Bull Run and Hemlock Overlook Regional Parks near Manassas, VA are renowned for their Virginia bluebells, which bloom around the time of this popular 50-mile race
Close-up of the bluebells. Sue was busy taking photos on various parts of the course while Jim ran the race.
Cabin area at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, headquarters for the Bull Run Run 50-miler, sponsored by the VHTRC (Virginia happy Trails Running Club)
Runners follow this little park road at the beginning of the race to get spread out before hitting the single-track trails. This year, 335 runners started the race!
Half a mile into the race, runners veer off through this field . . .
. . . head down to a pond . . .
. . . run past the cattails . . .
. . . head up this steep little hill . . .
. . . and follow this trail back to the start/finish area. They will be back in 15 miles. [No photos of that section because I (Sue) didn't run it.]
At 15 miles, runners head to the aid station at the start/finish area. It will be a while before they return again 35 miles later.
More runners come into the aid station at 15 miles.
And there's Jim, ahead of schedule!! It was good running weather and the trail was mostly dry today, unlike last year's mud-fest or the heat when we both ran the race in 2004.
Aid station at 15/50 miles (start/finish area at Hemlock Overlook)
Timing tent at start/finish. Runners go through here at 15 miles and head out for a long out-and-back (with two additional loops, the White Loop and the Do Loop - Sue didn't run those today)..
Heading down the trail from Hemlock Overlook to Bull Run.
Nice, smooth trail through here
Short stretch on one of the horse trails down to the creek
Trail intersection at about miles 2/16/48. Red streamers mean runners shouldn't go back up this trail when they're two miles from the finish.
Trail along Bull Run
More bluebells along Bull Run
Much of the race course follows the blue-blazed Bull Run-Occoquan River Trail
There were a few muddy places that would have become quagmires if the rain had not held off until late in the race (whew!)
One of many wooden bridges across little streams flowing into Bull Run and Occoquan River
Field about 18 miles into the course
The BRR course cuts across a field near several soccer fields . . .
. . . and follows a dirt road through some more soccer fields.
The muddiest area was just south of the soccer fields. Wood logs helped runners stay dry if they could balance on them OK.
Early glimpse of the Occoquan Reservoir.
Race winner Leigh Schmidt just after leaving the Marina Aid Station at 44.5 milles. His final time was 6:24.
Volunteers at the Marina Aid Station waiting for runners to come back through at 44.5 miles (runners also hit the AS at 20 miles going outbound).
Police assist across Old Yates Ford Road, where the guard rail seems higher on the way back!
South of the marina, runners keep following the blue blazes along the Occoquan River and Reservoir
Nice, smooth trail by the water
Still life on the reservoir
There are mile markers all along the blue trail, which helps in determining race pace
Up the "steps" and out of the cove
Along the Occoquan
Hilly, snaking trail through the woods and over another little stream
Women's leader, Amy Sproston, climbs a hill about 42 miles into the race. She was first female in 7:43.
One of three deer that about ran over Sue in this section.
Did we mention most of these trails are runnable??
Along another stream
Wolf Run Shoals aid station (mile 26/40) is famous for its ice cream, motivational signs, and unusual distractions to keep runners smiling
Wolf Run Shoals AS at 24.5/40 miles
Thanks, Bunny, and all the other VHTRC volunteers for manning such wonderful aid stations!
Double bridge on way to Fountainhood AS
Rear view of Gary Knipling around 38 miles. He learned the arrowhead he found on Massanutten Mtn. a couple months ago (see that photo album) is 4,000 years old!
Crews wait for runners to come out of the notorious "Do Loop" at Fountainhead AS (37.5 miles)
Volunteers assist runners at Fountrainhead AS (29.5/37.5 miles)
Jim's still running strong at 37.5 miles (Fountainhead AS)
Vicki Kendall, Sharon Lepkoff, Carole Smith, and Michael Holland run by in a blur at the finish in a four-way tie at 11:14
Bull Run Run finish line
Steve Bowles, one of our Roanoke-area friends, finishes just ahead of Jim
There's Jim, finishing in 11:23, a PR for him on this course. Thanks, everyone, for another great Bull Run Run!