Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon & Dirty Pony 5K

Sunday, May 26, 2024 • Mohnton, PA • Course Map

Run as a benefit the local Berks County chapter of the Special Olympics, the Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon is by all reports — including a review in Runner’s World magazine — one of the more challenging trail half marathon events on the calendar in any state.

Called “not your typical race” by race organizers, the race features a deceptively peaceful starting line in an isolated park setting, but only gets more “interesting” from there.

The 13.1-mile point-to-point race course takes runners — ages 18 and older only — through water and across trails that the magazine describes as sometimes wet and muddy, and over rocks, hills, downed trees and seven miles of the area known as the horseshoe trail, on the way to the finish at the Sleepy Hollow Athletic Club.

This hilly race requires you to “get to the finish [yourself], rather than making it an option not to finish,” the race organizers add.

The race starts in Rustic Park, just off Hay Creek Road, in Birdsboro, Pa., and finishes at Sleepy Hollow Athletic Club. Because the race’s starting line is difficult to access by car, buses will be on hand to transport runners to the start in time for the 9:00 AM start time. Runners are encouraged to arrive in time to get registered and on the bus by 8:15 AM.

Here’s a review by runner Kelly Patrick, who ran the race in 2013: “This was my first trail race ever. I have run all distances up to a marathon, but this was by far the MOST challenging course I have ever run. It was also the most fun, surprising, and well-planned race I’ve ever done.

“It was worth all the pain, water, mud, hills, rocks, downed trees, and everything else the organizers threw at all of the runners throughout the entire course. There were spectators along the way, always cheering every single runner on to the finish line. I can’t wait to run it again in 2014!”

A scene from the 2011 Charlie Horse Half Marathon Trail Run. (Photo by Pagoda Pacers Athletic Club/flickr)

A scene from the 2011 Charlie Horse Half Marathon Trail Run. (Photo by Pagoda Pacers Athletic Club/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Located just outside Reading in southeastern Pennsylvania, about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Mohnton typically sees mild to moderately warm weather in May, which is also the town’s rainiest month of the year. Record temperatures here during May have fallen to as low as 26 degrees (in 1978) and risen as high as 96 degrees (in 1996).

  • May 26 average low temp: 56°F
  • May 26 average high temp: 73°F

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

9:00 AM


  • $50 and up – half marathon
  • $20 and up – 5K


To reserve your spot in the 2024 Memorial Day weekend running of Mohnton’s Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon or Dirty Pony 5K? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: May, Pennsylvania

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