Redeye 50 km
Get off on the right foot by averaging an ultra a day in the new year! Late 8:00 am start to let you work off any lingering hangover.
- Mon Jan 1, 2024
- Start location
- Start time
- 8:00 am
- 31.7 miles
- Aid stations
- Pine Grove Picnic Area (11.9 miles)
- Pine Grove Picnic Area (21.8 miles)
- Entry opens on Sunday December 3, 2023 at 9:00 am. Entry will be limited to 110 runners.
- Current entrants
- GPX file
- Print or download
- In charge
- Dave Woll
- Course records
The course consists of three repeats of a roughly 10 mile loop. Terrain is primarily groomed forest trails, interspersed with two 1—3 mile section of rolling gravel roads. If you don’t like the recommended course, just run anywhere you want to — this is not a real event.
The first loop features an initial “prologue” that extends the length of this loop by nearly 2 miles, making it 11.9 miles in length. The prologue starts at the Pine Grove Picnic Area and takes 0.5 miles of pavement down to the Telegraph Road Pavilion. Runners then take a left onto the Birch Bluff Trail for a total of about 1.5 miles down to the swinging bridge over Quantico Creek. From there, runners follow the 9 mile counter-clockwise loop on various trails and roads through PWFP, eventually ending up back at the bridge. It is then just 0.45 miles up the Laurel Trail to the start/finish at Pine Grove Picnic Area.
For loops 2 and 3, simply return back down the Laurel Trail to the bridge, repeat the 9 mile counter-clockwise loop, and then return to Pine Grove Picnic Area. Each of these loops is 9.9 miles.
If you are unfamiliar with the route or Prince William Forest Park, you may wish to download a PDF map of the park.
We will not generally hang a lot of streamers, but hope to mark the important turns. The trails are well-blazed. But there are a lot of them and it can be easy to end up on the wrong one. Download the GPX file and/or run with a friend. If you come to a trail intersection without any ribbons, you may be off course. In this case you may want to backtrack.
Any markings will be taken down by the third loop. So pay attention and learn the course on the first two loops!
|Pine Grove Picnic Area||11.9 mi||11.9 mi|
|Pine Grove Picnic Area||9.9 mi||21.8 mi|
|Pine Grove Picnic Area||9.9 mi||31.7 mi|
We will have the one unmanned aid station at the start/finish, which runners will access at the end of each loop. In keeping with the Team Slug tradition of this run, we ask that the runners contribute to the aid station, which usually then evolves into a small feast. This is your chance to get rid of that fruit cake your co-worker gave you. Bring enough for you and a couple of inconsiderate jerks who bring nothing. Don’t bring something for everyone. We generally have had to throw a lot of food away in previous years.
There are bathrooms in the field above the main parking area, and another bathroom adjacent to the visitor’s center. Roughly 7 miles into the loop, at Turkey Run, there is also a bathroom. You can get water there if you need it.
Runners should be sure to check in before the run with RD Dave. Check in again after each loop, let Dave know when you have finished, should you bail prior to finishing the full 50 km.
You will need to pay the National Park Service entrance fee on the way out. We believe the fee is $10 for a car unless you have a NPS pass. If you didn’t pay on the way in, please stop at park headquarters to pay on the way out.
Parking can get tight. If you can’t find a place, look for someone who appears official to direct you. Don’t park illegally, please! Rangers will ticket you.
Bring a water bottle. We will not have drinking cups. Bring a water bottle to pour fluids in. This event was established before the invention of the hydration pack, and we believe in tradition!
Bring a map if you need it. PDF map of the park.
For its first 8 years, Team Slug, primarily Dan Grayson, Bill Sublett, and James Moore, put on the much-loved Redeye 50km on New Year’s Day. After a gap year in 2004, Team Slug passed the event on to Anstr Davidson and Gary Knipling, who led the run beginning in 2005. Eventually Anstr let Gary do all the work alone, and this continued through 2017. Gary then passed the reins of Redeye power on to Dave Woll, beginning with the run on New Year’s Day in 2018. Dave remains your Red Eye director. If you don’t know Dave, you will recognize him easily, as he will be the person by far the most underdressed for the cold weather. Dave apparently is impervious to the cold!
The essential nature of this “run” has remained the same over all these years. In the Team Slug days, the aid station was manned and there were creative, goofy finishers awards. Under Gary and now Dave, the course has changed on occasion; there are no awards; and the aid station at the start/finish is not officially manned, but there is often a volunteer or three who sets up shop to help the runners, keep tabs on the food and drink tables, and even to offer up some hot food and drink to ward off the often chilly conditions. The aid continues to be supplied by the runners — remember that the tradition is to bring good, calorie-laden holiday leftovers to share!
See the sidebar for links to reports from all the Redeyes. In 2004 the Redeye was on hiatus. In 2019, the event was cancelled because of a US Government shut-down, and it was again cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Last updated January 4, 2023
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.