The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club

Promoting trail running in the D.C. area for three decades.

Welcome to the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club

We are a fun group of trail runners of all abilities centered in northern Virginia. Many but not all of us run ultramarathons. Come play with us at our races and training runs!

Latest news

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The Last Crooked Road?

  • Nov 22, 2022
  • Race report, Samantha Neakrase

The Crooked Road Ultra 24 Hour was held on Saturday and Sunday, November 19-20, 2022. The race was conducted on a 1.178-mile cinder track loop in Waid Recreation Park, on the banks of the Pigg River, between Rocky Mount and Ferrum in Franklin County, SW Virginia. Three runners were able to cover more than 100 miles during their 24 hours on the course.

A number of VHTRC members and friends have participated over the years, and this year was no exception. Bruce Tweedie came in 8th place overall and covered over 83.5 miles. Rob Tidwell covered over 74 miles, and Rob’s daughter Rebecca Tidwell was 5th female and 12th overall, with over 77 miles. Wayne Kline was 19th, after breaking 70 miles over his 24 hours. Fitz Brown covered just over 60 miles, and Alan Zwart had just over 50. And, last but certainly not least, 11-time Crooked Road race participant Bill Gentry was the top club finisher, 5th overall and with nearly 92 miles. [Apologies for any club members that the editor may have missed after a quick review of the results!]

All of the above and over 160 additional runners joined our report author, Sam Neakrase, for this year’s race. Her thoughts are collected below.

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60th Annual JFK 50 Mile Race

  • Nov 21, 2022
  • Race report, John Calabrese

The 60th annual JFK 50 Mile race was held on Saturday November 19. Noteworthy VHTRC performances included Martha Wright, who won her age group with a time of 9:24; Jana Fridichova, who finished 10th among the women and 65th overall in 7:39 (a pace just over 9 minutes per mile); VHTRC Bored member Chelsea Smith, who came in just under 10 hours; and also John Calabrese, who settled into 11 minute mile pace and finished in 9:13. This placed John 212th among the 1,081 runners, on what was a bright, sunny and brisk day in western Maryland.

Here is the Calabrese Report:

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New Club SWAG

  • Nov 18, 2022
  • Club SWAG

New club T-shirts have arrived!

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Upcoming stuff

Here’s what we have coming up. See our calendar for a full list of our (and others’) events

The VHTRC was founded to put on races. We are mighty proud of our courses and hospitality.

Sat Feb 25

50 km

Westminster, MD

Entry opens: Jan 3, 2022

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

Sat Apr 15

50.2 miles

Clifton, VA

Entry opens: Nov 15, 2022

A 50 mile trail run that parallels the Bull Run and the Occoquan River in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. The course traverses forested, rolling terrain during the height of Virginia’s spring beauty. The run’s unique character includes a Civil War theme that honors the battles that occurred here over 150 years ago. The 13 hour time limit makes Bull Run Run an excellent first 50 miler.

Sat May 20

100.6 miles

Fort Valley, VA

Entry opens: Oct 30, 2022

A challenging, rocky 100 miler on the trails of the Massanutten Mountains in the George Washington National Forest in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The course includes short but rugged mountain climbs with more than 18,000 feet of total ascent. There is a 36-hour cutoff.

Sat Sep 9

13.6 miles

Fairfax Station, VA

Entry opens: Jun 3, 2022

A challenging yet chill race for women only … built for new trail runners and veterans alike.

Events are open to the public and free to enter, but do require prior registration and many have entry limits.
Didn’t get in? Consider volunteering.

Sat Dec 10

50 km

Clifton, VA

Entry opens: Nov 1, 2022
Entry closes: Dec 8, 2022

The first event in the now-storied history of the club. Very low-key, a lot of fun, and no fee for those who RSVP and then show for the run. Come ring in the holidays with Furbutt and the VHTRC! Be sure to fill out the online RSVP to enter.

Entry is open

Mon Dec 26

40.3 miles

Luray, VA

Entry opens: Nov 21, 2022
Entry closes: Dec 24, 2022

This classic holiday fat ass includes a nice mix of Massanutten Trail sections and dirt roads, with miles of spectacular views of the Fort Valley, Page Valley and Shenandoah Valley.

Entry opens Dec 4

Sun Jan 1

31.7 miles

Quantico, VA

Entry opens: Dec 4, 2022
Entry closes: Dec 30, 2022

Start out the new year with some cold miles at Prince William Forest Park and clear your head of any lingering hangover.

Sat Jan 14

32 miles

Fort Valley, VA

Entry opens: Dec 14, 2022

Day #1 of the MLK weekend of mountain training runs, this year hosted by Larry Huffman. This is a roughly 50 km section of the MMT 100 course along the western ridge of the Massanuttens, starting at the Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and ending at Signal Knob.

Entry opens Dec 15

Sun Jan 15

31.2 miles

Luray, VA

Entry opens: Dec 15, 2022
Entry closes: Jan 12, 2023

The traditional Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend kick-off to Massanutten 100 training, with two long training runs on portions of the MMT course. Day 2 is the Waterfall 50km event (Bur’s Death March).

Sat Jan 21

17.25 miles

Clifton, VA

Come out and get some easy rolling miles on the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail! Starting at the Hemlock Overlook Regional Park trailhead at the end of Yates Ford Road at 8 am, this run will cover the northern section of the course that makes up the first 17 miles of the BRR 50 Miler.

Low-key runs with no formal sign-up. Just show up and run.

Sun Dec 4

7-10 miles

Washington, DC

Explore the trails of Rock Creek Park on these low-key runs. We leave at 8:00 am from either Peirce Mill or Theodore Roosevelt Island and the runs are roughly 7–10 miles long.

Wed Dec 7


McLean, VA

Runs every Wednesday at 6:00 pm in Great Falls National Park, in partnership with DC Capital Striders.

View our available SWAG More information

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