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.

Date
  • Fri Jan 1, 2021
Start location
Start time
  • 8:00 am
Distance
  • 31.7 miles
Aid stations
  1. Pine Grove Picnic Area (11.9 miles)
  2. Pine Grove Picnic Area (21.8 miles)
GPX file
Print or download
Sunrise & sunset
  • Begin civil twilight 7:57 am
    Sunrise 8:27 am
    Sunset 5:59 pm
    End civil twilight 6:29 pm
What to wear
In charge
Reports
Course records
  • Michael Wardian
    4:17 (in 2020)
    Grace Fisher
    4:26:30 (in 2017)

Course

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 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 and take that trail for 2 miles to the swinging bridge over Quantico Creek. From there, runners follow the 9 mile counter-clockwise loop on various trails and roads trough 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.

Redeye prologue loop
The Redeye starts at Pine Grove and begins with a 2.5 mile “prologue” loop on the Birch Bluff Trail (in yellow). Part of the main counter-clockwise loop is shown in blue.

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.

Markings

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!

Aid

Aid StationSplitCumulativeMap
Pine Grove Picnic Area11.9 mi11.9 mi
Pine Grove Picnic Area9.9 mi21.8 mi
The aid station spread
The aid station spread.

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.

Roughly 7 miles into the loop, at Turkey Run, there is a bathroom. You can get water there if you need it.

Logistics

Runners should be sure to check in before the race 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.

Timing at the 2015 Redeye
Precision timing at the 2015 Redeye.

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 or just drink out of the container. This event was established before the invention of the hydration pack.

Bring a map if you need it. PDF map of the park.

Where

Prince William Forest Park, Triangle, Virginia. Take the Triangle/Quantico exit (Exit 150-B) off I-95 (about 25 miles south of D.C.) and follow the signs to the park, which is just west of the freeway. Enter the park (right turn) and make the second left into the Pine Grove picnic area. After your left turn, stay left and go to the end of the parking lot. See Driving Map at right (“Exit 150” is from I-95)

History

Jim Moore in his Eric Clifton tights
Jim Moore in his Eric Clifton tights.

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 race 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.

The essential nature of this “race” 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 in hiatus. In 2019, the event was cancelled because of a US Government shut-down.

Bill Sublett and Dan Grayson
Your former hosts — slugs Bill Sublett and Dan Grayson! Taken at the 2002 Redeye.

Final word

And now that you have read through the race info above, if you are ready to join in the New Year’s Day fun with the VHTRC in Prince William Forest Park, then look for a link to entry here sometime in early December of 2020!

Last updated June 16, 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.