Panoramic view from Loudon Heights at the end of the 2015 QSQB.

Keith Knipling

Quad State Quad Buster

One run. One trail. Four states.

Date
  • Sat Oct 17, 2020
Meeting location
Meeting time
  • 5:45 am
Start location
Start time
  • 7:00 am
Distance
  • 44.8 miles
Total ascent / descent
  • 7,500 / 8,500 feet
Aid stations
  1. Wolfsville Road (9.7 miles)
  2. Rt 70 / Rt 40 (18.3 miles)
  3. Rt 40 alt (22.3 miles)
  4. Crampton Gap (30.5 miles)
  5. Weverton (37.0 miles)
GPX file
Sunrise & sunset
  • Begin civil twilight 5:56 am
    Sunrise 6:23 am
    Sunset 5:26 pm
    End civil twilight 5:53 pm
What to wear
In charge
Reports

Read this entire page before entering.

Autumn on the Appalachian Trail
Autumn on the Appalachian Trail during the 2015 QSQB.

Entry

Entry is open for VHTRC members only and per qualifications/experience listed below. Keep reading for entry info.

At the start of the 2010 QSQB
At the start of the 2010 QSQB.

If I don’t know you or you don’t have some sort of verifiable resume/CV on athlinks.com or realendurance.com, this run just isn’t going to be a good fit for you this year I need to know/understand the ultra/trail experience/history of everyone toeing the line at QSQB. But, we could always use more volunteers which could allow you to get a run in on the trail on your own outside your volunteer slot. Email me if you have any questions about these requirements. Participants will also be limited based on the number of volunteers I can get to commit for that day. Runners who have significant others or friends that can drive and therefore shuttle other runners will get entry priority. Runners who have finished in previous years also get priority. Having said that, we’ve never had to turn away someong due to capacity.

The run

The concept is simple. The run itself certainly is not: Start in PA, just north of the MD line, and run south in four states along, except for the end, the Appalachian Trail (PA→MD→WVa→VA). Total distance is just shy of 45 miles and will seem longer than it is. Your time/effort will be similar to that of a tough 50 miler.

Elevation profile of the Quad State Quad Buster.

This is not a beginner level run. Re-read that first sentence again, it’s important and can’t be understated. Experience running on tough trails for 50+ miles is required.

The run is very much old school in its philosophy and approach. If you don’t have the mindset and mentality of being by yourself on the trail for extended periods, solving your own problems, reading/following a map, figuring out how to self-extract if needed, etc, then you’re not going to do well here.

Aid StationSplitCumulativeDropbagsCutoffNotesMap
Wolfsville Road9.7 mi9.7 mi
Rt 70 / Rt 408.6 mi18.3 mi12:30 pm
Rt 40 alt4.0 mi22.3 mi1:45 pm 
Crampton Gap8.2 mi30.5 mi 
Weverton6.5 mi37.0 mi5:30 pm 

Notes

  • Those arriving after 1:00 pm should have light when they leave.
  • First two cutoffs are soft. Third cutoff, at Weverton, is hard. No one leaves Weverton after 5:30 pm.
  • Aid is self-serve water from a fountain.

This is a run with risks and runners are responsible for their own health, safety and well-being (read the VHTRC Medical Policy below). As is almost always the case, you are your own best advocate: a full charged cell phone, a map and awareness of where you are currently will go a long way!

This is a training run, not an event. There is no entry fee. We will support you and keep track of you in the name of safety but there is no keeping score; just friends supporting friends enjoying some trails and the outdoors. In other words, don’t look for “results” to be posted after - there will not be any.

Angela Flowers in the early miles of the 2015 QSQB
Angela Flowers in the early miles of the 2015 QSQB.

