Federal Hat

Battle Report
Bull Run Run 50 Miler

April 17, 2004

Confederate Hat


Tom Nielsen on Way to Course Record

BRR 2004 -- The Full Story

Tom Nielsen set a new course record and Maureen Kavanagh only missed the women's course record by 42 seconds as 262 finished the 12th Bull Run Run 50 Miler in warm beautiful weather. The day was a varied spring spectacle of joy, pain, suffering, and frivolity. There were many achievements by the tough runners, but then there was also our class clown.

Volunteers: The many volunteers went all out to help the runners achieve their goals under the warm conditions. The well kept secret of the Wolf Run Shoals aid station was finally revealed. That aid station theme was the wedding of Stan and Bunny complete with bridal gown, cake, candles, and a bridesmaid who tried to upstage the bride. Let's just say that it is always difficult to leave the ice cream at this aid station behind, but this year it was particularly difficult.

Maureen Kavanagh

Experience Over Youth: This year was also a victory for the older folks. The first two finishers (former winner Barry Lewis was second) are 44 years old. Additionally, when he was not misbehaving in the trail, Gary Knipling set a new course record in the Super Senior division (60 and over). Interestingly enough, the average age of the finishers, 43+ years was the same as the average age of the entrants. Age was not a risk factor for a DNF.

And Then There Were Four: Another member of the elite group of runners who have completed all Bull Run Runs did not finish this year. That leaves only Frank Probst, Tom Green, Mike Talbert, and Tim Stanley who have run (or walked) every step of every race. Tim still has the lowest total time on the course of the four.

Battle Casualties: While there were many salt-caked, wasted runners crossing the finish line, and many units reported that their troops were "puking in the woods," none had to leave the course in an ambulance. Most runners accommodated the first warm day of the year by taking in more fluids and salt, and by backing off a bit on their pace. The best blood award was an easy victory for Vicki Kendall.

Teams: In the team awards, Team Made-up-to-Win, aka VA-PA-CA-sub35, had places 1, 2, 4, 5, and 10. The members met for the first time on the victory stand. Blood Runners just beat out the Flying Furbutts for second. The top team that really had something in common, C2H5OH (alcohol), came in fifth. Unfortunately, Team 3000, which was composed of the only 11-time prior finishers in the race, had a runner DNF and was disqualified. Joyce Fendley finished her first 50 miler to solidify Team Mango's defeat of Team GAC and Team Bananahammock. The teams members were spurred on by the special mango entrants' bags supplied by Mango cult leader John Dodds. Many other runners were wearing Team Mango licensed apparel.

All of the information about the 2004 Bull Run Run will be linked form this page so come back often for the next week or so.

A Word on Photos: I took 599 photos at the event but they all won't be on the site. As of Monday, I have done all the photos from the stream crossing where I was harassing people on their way to and from Centreville Road. Those were the best shots. (Nothing I did, it was just so pretty there.) I am undecided as to how many of the finish line shots I will do. I have a finish line shot of almost all runners. Photo Page

Photo CD: It is now pretty certain that we will make available a CD with all the photos from the event. If you are interested, stay tuned.

Happy Trails!


Awards and Results

Wolf Run Shoals Aid Station Wedding Party
Division Awards
Michele HarmonNorth Open (F)
Tom NielsenNorth Open (M)
Susan BaehreNorth Master (F40+)
Barry LewisNorth Master (M40+)
Vicki KendallNorth Senior (F50+)
Peter PalmerNorth Senior (M50+)
Melquisedec QuecanNorth Super Senior (M60+)
Maureen KavanaghSouth Open (F)
Bryon PowellSouth Open (M)
Laura DeWaldSouth Master (F40+)
Scott McKenzieSouth Master (M40+)
Tony SmithSouth Senior (M50+)
Gary KniplingSouth Super Senior (M60+)

