menu
menu account_circle

Bull Run Run 50 Mile

Quick facts

Distance Ultra marathon

About Bull Run Run 50 Mile

The Battles of Bull Run, also called battles of Manassas or Manassas Junction , in the American Civil War, two engagements fought in the summers of 1861 and 1862 at a small stream named Bull Run, near Manassas in northern Virginia; both battles gave military advantage to the Confederacy. The strategic significance of the location lay in the fact that Manassas was an important railroad junction. 

The First Battle of Bull Run (called First Manassas by the South) was fought on July 21, 1861. Although neither army was adequately prepared at this early stage of the war, political considerations and popular pressures caused the Federal government to order General Irvin McDowell to advance southwest of Washington to Bull Run in a move against Richmond, Virginia. The 22,000 Confederates under General P.G.T. Beauregard, after initial skirmishing, had retired behind Bull Run in defensive positions three days earlier. To counter a Union flanking movement, the Confederates swiftly moved in 10,000 additional troops from the Shenandoah under General Joseph E. Johnston. On July 21 the Union army assaulted the Confederates. The battle raged back and forth, but finally the arrival of Johnston’s last brigade forced the Federals into a disorganized retreat to Washington. The victors were also exhausted and did not pursue them. From among 37,000 Northern men, casualties numbered about 3,000; of 35,000 Southern troops, between 1,700 and 2,000 were wounded or lost.

The Second Battle of Bull Run took place more than a year later on August 29–30, 1862, between a Confederate army of more than 56,000 men under General Robert E. Lee and a newly formed Federal force of 70,000 troops under Major General John Pope. It had become Pope’s responsibility to cover Washington until his army could be joined with the Army of the Potomac. To prevent this, Lee split his forces and ordered General Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson to march around Pope’s right flank; in two days Jackson had captured Pope’s supply depot at Manassas and had safely hidden his three divisions in a nearby wood. August 27–29 saw considerable maneuvering and fighting while Lee rushed forward the main body of his army to join Jackson. On the afternoon of August 30, Confederate artillery fire prevented the success of a Union assault on Jackson’s positions, after which Lee ordered his entire army forward in a grand counterattack. The Confederate victory was not complete because the Union forces withstood repeated assaults on certain defensive positions. Finally, however, Pope withdrew his defeated army across Bull Run and eventually retreated to the fortifications of the capital. Casualties on both sides were high: 15,000 for the North, 9,000 for the South.

The Bull Run Run is a beautiful, tough 50 mile run on the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail in Northern Virginia. The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club was formed in 1992 to sponsor the first Bull Run Run in April 1993. The run’s unique character includes a Civil War theme that respects the battles that occurred here over 150 years ago. The theme includes a competition between runners from the North and the South.

Distances

Bull Run Run 50 Mile

  • 80.467km

Practicalities

Accommodation

There are reasonably priced options for sleeping at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park on the night before the event.

After Race Services

There will be a post run barbecue open to all.

Aid Stations

There are four aid station locations.

Award Medals

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.

Maximum Time

13 hrs

Refreshments

There will be a pre-race pasta dinner.

Bull Run Run 50 Mile Route Map

Bull Run Run 50 Mile Route Map

Start:

Hemlock Overlook

Clifton,us

Highlights

The Library of Congress

Blackburn's Ford

Hemlock Overlook Regional Park

Overview

The course is a double out and back with a loop on the end of the second out and back. You start at Hemlock Overlook. After taking a three quarter mile loop around the parking lot to get spread out, you run down to the river and turn right, going upstream. You cross Popes Head Creek and run to the first aid station at Centreville Road. After this aid station, you keep going upstream to near the end of the trail in Bull Run Regional Park. You will cross the new, fancy bridge over Cub Run, go about 50 yards, turn right, and run through a sea of bluebells. After about a half mile, you will turn around at the point where the trail makes a 90 degree left turn away from Cub Run.

After the turnaround, you go back to Centreville Road for a second shot at the aid station and then straight downstream to Hemlock Overlook for an aid station located at the start/finish area. You go up the hill to Hemlock from the upstream, Popes Head Creek side. You don't go up the hill the way you came down at the start. You will cross Popes Head Creek just before you head up the hill.

After partaking of the aid station at Hemlock, you go down the hill as you did at the start, but when you get to the stream, you turn left and head downstream. You go through the soccer fields and then to the Bull Run Marina for an aid station. After the Marina, you arrive at the famous aid station at Wolf Run Shoals. After Wolf Run Shoals, it is only two miles to the aid station at Fountainhead Regional Park. After this aid station, you do the White Loop, coming out by a chain link fence where you turn left and head out on a blue blazed horse trail.

You take the blue blazed horse trail to the next aid station which is at the entrance to the infamous Do Loop. The Do Loop is like a lollipop on a stick. You go out the stick, go around the lollipop, and come back on the stick. You do the loop counterclockwise. Be sure to turn right at the intersection and when you get back to the intersection, go straight, don't do the loop a second time.

After you survive the Do Loop, you go straight back to Fountainhead without doing the White Loop. Then you go to Wolf Run Shoals, the Marina, and then the finish. You go up the hill to the finish from the Popes Head Creek side. You will go up the same way you did when you came back to Hemlock after the first turnaround. The result is that you always go down the hill on one trail and always up the trail on another one.

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.