Entry opens on Tuesday October 1, 2024

The Bull Run Occoquan Trail meanders through a sea of bluebells.

Mark VanDyke


The Bull Run Run is a 50 mile run hosted by the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club, traditionally in early April of each year. The race is held on trails that parallel the Bull Run and the Occoquan River along the Fairfax and Prince William county line in Northern Virginia. The course traverses forested, rolling terrain. Less than 1% of the course is on asphalt. The remainder is generally single-track dirt. There are a handful of small stream crossings, particularly in the first out-and-back section of the race course. Most of the trails drain well, but historically this early spring race has at least some muddy sections, and much more so in wet weather. While certain very short sections are rocky, and the trail can offer a few roots and other challenges, the trail is, on the whole, not technical in nature.

The event is held in the height of Virginia’s spring beauty. While we have had both warm and cold weather, brutally hot, humid weather on race day is unlikely. Most years the weather is pleasant, but some years the race has been held on one of the first truly warm days of the year; in other years it has been chilly, with snow a remote possibility.


The 2025 Bull Run Run will start at 6:30 AM, Saturday, April 5th, at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, located near the picturesque village of Clifton in Fairfax County, Virginia. The race has a 13-hour limit with intermediate soft and then hard cutoffs. We do not offer early starts. Runners who come in to an aid station after a hard cutoff must withdraw from the run. Registration will open on Tuesday, October 9th, 2024.


Yes, we have them. We try to have reasonable rules and only what we need. We ask that you review the rules and comply with them. We are hang-loose and fun-loving, but we have our anal streak, too. Please humor us and review the Rules - Warnings - Frequently Asked Questions.

The finisher’s award for the 2024 race. [Click on image to expand.]

Hospitality — Entry Premium and Food

The Bull Run Run is noted for good entry items and finishers awards, and this year’s race will be no exception. All entrants in the 2024 race will receive a race shirt, as well as additional useful swag. The finisher’s award for this year’s Bull Run Run is a 30th anniversary blanket pictured to the right.

We are planning to have light fare available pre-race on Saturday morning, and to have our now traditional and highly-anticipated post-run feast at what is affectionately known as the Furbutt Cafe. With the reopening of the host site at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, we will also once again have use of the buildings on the campus. Of particular note is the Chow Hall (also known as the Lodge), where the pre-race coffee and food will be available, and the shower facility. Bull Run Run veterans will be delighted to once again be able to get a shower after their finish, and those of you new to BRR or the 50 mile distance can look forward to not only that shower but some outstanding food while enjoying the finish line party!


Blackburn’s Ford — Today, the first aid station.

In years’ past we have offered accommodations in the cabins at the host site, Hemlock Overlook Regional Park. This year, for the first time since 2019, up to three of those cabins will again be opened to the runners! Camping in open areas behind the building complex at Hemlock will also be allowed for those who wish to pitch a tent on Friday night. Those interested in Friday night stay in the bunkhouse or camping must arrive before the end of packet pickup at 7 pm, as the entrance gate will be closed after that time. There is no camping permitted after the race. For those wishing to stay in the cabins, there is a nominal fee, but know that this comes with easy access to the bathhouse and close-in parking. See the On Site Lodging page for more information and to make a reservation.

Sorry, no RV-type vehicles permitted at Hemlock Overlook. Please do not drive your RV to the event at all. We don’t have room for it.


All finishers will receive a quality premium; for this year, it is a 30th anniversary blanket! Any twenty, fifteen, ten, and five-time finishers will receive special recognition. There will be awards for male and female winners of each age division (open, masters, seniors, and super-seniors, and this year, the return of the award for the first male and female finisher who is a member of the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club). We will not have formal awards ceremonies this year, but instead will endeavor to present awards once winners are identified. We don’t mail awards.

The highly popular team competition will once again be held in 2025. We will also have awards for teams in several categories. There is NO extra cost to create a team. Team information

We have discontinued the competition between the North and South “armies” starting with the 2022 race. We felt it was no longer appropriate to ask runners to choose between running on behalf of the Confederacy or the Union. The race will continue to commemorate the battles that made the Bull Run famous by retaining the Civil War logo and theme.


Please check this Web site first including the FAQs, then if you still have questions please contact the RDs.

Last updated April 9, 2024