Battle Report
Bull Run Run 50 Mile

April 9, 2011

Top Three Runners
Winner Matt Woods (center), flanked by David Frazier third (left) and Neal Gorman second. Click picture to see same three six hours earlier.
Photos: Bob Fabia

This page has the results and information from the 2011 Bull Run Run 50 Mile. We expect new items over the next week so come back again.

Matt Woods set a course record in wet, sloppy conditions at the 19th Bull Run Run held April 9, in Clifton, Virginia. We have only the overall results up now. Much more will be available soon.

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


Annette Bednosky
Female Winner Annette Bednosky
Photo: Bobby Gill


See note
Entrants List (for identifying runners)



North-South Competition
Under 10 Hours
North 93 93
South 38 92.81
Total 131  

North-South Competition

The North-South Competition was incredibly close. Two of the first three finishers were from the South. Things were looking good. But then a bunch of Union troops finished and a late surge was unable to make up the deficit. Kerry Culpepper, the last to finish under 10 hours was from the South, but he didn't quite pull it out.

The North victory is impressive in light of the fact that those who are really from the North had crappy training weather this Spring. The results of this competition demonstrate how our event is not a reenactment of the real battle. The South won that real battle.

19th Battle Report

by Anstr Davidson, RD

Jack Pilla
Jack Pilla, crossing Popes Head Creek, set a new Senior record
Photo: Bob Fabia

It has been 150 years since the first battle on these grounds. It has been 18 years since the first modern, running battle. In all that time, no one has covered the 50 mile Bull Run Run faster. And in few years, has the trail been muddier.

Matt Woods made his debut at the event memorable. He took the lead in the Hemlock aid station at 16 miles and never looked back. Matt did not even know what the event record was, but he lowered it by almost two minutes. Last year, on a drier trail, but warmer day, Leigh Schmitt ran 6:09:58. Matt ran 6:08:14.

Some wondered how much faster Matt could have gone on a dry course. But maybe he just went so fast that the mud didn't bother him. How could he have gone faster?

For the rest of the field, the mud was a big issue. It had rained off and on the day and night before the event. The river was not high, but the trail was soaked. We considered not sending runners into the muddy portion of the course (and doing the White Loop twice) but decided that no one would want to miss the bluebells! You are welcome.

Matt proved the maxim that the last shall be first. Since he was running for the South, had no prior Bull Run Run finishes, and W is toward the end of the alphabet, his bib number was the last one issued -- 604. This could only happen at BRR. Any other run would have given him a seeded number.

Nancy Kleinrock
Nancy Kleinrock, new Senior record holder
Photo: Bobby Gill

The seeded numbers at BRR go to multiyear finishers. This year, Frank Probst appropriately was number one. He, like Tim Stanley and Tom Green, has now finished all 19 Bull Run Runs.

Matt led 319 other official finishers -- a record number. They enjoyed wonderful weather for running -- overcast and cool.

Annette Bednosky won the event for the second time. She won in 2005, also a mud year. Her time of 7:39:14 puts her sixth on the all time women's list and was over a minute faster than her 2005 time.

Neal Gorman and David Frazier battled for second. Neal nipped David at the line. Fourth male was Jack Pilla, 52, who ran 6:49:57. This Beamonesque time obliterated the Senior event record by almost an hour.

Two female records also fell. Nancy Kleinrock, 50, set the female Senior record with a 8:32:25, and Maria Shields, 60, set the female Super Senior record with a 11:44:29. We don't have "course" records because the Bull Run Run has had several course variations in its history. The course has always been generally the same, but not exactly.

Three women joined the ranks of 10 time finishers -- Michele Harmon, Suzie Spangler, and Libby Crockart. There are now so many 10 time male finishers that we are beginning to look like the JFK 50. (Ok, we have a long way to go for that! Thankfully.)

Wolf Run Shoals Aid Station
"Toy Story" at the Wolf Run Shoals Aid Station
Photo: Bobby Gill

The team competition was spirited. The powerful WUS male team was beaten by Equipo de Deportes whose slowest runner did an 8:01. WUS did take the female and coed titles. ("WUS" is the Woodley Ultra Society which trains out of Kerry Owens's house on the street of the same name in DC.) The oldest team was a slam dunk with Three outta' Four ain't Bad taking the title. They all have Medicare cards except for their young female member. Finally, the hot competition for slowest team was won by MCRRC Absolute Zeros when the last runner on The Finishers ran too fast. Team results

As usual, the runners were assisted by a legion of over 100 volunteers. From parking, to aid stations, to the food at the finish line, the runners had plenty of support. We thank all the volunteers who gave up so much time not only on race day, but in the lead up to the event.

The unique nature of the event continued. Entrants received either a blue or a gray shirt, depending on their North/South affiliation. We again had a battle between the two armies and, again, the North won. Probably that is best. If the South had won, they might have wanted to move the capital to Richmond or something. This is not very serious. Of the 129 entrants from Virginia, 76 ran for the North and only 53 for the South. It's not your father's Virginia!

Bunny Runyan
Jessie, aka Bunny Runyan, tends the Gatorade at Wolf Run Shoals
Photo: Bobby Gill

Another Bull Run Run tradition is the Wolf Run Shoals aid station. Here is where Margie and Stan, and their assistants, will give you ice cream and TLC. This aid station also has a theme. Past themes have included the Wizard of Oz, the Wedding, Fruit of the Loom, and Poker Cards. This year, the theme was Toy Story. Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, the Slinky, etc. were there to take care of the runners.

Seen at Wolf Run Shoals
Somebody sat down on the course!
Photo: Anstr Davidson

While it was good running weather, it was a bit cool for the volunteers and the course was muddy. We have had our share of perfect years, we were due some adversity. Added to the adversity were some parking problems caused by the loss of some usual parking space, muddy turf, very few no shows, and a few who parked inconsiderately. We will have to address these factors for next year.

Overall, it was a great day for great runners. The Bull Run Run tradition continues. Next year, we will celebrate the 20th running of the event. We know that the bluebells and the volunteers will be there. We hope you will be there too!

Anstr Davidson
Race Director

Note on Photos

Our usual photographer, Aaron Schwartzbard, ran the race this year. Three dedicated photographers volunteered to go out on the course -- Bob Fabia, Desiree Williams, and Bobby Gill. We have also received other contributions. There should be a photo of most runners at least somewhere. The volunteer photographers would be happy to let you use a photo for private, non-commercial purposes. If you want to do anything else with one of their pictures, please ask first. At least two independent photographers took pictures. Be sure to consult their usage policy. We have no agreement with the independent photographers.

Runners in the upstream section with the bluebells
Photo: Desiree Williams

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