Battle Report
Bull Run Run 50 Miler

April 10, 2010


This page has the results and information from the 2010 Bull Run Run 50 Miler. We expect new items over the next week so come back again.

Leigh Schmitt
Leigh Schmitt running through the bluebells. Photo Aaron Schwartzbard

If you have a comment about the run, or pictures or reports that you think should be linked from this page, e-mail Anstr at

18th Battle Report

There have been many variations of the Bull Run Run course over the last 18 years. We have gone into Bull Run Regional Park to the shooting range, we have done the Marina's equivalent of the White Loop, we have done the real White Loop once, twice, and not at all, and we previously used what is now the mountain bike trail to get to the Do Loop. But every Bull Run Run has started and ended at exactly the same place in Hemlock Overlook Park. Never have the male and female winners returned to that place sooner than they did this year. After 18 years, two people ran this event faster than anyone else has.

But these two champs were not the lead story. The star of this run, actually the stars of this run, were the gorgeous weather and the wonderful trail. The day was exquisite. The trail was in fantastic shape. It was another Bull Run Run.

Aliza Lapierre
Aliza Lapierre in the bluebells. Photo Aaron Schwartzbard.

This year's battle was an invasion from New England. Leigh Schmitt came for his fifth Bull Run Run. He had won the event every time he had run it. What was his encore to be? It was another win with an event record tacked on. Leigh led from the start. He seemed on a mission. At the Do Loop aid station, he was in and out in seconds. Not long after, he crossed the finish line in 6:09:58, over seven minutes faster than Tom Nielsen's 2004 time of 6:17:24. (That was the year of the wedding ceremony at Wolf Run Shoals.) Leigh is now five for five.

The other New Englander is a bit younger, and it was her first time at Bull Run Run. Had we been paying attention, we would have known about Aliza Lapierre. She set the course record at the Stone Cat 50 Miler last November. The Stone Cat course is much like Bull Run Run, and we like to think we are sort of like the GACers. When we grow up, we hope to be as cool as Gilly and the gang.

Aliza led from start to finish. But she was not alone. Three other women were in the hunt—Eva Pastalkova, Riva Johnson, and Amy Lane. At Centreville Road aid station (7.2 miles), Amy and Aliza were leaving the aid station as Eva entered. It was like that most of the day, but Aliza pulled away at the end and won decisively in 7:23:06, eight minutes faster than Anne Riddle Lundblad's 2008 time of 7:31:17. Eva, six minutes back, would have won all prior BRRs and Riva would have won all but two. Of the top four female BRR times, three of them occurred this year. While there have been different courses over the years, no one would say that this year's course was the shortest.

Mike Campbell
New super senior record holder Mike Campbell at Centreville Road aid station. Photo: Anstr Davidson

The real Beamonesque performance was Mike Campbell's 8:30:58 that obliterated Frank Probst's record for the male super senior (60 and over) age group. Mike warmed up for this achievement by marking about eight miles of the trail the day before!

There were a few other runners out there—336 of them to be exact. Of these starters, 313 finished officially, a record in number and maybe percentage (but were haven't done the math). Yes, weather is important. It got a bit warm for awhile, but mostly it was cool and sunny with a light breeze. You couldn't ask for better. (Ok, you could ask for better, but that would be pretty greedy!)

Bull Run Run continued its many unique traditions. The competition between the forces of the North and South was not even close. The North continued the winning streak that it started in 1865. Few take this competition very seriously, and it certainly does not replicate the tragic conflicts of 149 and 148 years ago. One indication that no one is taking this very seriously is that over half the runners from Virginia ran for the North. (More North/South competition information)

Wolf Run Shoals Aid Station is not in Kansas!
Cowardly Lion (Laura Dewald), a Munchkin (Margie Schlundt), Dorothy (Bunny Runyan), the Tin Man (Stan Duobinis, and the Scarecrow (Rebecca Moore)
Photo: Laura DeWald

The Wolf Run Shoals aid station had another fantastic theme. This year it was the Wizard of Oz. As 18-time finisher Tim Stanley said, it was the best theme yet.

Speaking of Tim, the three runners who have finished all Bull Run Runs—Tim, Frank Probst, and Tom Green—continued their streaks and still have the millstone around their necks of having finished 'em all. Marcia Peters finished her 13th Bull Run Run, the most by a woman.

The team competition was spirited. The fastest team was, to no one's surprise, Leesburg Mafia and "Friend of Family." Only three teams were disqualified by members who DNFed. This reflected the high finishing rate.

Two runners distinguished themselves in a special way. After the Marina the first time, Mark and Rory Meehan came upon a runner who had fallen and hit his head on a rock. They stopped and helped the runner back to the Marina. In taking care of a fallen runner, they sacrificed their own runs. They walked back to Hemlock with smiles on their faces and no complaints. At the suggestion of the runner they helped, we are sending Mark and Rory the fleece pulovers they should have earned.

The Meehans
Rory and Mark Meehan in the bluebells
Photo: Aaron Schwartzbard

The finish was again a carnival. We had beautiful women handing out ice cream, a barbecue with burgers and brats, music, and fun. Each finisher received a cool pullover.

As usual, all of this happened because almost 100 people volunteered their time to help the runners. Without them, there would be no Bull Run Run. They all deserve our thanks. As one of many commendations said:

"All the volunteers did a super job at each aid station—everyone was so nice and helpful!! Please pass that on to all the volunteers—everything went smoothly! I felt well taken care of out there on the course and that makes a difference."

We are pretty sure that these wonderful volunteers will be back next year. We hope you will be too!

Anstr Davidson
Race Director trying to follow in the huge footsteps of Chris Scott, Scott Mills, and Bob Phillips

North-South Competition

North-South Competition
Under 10 Hours
North 103 103
South 39 92.1
Total 142  

The Bull Run Run continues its friendly competition between forces for the North and South. All runners who finished under 10 hours scored for the side in which they had enlisted or been conscripted. There were 142 finishers under 10 hours. Of those, 103 were from the North and 39 were from the South. Since there were more Northern troops, we multiplied the South finisher by the fudge factor (about 2.36), we got 92.1 (actually: 92.1142857142857). Consequently, the North won. (The North is on a win streak. It won in 2009 as it also did in 1865.)

This was just a battle and a very faux one at that. It was neither a "war" nor a reenactment of one. Consequently, the South does not have go through Reconstruction again. But you folks for the South need to run more. Unlike your northern friends, you can train in February!

Yates Ford Bridge
Denise Coll going under the only road on the course
Photo: Brian Trently

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