The Bull Run Run is a 50 mile run hosted by the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club in early April of each year. The race is held on trails that parallel the Bull Run and the Occoquan River along the Fairfax and Prince William county line in Northern Virginia. The course traverses forested, rolling terrain. There are about 700 yards of asphalt. The remainder is generally single track dirt. There are small stream crossings. Most of the course drains well, but parts will be muddy in wet weather. While certain short sections are rocky, and the trail can offer a few roots and other challenges, the trail is, on the whole, not technical in nature.
The event is held in the height of Virginia’s spring beauty. While we have had both warm and cold weather, brutally hot, humid weather on race day is unlikely. Most years the weather is pleasant, but some years the race has been held on one of the first truly warm days of the year; in other years it has been chilly, with snow a remote possibility.
The 2020 Bull Run Run will start at 6:30 AM, Saturday, April 4, at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, located near the picturesque village of Clifton in Fairfax County, Virginia. The race has a 13-hour limit with intermediate hard and soft cutoffs. We do not offer early starts. Persons missing a hard cutoff must withdraw from the run. Runners who come in to an aid station after a soft cut off should know that, historically, their chances of finishing the race under 13 hours are low, but they will be allowed to continue the race if they wish to do so.
Runners should pick up their race packets between 3 PM and 8 PM on Friday, April 3 at Hemlock. Runners who can’t pick up their packets at that time, may do so on race morning after 5 AM but no later than 6 AM.
Yes, we have them. We try to have reasonable rules and only what we need. We ask that you review the rules and comply with them. We are hang-loose and fun-loving, but we have our anal streak, too. Please humor us and review the Rules - Warnings - Frequently Asked Questions.
Hospitality — Entry Premium and Food
The Bull Run Run is noted for good entry items and finishers awards. All entrants in the 2020 race will receive a wearable entry item. There will be a pre-race dinner Friday, April 3, between 5:30 and 7:00 PM. The cost of the dinner, if purchased at the time of registrations, is $8 (if purchased later it is $10). The dinner is prepared by the Adventure Links staff, our hosts at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, and is served in the Lodge (the host site’s cafeteria building, at the north or far end of the campus).
There will be a single trail briefing on Friday evening before the event at the Lodge, beginning at 6:00 PM.
Complimentary light breakfast on Saturday morning for all runners, beginning at 5 AM, again at the Lodge. And yes, that will include coffee. Crews are welcome to partake as the start approaches.
There will be a post run barbecue open to all.
There are reasonably priced options for sleeping at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park on the night before the event. More information is available on the accommodations page.
Sorry, no RV-type vehicles permitted at Hemlock Overlook. Please do not drive your RV to the event at all. We don’t have room for it.
All finishers will receive a quality premium. Twenty, fifteen, ten, and five-time finishers receive special recognition. There will be awards for male and female winners of each age division (open, masters, seniors, and super-seniors) in both North and South categories. We will present awards in two ceremonies, or upon request for those who must leave. We don’t mail awards.
We will also have awards for teams in several categories. Team information
All members of the winning army, North or South, will receive a small token. North-South Competition