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 procedure for selecting a new Board is underway. Learn how to nominate candidates for the Board and the process by which the Board is elected. More information

Latest news

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61st Annual JFK 50 Mile

  • Nov 25, 2023
  • Race report

John Calabrese and Denise Freeman raced the nation’s oldest ultramarathon, the JFK 50 Miler, on Saturday 18 November 2023, and have kindly shared a report on their race experience.

Read more
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City Invincible Race Report

  • Oct 1, 2023
  • Race report

Our running correspondent, John Calabrese, took a week off from racing on trails to race around a track. It went better than anticipated, as John came away from his loops around the 400 meter oval outside of Philly having not only covered over 100 miles in 24 hours, but also with the overall win! Here is his report on the first ever ultramarathon to be held in the city of Camden, over the weekend of September 30th.

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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.

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

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: Oct 25, 2023

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 31, 2023

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 Dec 9

50 km

Clifton, VA

Entry opens: Nov 6, 2023
Entry closes: Dec 7, 2023

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

Sat Dec 30

40.3 miles

Luray, VA

Entry opens: Nov 20, 2023
Entry closes: Dec 28, 2023

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 is open

Mon Jan 1

31.7 miles

Quantico, VA

Entry opens: Dec 3, 2023
Entry closes: Dec 30, 2023

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

Sat Jan 13

32 miles

Fort Valley, VA

Entry opens: Dec 13, 2023

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 14

31.2 miles

Luray, VA

Entry opens: Dec 15, 2023
Entry closes: Jan 11, 2024

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

Sat Jan 20

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.

Entry opens Jan 1

Sat Feb 3

Cabin John, MD

Entry opens: Jan 1, 2024

A party for all VHTRC members, to announce and honor the winners of the VHTRC awards for the previous calendar year. RSVP will open for the party right after the New Year.

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

Sun Dec 10

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.

Thu Jul 4

20.9 miles

Flint Hill, VA

Smooth, runnable loop up and over the Blue Ridge and back. Wear red, white, and blue.

View our available SWAG More information

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