Chocolate Bunny Run 2023

by Jamie Greenawalt

Arriving at the 211 parking lot early, only to find it was already full of anxious runners. It seemed everyone who signed up to run this years edition actually did! One of the biggest groups on record.

As the sun sets over the Masssanuttens, the Chocolate Bunny gets real … .

The weather was in the 50’s but quickly fell into the lower 30’s, we would need to keep moving to stay warm tonight.

The race was on and we decided that since several of us were dealing with issues from prior races to just go for time on our feet and enjoy the trails together. Good company always make for a better experience. As darkness fell we were greeted with a brilliantly painted sky. It was going to be a great night!

Per our instructions, we each brought a drop bag with aid for ourselves. But once again VHTRC had extra goodies for us. A surprise aid station at Gap Creek held water, soda and some treats to keep us energized.

Q’s View over the Shenandoah Valley from a Kerns Mountain overlook

It was on to the climb up Jawbone and the never ending Kerns Mountain, which I think I’ve finally become friends with…it does have its perks at night, amazing view of the towns below and of course, Q’s view! Then onto Crisman Hollow Road, after all that climbing it really gives you a chance to stretch out those legs.

Before long we reached Visitors Center aid station. You could smell the fire and the French fries!! Dan Aghdam and his crew treated us well and didn’t give us a chance to even think about taking that short cut.

On our way with about 10 miles to go. Up Bird Knob with its many twists and turns….to a beautiful view of the Moon in the night sky. Next it was “Ant Hill Road”, as those familiar with it know, it will be crawling with ants come May. All that was left was the run down the road and a climb up purple to the pink trails that so many people hate (and I secretly love).

As I finished up with the last turn onto the Massanutten orange trail to the finish, I was very grateful for the many people who had shared this Easter tradition with me, this year and all the years before. For me it truly is about the people we meet along the way that make it so special.

Special thanks to Larry Rusty Tumblin, Dan Aghdam, and all those who spent the night with us on the Mountain. It’s the best running club there is…VHTRC!

Jimm Ouellette, Jamie Greenawalt and Michelle Rindos

Last updated April 10, 2023