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!

The VHTRC is 30! We are celebrating with a year-long photo scavenger hunt. More information

Latest news

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Find Your Pacer: In a 100 Mile Race and in Life

  • Sep 28, 2023
  • Race report

The first “Grindstone Trail Running Festival by UTMB” was held over the weekend of September 22-24, 2023. Sophie Speidel has written a post-race report from her perspective as a pacer for fellow Charlottesvillian Steve Combs, with a focus on pacing as an experience.

Read more
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Pine to Palm 100 Race Report

  • Sep 19, 2023
  • Race report

Fresh off a 31 hour finish at the MMT 100 in 2023, Deb Cawthorn made plans to tackle her annual Western 100 miler. For this year, that was the Pine to Palm 100 in the Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon. Deb had an outstanding race and shares her story with us here.

Read more
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  • Sep 19, 2023
  • Race report

Heather Dougherty strung together her remembrances from her great race out west at the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run. We pick up her story on race morning out in Salt Lake City, Utah, early on Friday September 8, 2023 …

Read more

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 24

50 km

Westminster, MD

Entry opens: Jan 3, 2023

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 6

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 18

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.

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 Oct 14

24 hours

Mason Neck, VA

Entry opens: Aug 1, 2023
Entry closes: Oct 1, 2023

Sat Oct 21

44.8 miles

Pen Mar, PA

Entry opens: Sep 11, 2023
Entry closes: Oct 18, 2023

You run in four states in one day, traditionally held on the Saturday the weekend before the Marine Corps Marathon. It’s a long run over challenging trail - you will have to move with dispatch to finish in daylight. Entry is limited to VHTRC members.

Entry is open

Sat Oct 28

50 km

Quantico, VA

Entry opens: Sep 11, 2023
Entry closes: Oct 25, 2023

A runnable 25k or 50k run on a looped course comprised of the rolling trails of Prince William Forest Park.

Entry is open

Sun Nov 5

30.5 miles

Washington, DC

Entry opens: Sep 5, 2023
Entry closes: Nov 3, 2023

The event that proves that there are beautiful trails inside the Beltway. Entry opens a few weeks before the run .

Thu Nov 23

2 hours

Potomac, MD

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

The VHTRC version of this traditional fall running classic. Thanksgiving morning on the C&O Canal and the trails around Great Falls, on the Maryland side. Hosted by Mike Bur.

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

Sun Oct 8

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.

Fri Nov 24

25.3 miles

Nethers, VA

Often referred to as “Shenandoah’s National Park’s greatest hits,” this 25-mile loop’s highlights include White Oak Canyon, Hawksbill, Stony Man, all connected by beautiful ridge running on the Appalachian Trail.

View our available SWAG More information

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