The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club

Promoting trail running in the D.C. area for more than 25 years.

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!

November is Potomac Heritage Month Learn more

Latest news

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A Bench for Ed

  • Oct 18, 2020
  • Member news, Trail work

Today, nine club members and Ed’s friends installed a bench in Ed Cacciapaglia’s memory in the Do Loop.

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Trail Work on the Massanutten Trail

  • Sep 24, 2020
  • Trail work

Over the past two weekends, three different crews from the VHTRC put in 197 hours of volunteer work in improving the Massanutten Trail in Duncan Hollow and on Short Mountain.

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Furbutt the bear

Moving the email listserv to Google

  • Sep 1, 2020
  • Club news, Listserv

We are moving our email listserv from Yahoo to Google.

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 27

50 km

Westminster, MD

Entry opens: Jan 3, 2020

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

Entry opens Jan 1

Sat Apr 10

50.2 miles

Clifton, VA

Entry opens: Jan 1, 2021

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 15

100.6 miles

Fort Valley, VA

Entry opens: Jun 2, 2020

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 35 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 Dec 12

50 km

Clifton, VA

Magnus Gluteus Maximus, latin for “fat ass,” is the VHTRC’s annual holiday-time “fat ass 50.” We are doing an informal run for 2020, where you can start and finish wherever you like. The only rules are wear seasonal colors.

Sat Dec 26

21.5 miles

Fort Valley, VA

Entry opens: Nov 16, 2020

A 21.5-mile loop through the Massanutten Mountains, named for Boyer’s Furnace, one of four iron blast furnaces operated in Fort Valley area during the 19th century. Scaled back for 2020. Entry is now open to VHTRC members only.

Entry opens Dec 7

Fri Jan 1

31.7 miles

Quantico, VA

Entry opens: Dec 7, 2020

Start out the new year with some cold miles at Prince William Forest Park and clear your head of any lingering hangover. Sign up online for this very low-key run generally opens in early December after MGM 50k.

Sat Jan 16

32 miles

Fort Valley, VA

Entry opens: Dec 16, 2019

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.

Sun Jan 17

30.7 miles

Luray, VA

Entry opens: Dec 18, 2020

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). Entry opens to VHTRC members on December 20; entry for non-members will open in a few days after that, if available.

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

Wed Dec 2


McLean, VA

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

Sun Dec 6

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.

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