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!

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.

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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 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 Nov 15

Sat Apr 10

50.2 miles

Clifton, VA

Entry opens: Nov 15, 2020

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.

Thu Nov 26

2 hours

Potomac, MD

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.

Sat Dec 12

50 km

Clifton, VA

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 opens on November 4.

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

Wed Oct 21


McLean, VA

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

Sun Oct 25

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 27

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.

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