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Final Briefing
Changes, Important Points, Last Minute Details

Schedule of Events
Final Entrants List - be sure you are on it!
Got a question? Contact the Co-RDs

This page contains updated information, as well as information that should be repeated. This is the pre-race briefing that some of you will miss.

Experience Bull Run Run Tradition! Stay Friday after you pick up your number. There are prizes, history, and a briefing by the person who gave the first briefing 25 years ago. There is still room for dinner!

This page is final. If there is any other change from here, we will highlight it on the top of the page so you won't have to reread the whole thing.

Thanking the Volunteers: Yes, please thank the volunteers. But you can do something much more tangible. Don't be a clueless pain. Don't litter, be friendly, wear your number so those who have to write it down can see it, arrive early, don't put yourself in dire medical shape, tell us if you drop out. If you really appreciate all the help you are receiving from our unpaid volunteers, smile and make their lives easier. Thank you for helping!

Information on This Page: Summary | Schedule of Events | Points to Note | Warnings | Following the Course | Course Conditions and Weather | Cutoff Times | Awards

Resources Elsewhere

Print anything you will need. These items will not be available at the event.


Here are the four most important rules:

To Remember Above All Else

BRR is about the trail, the bluebells, and fun. But because there will be over 300 people out there, we need rules, and you need to be careful. But please have fun and enjoy this beautiful trail! We have a page of rules that you should read, but we will highlight the important ones here.

Bunks are still available. You can reserve them or we will probably have room if you just show up. Meals go first to those who reserve. There may be some available at the door.

Points to Note


We are not going to repeat all of our rules here. There is a page of FAQs and rules. Please review it. Our rules are as reasonable as possible. Please abide by them. Remember, absolutely no littering!


Here are things you should watch out for.


Here is the updated schedule for the 2017 Bull Run Run.

April 7 (Friday)
Pre-Race Activities
All at Hemlock Overlook Park (directions)
9:00 am
Course Marking Volunteers Meet at Hemlock for course marking
3:00 pm
Packet pick-up opens (We don't actually give you a bag, but we have them if you need one. You can save a bag if you bring your own.)
5:30 pm
Dinner starts
5:45 pm
Presentation by the 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment on the history of the race course.
6:00 pm
Briefing including prizes and "cool" stuff
7:00 pm
Dinner line closes
7:15 pm
If you really couldn't make the briefing, we will be sure you know what you are doing.
8:00 pm
Packet Pickup Closes
8:00 pm
Check-In for Accommodation Closes
April 8 (Saturday)
Race Day! (Start/finish at Hemlock Overlook Park directions)
5:00 am
Packet Pickup Reopens
Light breakfast (muffins, bagels, juice and, new this year, coffee!) in the dining hall
6:15 am
Packet Pickup Closes
6:25 am
Quick briefing at start line
6:30 am
Start (will be on time - set your watch)
12:38:14 pm
Matt Woods (2011 event record) finishes
1:34:59 pm
Aliza Lapierre (2012 event record) finishes
3:00 pm
First Award Ceremony
4:30 pm
North/South Winner determined
6:00 pm
Second Award Ceremony
7:30 pm
Course closes. Finishes after this are not official.

Following the Course

The course should be well-marked. But you need to pay attention. If you come upon a turn, and you have any question about which way to go, stop and think about it. Here are some rules that might help you.

Course Conditions and Weather

If you want to fixate on the weather, we suggest two Web sites. The first is the National Weather Service site. Once you figure out how to mouse over stuff and what the things mean, it is very helpful. For a more traditional site, there is the Weather Underground:

Click for Clifton, Virginia Forecast

The course conditions and the weather are closely related. Predicting the weather is difficult. (Remember, the weather man works for the Department of Commerce.) The biggest worry is not rain the day of the race. It's rain the day before the race. If there is a lot of rain immediately before or during the race, there will be several places with mud.

Stream Crossing
Typical stream crossing

Stream crossings are another thing. The watersheds for the Bull Run and Occoquan are not large, but you never cross those rivers anyway. You do cross several feeder streams. They have very small watersheds (that include, by the way, parts of suburban Fairfax County—don't drink out of them!) so that they will drop relatively quickly after rain. The result is that if it does not rain on Friday, you have a good chance of making it across most streams with dry feet.

Several small streams have no bridge. Wet feet at some point are very likely. (If you have wet feet when you get back to the aid station at Hemlock, you can change shoes if you want, but you will be wet again soon.)

We and the PATC have done work to clear the trail of brush and blow downs. While this is a never ending task, the trail is in pretty good shape. It's likely however that a tree fell down last night!

One final comment. No matter how hard it rains, most of the trail can handle it well. It won't ever be all mud. Much of the trail is on the bluff above the river where there is little mud. This trail has improved greatly over the last 20 years.

Bull Run Trail
Typical Trail Section. You can run that!

Cutoff Times

Bull Run Run Cutoff Times
Aid StationRace
(first pass)
7:15 1:45 PM 15:29
Do Loop
(first pass)
8:20 2:50 PM 15:23
(second pass)
9:45 4:15 PM 15:26
Bull Run Marina
(second pass)
11:30 6:00 PM 15:22
Finish13:00 7:30 PM15:28

The event starts just after sunrise and ends just before sunset. We have to get everyone off the course before nightfall. Consequently, we have cutoff times that we must enforce. The cutoff times, including the overall requirement to finish under 13 hours, assume a pace of about 15:20 minutes per mile. You have an hour and a half to do the last 5.5 miles. Assuming you leave the Marina right at the cutoff, you only need to do 16:21 miles to finish on time. (The paces listed on the chart at right are for the entire course to that point.)

If you miss a cutoff time on the course, you may not continue. (At the Do Loop, you must walk or run back to Fountainhead. You can't drop out there unless you have, or can fake, serious medical problems.) If you miss the cutoff time at the finish line, but have made all the others, we will give you the finishers award and list your time, but you will not be an official finisher. If you are on a team, it will be disqualified and the run won't count for the multiple finishes list. The cutoff times are at right.


All awards will be distributed at two awards ceremonines at 3 and 6 p.m. and after that for awards earned later. Awards will not be mailed. If you have won an award, please attend an award ceremony to receive yours. If you can't do that, we will give you your award if you ask for it. Team awards will not be available until the 6 p.m. awards ceremony. One team member or representative must attend the ceremony.

Here are the awards:

Accomplishment Given To Number
Overall First three male and female finishers 6
Age Group Open/Masters/Senior/Super Senior
(Male/Female and North/South)
First Two in Each
Team Each member of a winning team (Fleece blanket) 20
Army Each finisher of winning side—North or South More Info Up to 239
Veteran 20 year finisher Up to 2
Veteran 15 year finisher Up to 3
Veteran 10 year finisher Up to 7
Veteran Five year finisher Up to 20
Finisher Finisher Up to 350

* Overall top three male and female finishers are not eligible for age group awards.

Still got a question? Contact the Co-RDs

New Bridge on Trail
Dan Rose, Suzi Spangler, Ryan, and Gary Knipling with the new bridge they built on the first downhill section of the course. More information

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