The Chocolate Bunny is a nighttime run designed to generally mimic what you could expect to experience during the night portion of the MMT 100 mile race. It is a marathon covering miles 70 to 96 of the MMT course, the section between the two Gap Creek/Jawbone aid stations — some sections of which all MMT runners will do in the dark. While it is the shortest of the Training Academy runs (an even marathon), it’s got plenty of challenges including Big Run, Kerns Mountain, and Bird Knob. Did we mention that it’s at night? The run starts and finishes at the Route 211 commuter parking lot, which is near mile 90 at MMT.
We will meet at the Route 211 parking lot at 6:30 pm with the goal to be running by 7:00 pm. You will need a flashlight (remember: that’s the point).
For 2021 there will be lots of changes to our standard Bunny Operating Procedures (the BOP). We will look to have runners start within a 30 minute window. So you can start as early after 6:30 pm as you have formally checked in. Everyone planning to run needs to be underway by 7:00 pm. This will negate the need for any “wave” starts for this run.
There will be only a single aid opportunity for you during this run, at the old Massanutten Visitors Center parking lot, a little over 15 miles into your 26 mile run. The aid will be supplied by you, and for you. This has become the standard practice for this past winter’s training runs, and has worked very well. Just find a plastic baggie of appropriate size, drop items that you will possibly want at the aid station into the bag, seal it, put your last name on the outside where the volunteers can read it, and we will make it available to you. After you pass through the aid station, anything you leave behind will make its way into a giant trash bag. Obviously, do NOT put anything in the aid baggie for the Visitors Center aid station that you may want back, as you will not see it again. We will provide water, Gatorade and sodas. There will be no aid at the finish of the run, so be sure to have refreshments in your vehicle for your post-run recovery needs.
Also for 2021 and the Covid times, make sure you bring your mask and/or buff, and when you are not able to be socially distant from your fellow runners, be courteous to them and cover your nose and mouth (particularly during time around others in the parking lot, and when passing in close quarters on single track trail). If you are an entrant who has been recently exposed to someone who has tested positive, or if you are not feeling well, then you should contact Dan and Q and let them know that you will not be able to participate in this run.
Make sure that you have with you whatever navigational aids will allow you to Stay On Course during this challenging nighttime run in the Massanutten Mountains. Helpful information may be found in the column on the left-hand side of this page: a GPX file, and the very useful turnsheet. If you like using old-school hard copy maps, then you will want to obtain a National Geographic trail map. This is a training/fun run, so if you are not that familiar with the course, in addition to bringing navigational aids, you may want to remove your headphones and get to know a fellow runner or three who does know the route and who can help keep you from getting lost.
A fair amount of this course has cell phone coverage, so carrying your phone in case of emergency (to you or to someone else in the field) is highly recommended.
Dan Aghdam and Quatro Hubbard will be hosting the 2021 event, but the club is looking for new event coordinators, not only for MMT Training Academy #3, but also for the Chocolate Bunny. Coming out to help at one or both events this April may help you decide if taking the reins in 2022 and possibly beyond will work for you. Either way, a couple of volunteers will be required to make this event work in 2021, so shoot Dan and Q a note if you can help.
Last updated March 23, 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.