The BRR 2005
The largest finishing field in Bull Run Run history enjoyed perfect weather but muddy conditions. Leigh Schmitt and Todd Walker got the top honors with Leigh taking the win on an unfortunate bonus mile by Todd. Meanwhile, Annette Bednosky set the new women's record on a course that was longer and muddier than most prior Bull Run Runs.
There will be much more information, photos, and reports here soon. Come back on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. All of the information about the 2005 Bull Run Run will be linked form this page.
To order the photo CD, go here.
* A special thanks to Pam and Desiree. They took many great pictures for us. Be sure to watch the slide shows on their sites.
by Anstr Davidson
"Who'd of thunk it?" After 13 years, the race that Chris Scott created welcomed him back as Race Director by producing the largest starting field, the largest finishing field, the fastest time by a woman, and probably the best weather. The latter, however, might be a stretch. One of the many good things about the Bull Run Run is that it comes at a time of year with a very high risk of good weather. We have been fortunate over the years to have very good weather for the Bull Run Run.
Mud and high water on the course the day before the run
Stream crossing on day before the run. Of course, the weather leading up to the 2005 BRR was not so good. There was so much rain that we were building an ark. This caused several changes in the course. Had BRR been run the weekend before, it is doubtful that anyone could have finished. On Friday, the streams were still high. But on race morning, the crystal clear skies revealed lower water levels but a lot of mud.
The Course: The Bull Run Run course has always been generally the same. But there have been many minor differences over the years. In the first years, the course went to the shooting range at Bull Run Regional Park. One year, we ran the loop at the Marina. We did not always do the White Loop. While we always did the Do Loop, in some years the course went by the Ford Fairlane, other years, it did not. It always went by the Nash Rambler. What were the distances of all of these courses? About 50 miles.
What is clear is that the course used in 2003 and 2004 was shorter than the others. The plans to lengthen the course this year were complicated by the washed out bridge at Cub Run. The result was a long muddy run. Probably longer than most years, but probably about 50 miles, more or less.
RD Chris Scott (left) with former RD Scott Mills
Change in Command: Chris Scott directed the first three Bull Run Runs. He created many of the unique aspects of the event such as the Civil War theme, the North/South designations, and the logos. Scott Mills had taken over for Chris and made BRR the premier event of the Spring.
While sticking with the tradition that he and Scotty had developed, Chris brought in new blood to contribute to the Bull Run tradition. These folks produced some great additions including a great pre-race meal, cool apparel items with all important women's sizing, the bandanas, and improved team competition. Certainly, BRR has an even brighter future.
The "Betting:" Ok, there was no betting, but people could try to predict the top finishers. In the men's open division, the conventional wisdom was way off, with the top two finishers garnering few pre-race votes. The crowd, however, picked the top three females right on. Just about everyone picked the wrong Scott -- Mills over McKenzie. Scotty gave it a good shot, but McKenzie beat him. The same held true in the senior women category. The crowd picked Vicki Kendall, but Barb Isom beat her. We have not factored in the points for the prediction of the winning time, but at this point the best picker was Bryon Powell followed by Kevin Bligan and Scott Mills (Scotty was one of the few people not to pick himself).
The Race: I will let others describe the race. All I can say that at the stream crossing below Centreville Todd Walker and Leigh Schmitt looked very strong. Annette Bednosky looked even stronger. She reminded me of Courtney Campbell in the running strength she showed. Francesca and Bethany appeared to be running well but even at that early point it did not look as if they had a chance to beat Annette. They didn't.
Found on the Trail.
The Litter: I swept the course for about four miles back to Popes Head Creek and then went another mile retracing the steps the runners had taken in the morning. In all that way, I found only one piece of litter. The bad news is that is was a goo-type package. We have sent it off for finger print testing. Someone better get himself a lawyer.
Wolf Run Shoals: As usual, all attempts to find out the theme of the WRS aid station ahead of time failed. If the Washington could keep secrets like this, our nation's security would be much better off. We were all surprised by "Gladys Knight and the Pimps." You will note that the aid station was staffed by Stan and a bunch of women -- beautiful ones at that. How do you get that work?
Wolf Run Shoals Aid Station Crew (Photo: Chris Scott)
The Finish: The came across the line, happy and tired. It had been a great day. They just kept coming, picking up their finishers bag and relaxing. You couldn't ask for more.
The BRR Style: It struck me that at Bull Run Run (and several other trail events) management goes out of it's way not to promise much and then breaks that promise. Management style is a constant battle between the forces that want to coddle the runners and the forces that say, "Screw 'em, it's just a trail run." That latter sentiment is wrong. But it is a trail run, and you don't get chip times, accurate course measurement, a dry, fast course, or tons of give away's. On the other hand, BRR has always gone the extra mile. It has always sought to do what it does right. As a runner, you expect dirt, mud, hills, abuse, pain, but you get a beautiful woman giving you an ice cream at Wolf Run Shoals! What more could you want?
See everyone next year on April 8 and registration will open in January.
BULL RUN 2005 WILDFLOWER REPORT
[Editor's Note: Most of you know Gary, but you may not know that, in addition to running the course, he cleared many blow downs off the trail, including two on the day before the race. Be sure to thank him when you see him.]
Gary Knipling at Centreville Aid Station. Photo: Pam Linne
When doling out runner race numbers, RD Chris Scott assigned #1 to fellow Air Force Academy graduate Scott Mills. How appropriate was this? It was very appropriate! For ten years Scotty had been the RD of the Bull Run Run 50 Miler. He had guided, nurtured, and promoted (with lots of volunteer help) BRR to become the very best trail run in the East. If there was any concern whether Chris could carry the VHTRC banner as high as Scotty, there isnt any more. Chris and his cadre of volunteers and hard workers - they know who they are pulled off yet another fantastic outdoor adventure for the largest field of runners of the 14 BRRs.
Travel mates from Massachusetts, Leigh Schmitt and Todd Walker, seeing the Bluebells along Bull Run for the first time kept the lead all day and finished 1-2. Annette Bednosky also made her first visit to BRR and set a new course record in 7:40:32, 11th overall. Annette is making a habit of first place finishes as part of her training for Western States in late June.
The recent rains along with longer and warmer days had helped fulfill the promise of spring in Northern Virginia. Runners were not disappointed as spring wildflowers and early tree buds decorated the course. With the summer-like days Tuesday and Wednesday before BRR, I had told Anstr that the Bluebells would be out in their glory on race day. I missed my prediction as they were not at their peak bloom but they were still glorious.
Between all the fun and frivolity at the aid stations and very quick visits with trail friends on the two out-and-back parts of the course, the wildflowers that I saw at the 2005 Bull Run Run were as follows:
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
Where else can a person have a wonderful day in the woods with endorphin-crazed friends and justify eating and drinking anything you wish while hanging around the finish line cheering on fellow runners and swapping tales from the trail. The tradition continues.
If you have any comments or suggestions about the Bull Run Run, Chris Scott would love to hear them at ChrisScott@vhtrc.org.
Thirteen-time Finisher Frank Probst