Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run

February 22, 2014
Next Year: February 28, 2015
7:30 AM

Blowdowns on TrailCanceled! Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the 2014 Hashawha Hills 50km.  Alan Gowen has sent an e-mail to all participants explaining the situation.  That message included this:

"Considering the ice storm damage [of February 3], as well as course marking issues, aid station re-locations, potential course re-routes, bushwhacks, and and just plain bad stuff, I came to the conclusion that we wouldn't be able to have the quality event we feel we should, and therefore I was left with no choice but to cancel the race.  Whereas this time next week the snow may be all but gone, the blow downs and brush blocking the trail will still be there."

Here are the final entrants and wait lists. They will be important for 2015.

Hashawha Hills Trail Run Logo

Hashawha Environmental Center
300 John Owings Road
Westminster, Maryland 21158

Course: 31 miles of trails, old woods roads, open fields and plenty of hills with a couple of stream crossings thrown in just for fun.

VHTRC logo

Sponsorship: The Hashawha Hills Trail Run is another event sponsored by the Virginia Happy Trails Running club.

Entry Fee:  In 2010 and 2011 the entry fee was an exorbitant $20.00.   We really wanted to be sure runners got their money's worth, so in 2012 the entry fee was reduced to $19.85.  In 2013 we reduced the fee again to $19.75.  The insanity continues!  This year the entry fee will be reduced yet again.  The entry fee in 2014 is a ridiculous $19.65. 

What You Get: For your entry fee, you will receive a great trail race with a very well-marked route, well-stocked aid stations, and hot post race food and drink indoors. All finishers will receive a beautiful Hashawha Hills mug, hand made by a local potter. There will be special awards for the top male and female finishers.

Entry Limit: 120 runners

Registration: Will open on January 15. We use the "VHTRC entry system."  That means there is a lottery.  Entry | List of Applicants

Prior Finishers List: We now have a list of all finishers that you can search.  This is useful to confirm how many finishes you have for the purpose of priority on the wait list.  Search Prior Finisher List

Note about registration for 2014:  In the past, when we  had a first come first-served registration system we were a little embarrassed by the speed with which Hashawha Hills filled up. Because the race filled so quickly, we felt it wasn't as fair as we would have liked it to be. In the spirit of fairness we now use the same lottery system the VHTRC currently uses for entry into some of our other events.  We will have a wait list with priorities.  The priorities will  give wait list priority to prior finishers. 

Entry | List of Applicants

Refunds: We will give refunds (less five dollars) to those who notify us of their withdrawal by Wednesday, February 19. To withdraw, go to the withdrawal page. There must be someone on the waiting list to take the place of the person who withdraws for a refund to be issued.

The Hashawha Hills 50km Trail Run complies with the VHTRC policy on personal listening devices.The short explanation is that we don't want you to use them. Hashawha Hills also complies with the VHTRC cancellation policy

The Course
The Course

Details: Pre-race and post-race will be indoors. We’ve reserved the heated auditorium and bathrooms located indoors at the Bear Branch Nature Center. There will be hot food and drink indoors at the finish.

The course has about two miles of asphalt, three miles of gravel road, and 26 miles of trail. The course is mostly single track trails along with some old woods roads and open fields. The entire course is runnable. There are no mountains, no rocks, and no roots, but there are a few stream crossings (you WILL get your feet wet) and never ending small hills to wear you down with a few bigger hills thrown in just for fun. The scenery changes from mostly woods to meadows and open fields with beautiful views of rolling farmland. The course will be well marked for the entire distance; however, runners will have to pay attention to remain on course.

Weather:  In past years we've experienced high winds, cold temperatures, slick ice, amazing mud, snow, and some all round miserable weather.  Even so, the race will be held unless we're in the midst of a howling blizzard (a real blizzard, not what the TV guys call a blizzard) Even though we will try to notify everyone by email if we should need to cancel the event, we will post a notice on this web site, so be sure to check here if you are in doubt. 

Aid Station
The famous aid station

Start – Finish: The start, finish, and mid-point of the race will be at a covered picnic pavilion just a two minute walk from the Bear Branch auditorium. After you finish your race, join us indoors in the Bear Branch Auditorium for hot food and drink.

