In 2023 we held the third of our “Baby Bull” training runs for the Bull Run Run 50 miler on Sunday March 19th. This was a smaller run than the first two: Baby Bull #1 in late January drew around 80 runners, and the 2nd training run (the infamous Death By Do Loop) drew in the neighborhood of 60 runners. 25-30 came out on this unseasonably chilly day - the last Sunday before spring. While cold, the wind was not bad and the bright sun helped to keep things comfortable for the runners.
The main challenge on this day was staying on the right trail. There were a few hiccups along the way from Hemlock over Cub Run and into Bull Run Regional Park at the northern end of the course. But the primary confusion came in the Bluebell Loop. Event director Quatro Hubbard misspoke when asked at the pre-run brief and told the runners to run the loop clockwise, instead of the standard counter-clockwise. The CCW route allows the runners to enter the aid station at the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail (BROT) trailhead, and then run about a 1/3 of a mile to the trailhead for the Bluebell Loop. It all came out in the wash, however, since just about everyone made it to the aid station, and then completed the loop in the direction of their choice.
Big thanks to Lou Brooks for coming out to help at the aid station. Then, just as importantly, Lou turned a short run into a defacto sweep, arriving at Hemlock with the last of a few marking ribbons in hand, and knowledge of the imminent arrival of the last runner.
All in all another wonderful day to be out on the BROT with friends! Let’s do it all over again in month for the 29th running of the Bull Run Run 50 miler!
Thank to Lou for the bulk of the photos below (those of the aid station, and then shots of the trails itself). Quatro took the handful of photos of the runners early in the training run as they approached or crossed Popeshead Creek.