View to the east and the Shenandoah Mountains, taken in the early miles of the 2014 run.

Keith Knipling

Boyers Furnace

A 40-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. Runners pass the furnace ruins roughly halfway through the circuit.

  • Sun Dec 26, 2021
Start location
Start time
  • 7:30 am
  • 40.3 miles
Total ascent/descent
  • 6,500 feet
Aid stations
  1. Veach Gap (17.0 miles)
  2. Woodstock Tower (23.0 miles)
  3. Edinburg Gap (31.0 miles)
  • Entry opens on Monday November 22, 2021 at 9:00 am. Entry will be limited to 75 runners.
GPX file
Print or download
Sunrise & sunset
  • Begin civil twilight 8:00 am
    Sunrise 8:29 am
    Sunset 6:00 pm
    End civil twilight 6:28 pm
What to wear
In charge
Course records
  • Paul Jacobs
    6:16 (in 2019)
    Kelly MacDonald
    7:56 (in 2018)
Boyers Furnace ruins
The ruins of Boyer’s Furnace, the namesake of the run.

Boyer’s Furnace is a minimally supported 40-mile loop through the Massanutten Mountains, sponsored by the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club. The run was started in 2006 by Greg Loomis. It was under the able stewardship of Carter Wiecking and then Tony Escobar for several years. 2020 will be Year Four under Race Director Carol Cohen. Carol is excited at this opportunity to provide the trail running community with a quality fat ass race experience, on the behalf of the VHTRC and in the tradition of Greg, Carter and Tony.

Aid StationSplitCumulativeMap
Veach Gap17.0 mi17.0 mi
Woodstock Tower6.0 mi23.0 mi
Edinburg Gap8.0 mi31.0 mi

The event is named for Boyer’s Furnace, one of four stone blast furnaces operated in the Fort Valley area during the 19th century. Runners pass the furnace ruins roughly halfway through the circuit, on a dirt road section while crossing the Fort Valley on the edge of the George Washington National Forest boundary line.

This event is a classic “fat-ass” run: there is no entry fee, no awards, and some runner-provided aid will be made available at a limited number of locations along the route. What better way to kick off your 2022 training, and knock off some holiday pounds, while also spending time on the trails with old friends and new? And if the weather is cooperative, you will be treated to some incredible views on both ridges of the Massanutten Mountains.

Markings are minimal, so the runner must be comfortable navigating a course using a map and turnsheet in order to participate. This is a MUST! Some of you will know this course, but those who are not 100% sure of the route should be carrying a turnsheet and a map. Carrying your cell phone is also a wise option, not only in case of emergency, but so that you can document the trail, your fellow runners, the bears, etc.

Elevation profile of the Boyer’s Furnace 40 miler.

The event will be limited to 75 runners in the starting field. If the limit of 75 is reached, then entry will place you on the wait list, in order of entry (so ignore the randomly generated “lottery” numbers for this event). As a runner formally drops out of the field, the next runner on the wait list will be let in. There will be no additional notification, so keep your eyes on those entry and wail lists to see when (if?) you get in!

The link to enter the 2019 event opened up through the VHTRC’s online signup system on Monday November 18, and was closed the weekend before Christmas. Confirm that this event really is for you, and then you will find the entry link below and on the panel to the left once the race entry is opened up (scheduled for 9 AM on Monday November 22, 2021). NOTE: Volunteers are very much needed, so contact Carol if you would like to help your fellow runners out!

Last updated May 11, 2021

Club Event Participant Medical Policy

This is an event with very real risks to your well being. The VHTRC does not provide medical care for runners at this event. Runners are responsible for their own health, safety, and well being at this event. No doctors, nurses, or emergency medical technicians, or anyone with any medical training are available along the course, at any aid station, or at the finish. The club does not supply any medical goods or services, including bandages, splints, antiseptic, or Ibuprofen or any other drugs to maintain the health of runners. Physical, medical, and emergency care is the runners' responsibility. In case of an emergency, we will endeavor to get local emergency personnel to an injured runner as soon as possible. Since most of our events are in remote areas, medical care may be far away in distance or time. Each year, runners finish — or are forced to drop out — with scrapes, deep cuts, hematomas, dislocations, and sprains. Runners have experienced cuts, bruises, bee stings, and asthma attacks. This is an event with very real risks.