Time Cutoffs: The race will start at 7:30 AM. There is a 9 hour time limit (4:30 PM) to complete the course. Additionally, there is a cut off of 4:15 (11:45 AM) at the 15.5 mile aid station  Course record for men: 3:31:44 (Michael Daigeaun, 2013). Course record for women: 4:35:13 (Kristin Bremer, 2013)

Running through the pinesPre-Race: Please arrive in time for a pre-race briefing in the Bear Branch auditorium at 7:10 AM. When you arrive, park near the Bear Branch Nature Center, which is the building on your right at the top of the hill beside the parking lot, and make your way inside the building. If the parking lot becomes full, please park as directed along the outside perimeter of the parking lot and entrance road, and if you park here, please pull as far off the pavement on the shoulder as is practical. The Bear Branch Nature Center will remain open to the public during our race, and we need to allow access for, and be courteous to, the public.

Post-Race: After the race, celebrate your accomplishment and swap lies with everyone else while you warm up with hot food and drinks in the Bear Branch auditorium. The park has a no alcohol policy.

Drop Bags: The start-finish line is at the same location as the 15.5 mile aid station #3. This is a covered pavilion where there is plenty of space for you to leave a drop bag if you so desire. Bring your drop bag to the indoors pre-race briefing and then carry it with you to the start-finish after the pre-race briefing

Volunteers: If this race is to be a success, we'll need to have some help on race day. Feel good about yourself and make us look good too by volunteering. Email us: alangowen@gmail.com

Awards: There will be unique handmade awards for the first male and female finishers.

What's it Like? Read the report from 2008.

Stream Crossing
Stream Crossing at Hashawah Hills 50km

The Course: The course will be marked with PINK ribbons hung from branches, sign posts, small pink flags stuck in the ground, and blue arrow signs. Most intersecting trails will be blocked with RED ribbons across them

Aid Station Sec Dist Cum Dist Note
1 8.46 8.46  
2 2.3 10.76  
3 4.74 15.5 Start/Finish
4 8.46 23.96  
5 2.3 26.26  
Finish 4.74 31.1  
  1. Always follow the closest pink marking
  2. Disregard arrow signs seen from the back or side
  3. Never cross red

There will be five opportunities for aid. The aid stations will be fully stocked with water, Gatorade, PB&J sandwiches, chips, pretzels, cookies, M&M's, Coke, Mt Dew, etc. Please note that you will have to run up to 8.5 miles between aid so be sure to come prepared to do that.


  • Days Inn
    Westminster, MD
  • Boston Inn
    Westminster, MD
  • Best Western
    Westminster, MD

Map: Here is a map on Google Maps. 

View Hashawha Hills Start in a larger map

Directions from Northern VA, DC and Montgomery County

Joe Clapper
First Hashawha Winner Joe Clapper
  • Take I-270 North.
  • Exit 16 onto Father Hurley Blvd. East or north following MD 27, ridge Road north
  • Continue north on MD 27 through Damascus & Mt. Airy into downtown Westminster.
  • Cross Main St, continue thru underpass & turn right onto ramp for MD 140 West and MD 97 North. Continue on MD 140 west / MD97 North.
  • Bear right on ramp leaving MD 140 onto MD 97 North. Follow MD 97 North.
  • After passing the air park on your left and a plant nursery on your right, turn right onto John Owings Road at the park sign for Hashawha Environmental Center and the Bear Branch Nature Center.
  • Turn left on Hashawha Road at the sign for Hashawha and Bear Branch.
  • Proceed to the right hand turn into the Bear Branch parking lot.

Directions from US-15 and areas north and west

Take US-15 north or south to Emmitsburg. Exit onto MD140 East. Follow MD 140 east through Taneytown to MD-97 north. Follow above directions on MD 97 north

Directions from the Baltimore and areas north and east

  • From I-695 exit onto I-795 west. Follow I-795 west toward Owings Mills.
  • Bear to the right as I-795 becomes MD 140 west
  • Follow MD 140 west to MD-97 north.
  • Turn right off MD 140 onto MD 97 north and follow above directions north on MD 97

Any questions, inquiries or suggestions contact the race director, Alan Gowen at alangowen@gmail.com

Prior Results & Reports

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2009 | 2008
Search Prior Finisher List