Drop bags

You will be allowed one reasonable sized drop bag labeled with your name that you will see twice: at Aid Station #2 and again at #5. BAGS only, no boxes, hard shell luggage or anything else solid, they just don’t pack well and quite frankly are a burden to the volunteers as well as just an overall PIA to deal with. Drop bags should also not be trash bags. Trash goes in trash bags and I’m easily confused. Don’t risk it. There will be aid at four locations, plus self serve water at one (see below). You will also be assigned an item(s) to bring to contribute to the community aid.

The view from Black Rock
The view to the west from Black Rock, near mile 15, taken during the 2018 QSQB.

Navigation

Map

It’s the AT It’s blazed white. How hard could it be to follow?

PATC Map 5-6
PATC Map 5-6.

That notwithstanding, PATC Map 5-6 (that’s only one piece of paper) is required gear. The last couple of miles leave the AT and are on a blue-blazed side trail. This map is available from the PATC store. Don’t wait to try and get this last minute since it usually has to be ordered/shipped. REI may have it in stock.

The Appalachian Trail in Maryland
The Appalachian Trail in Maryland. Miles and miles of this. Overall it’s pretty rocky. But it’s also mostly doubletrack, which makes it much easier to find a clean line. With few significant climbs and endless ridge running you can move along pretty well.

Phone

A working cell phone with a fully charged battery is also required gear. When you register, list your cell phone number - you may need to contact me or I may need to contact you during the event. Listing your home number doesn’t help anyone. Not listing a number means NO ENTRY

Light

You will also need a light in your drop bag — except for the very fast, many will finish in the dark. Be prepared.

The bridge over I-70
The bridge over I-70, about 18.5 miles into the run. If you cross this bridge without receiving aid, turn around — you just missed the second aid station.

Logistics

We will try our best to support everyone on this run. However, be prepared — mentally, physically and with your gear. If you are fast, you could very well out run the aid and/or your drop bag. Ask Keith Knipling. Ask Sean Andrish when he set the course record. If you are moving slow, having a bad day and/or get lost, you may arrive at and aid location to find the station has already packed up and moved forward. Ask Joe Hanle. None of these guys whined about their situations. If you find yourself as an outlier at either of these ends, be prepared to solve your own problems. A working phone and an extra layer(if it’s cold/rainy) can go a long way here.

In the morning, we will meet at the Weverton parking lot. We will then cram as many people into as few cars as possible and shuttle everyone to the start at Pen Mar. Get to the Weverton parking lot by 5:45 a.m. at the latest as we will be leaving at 6 a.m. sharp and shoot for an 7 am start — the days are getting shorter and we will want to maximize the amount of usable daylight available.

The Washington Monument
Make it a point to take the short detour to the Washington Monument and climb to the top — it’s one of the better views from the run. The original tower was built in 1827 and was the first monument dedicated to our first president. The present tower was rebuilt by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936. This marks the rough halfway point of the run. Taken during the 2016 QSQB.

If you questions about the run or would like to volunteer, contact Bur. Please put QSQB in the subject line.

Volunteer

We can’t do this run without volunteers. We could use help with the following:

  • Transport to start: Need min 3 (maybe more if there are more runners?) larger sized vehicles are best but hey, we’ll take whatever we can get! (Approx time needed - 5am-8am) May need more or less depending on field size and sizes of vehicles available.

  • AS #1 and #3: Need min 1 person, 2 is better (8:30am-3pm) Will work aid station #1 and then pack up and move and oversee aid station #3.

  • AS #2 and #5: Need min 1 person, 2 is better (10am-6pm) Will work aid station #2 and then pack up and move and oversee aid station #5.

  • Finish: Need min 1, 2 is better (3pm-9pm); will provide general help and shuttle finishers from the finish back to the Weverton lot.

The above is an ideal breakdown of the work but may not suit your schedule/plans — no worry, any help at all would be appreciated, just let me know.

If you can help, contact Bur. Contact info above.

Tourists in Harpers Ferry
The tourists in Harpers Ferry can seem a bit of a shock after a day of solitude on the AT.

Last updated November 11, 2020

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.