northern California. Its location in Mendocino County makes it a highly desirable destination for those seeking a serene, small-town atmosphere with proximity to the scenic wonders of the region.

On September 24th in Willits, CA, you can expect an average high temperature of around 78°F and an average low temperature of approximately 50°F. This time marks late summer transitioning into early fall, with warm days and cooler nights. The expected rainfall during September is typically minimal, with around 0.2 inches of precipitation.

Celebration of Life – Trail Trek Half Marathon Course Map

See the race route map for the Celebration of Life – Trail Trek Half Marathon course map here.

Starting Time

The half marathon start time is 9:00 AM PDT.

The course closes at 3:00 PM PDT.


To reserve your spot in the 2023 Celebration of Life – Trail Trek Half Marathon, you can use the registration link here.

Race Fees

Online registration has ended.

Celebration of Life – Trail Trek Half Marathon Race Website

Celebration of Life – Trail Trek Half Marathon Website

See more races in: September, California