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Team Results

PlaceTeamUnit MembersTime
1VA-PA-CA-sub 35McKenzie, ScottAndrish, SeanSchwartzbard, AaronLewis, BarryNielsen, Tom34:03:42
2Blood RunnersRichardson, RobertPriddy, MichaelHarmon, MicheleHawk, T JBruell, Harry41:29:50
3Flying FurbuttsGerard, PrasadEvans, RussCampbell, MichaelMoore, KeithBurton, Steve41:31:26
4Team TuscaroraClapper, JoeHenry, RyanLaniak, CarlDeWald, LauraCampiformio, Jim42:35:55
5C2H5OHReed, JeffFoley, TimPlatt, SteveSeiberg, JaretSatriano, Nick45:39:33
6Trail DawgsNissen, PhilBartine IV, Oliver HuntPalmer, RickThomas, LorenBursler, David49:35:59
7BuzzardsLaDieu, BillPeters, MarciaRineer, TomShiley, KarenStump, Diana49:41:00
8Team MangoFendley, JoyceBur, MichaelOwens, KerryCorris, TomKendall, Vicki50:55:25
9Team GACGulliver, KenWashburn, JeffMathews, JohnMount, RaySullivan, Marty52:53:34
10Team BananahammockShaughnessy, MarkMiracle, CharlieKrieg, KarenBertacchi, MariaKnipling, Gary55:27:50
-MCRRC Mud-SkippersSchultze, EdWack, LindaBroderick, MikeEly, RonaldIvins, BrianDSQ
-Team 3000*Probst, FrankGreen, ThomasTalbert, MichaelStanley, TimSmith, HarryDSQ

DSQ = All team members must finish to be eligible for an award.

Team Mango

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Gary Knipling's Wildflower Report

Editor's Note: Each year, Gary Knipling sends us a report of the wildflowers he spotted along the trail. Gary is the founder and promoter of the famous Eagle Run. This year, Gary was pretty much out of control at BRR. He carried a pair of Team Mango panties during the run (this despite that he was a member of Team Bananahammock -- it's sort of like Derek Jeter wearing a Red Sox jersey), he gave beads to innocent, unsuspecting women, and continued his misconduct at the finish line (after reportedly puking). But through it all, he set the Super Masters Course Record. Yes, Gary is 60 though you would never know it from the way he acts. In behalf of the staff and management of the VHTRC, we would like to apologize for Gary, but we aren't going to do it. He is our kind of guy!

Blue Bells along the Bull Run Trail -- click for larger viewThe 2004 BRR is in the “books” now which includes Tom’s course record 6:17.24, and Maureen’s (a new recruit at that) near miss at 7:48.17. This is amazing, especially considering the sudden heat on race day that only the handful of runners from Florida could have possibly trained for. All day long I heard the experienced and concerned aid station crews tell me and my fellow runners to “drink, drink, drink”. It is a tribute to them and the toughness of the participants that there weren’t serious casualties from the heat of the 12th Battle of Bull Run.

There were many bright colors on the Bull Run trail – not all were man made. The Virginia Bluebells, the trademark of the BRR, were once again in their glory. I experienced two “firsts” for me during the 2004 BRR:

  1. Seeing the wildflower Pennywort in two places along the trail near a stream crossing about 1 mile south of Bull Run Marina. (I will admit I was looking closely for it since I had seen it with Anstr in the rain the Tuesday before.)
  2. Seeing a very lovely mango bikini at the Wolf Run Shoals aid station. Both of these were spectacular sightings and what I consider “gifts from the trail”.

After consulting with Carolyn Gernand in an effort to add some credence to this report, the wildflowers that I/we saw were as follows:

Gary has his Knob at the Do Loop aid station.  Photo: Judy Gilbert
  • Virginia Bluebells – blue, growing in clusters where the habitat was right along the flood plain of Bull Run
  • Pennywort – small white/lavender flowers among the purplish leaves growing just 4” off the ground, see above comment.
  • Spring Beauties – 5 white petals with pink veins and grass-like leaves, common
  • Rue Anemone – 6-10 white petals with dainty 3-lobed leaves, more common this year than in past years.
  • Violets – many types, mostly blue growing in small clusters all along the trail
  • Early Saxifrage – small white 5-petal flowers at tip of hairy stem growing in favored habitat of shale and rocky soils, common.
  • Cut-leaved Toothwort – 4 white drooping petals with bird foot shaped leaves, common
  • Dandelions – yellow sunburst flower near the soccer fields, even they look pretty out on the trail
  • Pussytoes – small white puffballs at end of short stem, often growing close to Saxifrage, common
  • Star Chickweed – 10 small white petals forming flower ½” in diameter with opposite leaves, common.
  • Bluets – 4 dainty blue petals with yellow center growing in small clusters, more common this year than in past.

It is impossible to overstate appreciation to Scott Mills and the VHTRC and the MANY volunteers who make it possible for the Bull Run Run to happen. Another Bull Run, another struggle, another exhilaration, another party, more friends, more memories.

Happy trails,
Gary (#179)

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If you have any comments or suggestions about the Bull Run Run, Scott Mills would love to hear them at ScottEMills@aol.com.

Running on the Bull Run Trail
Running back to Hemlock on upstream portion of course.

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