Entry opens on Tuesday October 1, 2024

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

Mark VanDyke

Crew instructions

The Bull Run Run aid stations are fully stocked and should cover virtually anything a runner may need. Most participants do not employ a crew, however we do offer the option. We also want runners to be able to share this experience with loved ones.

Crew parking has been a problem over the years. The congestion created by crews, especially at Hemlock Overlook (the start/finish), is one of the most significant factors in limiting the number of entrants at this event.

If you choose to avail yourself of the privilege of having a crew, please ensure that they follow the guidance provided here and park responsibly.

Illegally parked vehicles are subject to towing at the owner’s expense.

Aid stations with crew access

Crews may meet runners only at these aid stations. Runners will be disqualified if met on the course at any other locations.

The table below also has estimates of the times of arrival of the first and last runners at each aid station with crew access. This is simple math that assumes an even pace except for the last two aid stations, which are cutoff times we have used for years. A runner may not continue if he or she does not leave the aid station by this time. See the note at the bottom of the table.

Note: This chart only displays the aid stations that are Crew Accessible. Please see the page that describes the full Course in order to view a chart with every aid point along the Bull Run Run course.

Aid Station Mileage First runner Last runner Cutoff Map
1. Centreville Road 7.2 mi 7:22 am 8:22 am
2. Bluebell Loop 9.7 mi 7:40 am 9:00 am
3. Centreville Road 12.5 mi 8:00 am 9:44 am
4. Hemlock Overlook 17.6 mi 8:36 am 11:30 am 11:30 am
5. Bull Run Marina 21.9 mi 9:07 am 12:10 am
7. Fountainhead 28.9 mi 9:57 am 2:00 pm
10. Fountainhead 37.9 mi 11:02 am 4:15 pm 4:15 pm
12. Bull Run Marina 44.8 mi 11:51 am 6:00 pm 6:00 pm


  • Cut-off times: A runner may not continue if he or she does not leave the aid station by this time.
  • All other times are simple, straight line estimates of the arrival time based on a 6 hour time for the first runner and a 13 hour time for the last. The course record is 6:08:14. Please use only as a general estimate, your runner will differ. The last three aid staions have cut-off times. A runner may not continue if he or she does not leave the aid station by this time.

Instructions For Crews

Crew should bring all of their own self-support supplies to the race. Crews may not use any supplies from an aid station for themselves, but they may access those supplies for their runner. Only the Fountainhead and Hemlock Overlook aid stations have water available for personal use by crews.

Since the driving distance between aid stations is not great, there is no reason to drive fast on these curvy and dangerous roads. Slow down and drive carefully! You will have plenty of time to get to the next aid station ahead of your runner. You should also have time to visit nearby amenities to attend to your own needs, as well.

Hemlock — the start

We suggest, but don’t require, that you drop your runner off, and not park at the start. Crew-only vehicles may not park at the start. You must have a registered runner in the car to park at the start.

Hemlock Overlook to Centreville Road

  • Leave Hemlock on Yates Ford Road and go to the four-way stop at Kincheloe Road (1.7 mi)
  • Left on Kincheloe Road and drive to a three-way stop in the town of Clifton (0.6 mi)
  • Go straight at three-way stop. You are now on Clifton Road. Go through town, across the railroad tracks, and watch for Clifton Road to turn left (0.5 mi)
  • Take the left turn and continue on Clifton Road (VA 645). Go to Compton Road coming in from the left. (0.7 mi)
  • Turn left on Compton Road and continue until you reach Centreville Road (VA 28). (3.7 mi)
  • Turn left on Centreville Road. Look for a right-turn lane into the trailhead parking lot. (0.4 mi)
  • If you cross the bridge over the Bull Run, you have just missed the aid station parking lot!

Note: The water stop at Bull Run Regional Park is open for crew access. However, your crew would be much better served by just remaining at the Centreville Road aid station for your return. The distance for the runner to arrive at the water stop in Bull Run Regional Park is only 2.5 miles, while for crew it is nearly 6 miles and a 15 minute drive. If your crew is not from the Northern Virginia area, there will also be an $8 charge to enter Bull Run Regional Park. So we advise against trying to meet runners at this water stop, unless you intend to do so in lieu of meeting your runner at Centreville Road.

Centreville Road to Hemlock Overlook

Follow the route backwards that you took to get to the aid station to return to the second aid station at Hemlock Overlook. During either pass through the village of Clifton, you may want to stop off for breakfast or coffee at one of the shops along Main Street. You will be glad you did, and you will have time!

Hemlock Overlook to Bull Run Marina

  • Take Yates Ford out of Hemlock to the four-way stop at Kincheloe Road. Go straight at the four-way stop until the road ends at Clifton Road (Do not turn right at Kincheloe! Youth Soccer has begun by April, don’t add to the congestion. Also, that route would require using a section of very bad dirt road.) (1.9 mi)
  • Turn right onto Clifton Road and take the almost immediate right on to Henderson Road (.2 mi)
  • After making the right onto Henderson, go to the Y in the road where right branch becomes Old Yates Ford and Henderson goes off to left. (1.6 mi)
  • Stay right onto Old Yates Ford Road and go to the large parking lot on the left across the street from Kincheloe Road’s junction with Old Yates Ford. If you cross the river on Yates Ford Road, you went too far. (0.7 mi)
  • Park in the lot as far south as you can. (South is the direction you were going on Yates Ford Road.) The aid station is on the other side of the road at the Bull Run Marina. The safest way to walk to the aid station is to go south out of the parking lot on a path that goes by a damaged building until you see a blue-blazed trail. Turn right on the blue-blazed trail, and it will take you to the aid station. Be very careful when crossing the road, as approaching cars are moving quickly.
  • There is parking at the aid station itself, but you are not supposed to use it. If you park there, you run the risk that someone will lock the gate behind you, and you won’t be able to get out.

Bull Run Marina to Fountainhead

  • Return on Old Yates Ford Road (going back the way you came) up the hill to the Y at Henderson Road (0.7 mi)
  • At the Y, make a very hard right turn onto Henderson Road, go past Wolf Run Shoals Road, which joins from the right to a three-way stop where Wolf Run Shoals goes straight and Henderson goes right. (Parts of this road are very hilly and windy. Drive carefully!) (2.5 mi)
  • Turn right at the 3-way stop, continuing on Henderson Road to Hampton Road on the right (.6 mi)
  • Turn right onto Hampton Road (you should see a sign to “Fountainhead Regional Park”) and go to the entrance to Fountainhead on the right (1.4 mi)
  • Turn right into the park, and take the entrance road for 0.7 mile to the large parking lot on the right (immediately after the maintenance yard). When you enter the park, watch for runners who will be crossing the park road near the entrance.
  • The aid station will be easy to spot, as it will be located straight ahead as you enter the parking lot, at the trailhead for the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail.

Going back to the Marina

  • To go back to the Marina, follow the instructions above backwards.

Going straight back to Hemlock Overlook

  • To go from Fountainhead to the finish at Hemlock without going to the Marina, go back out the park entrance road and turn left on Hampton Road. When Hampton ends, turn left again on Henderson and go to the three-way intersection with Wolf Run Shoals. Turn right on Wolf Run Shoals and go about a mile to a four-way intersection with Clifton Road. (There is a gas station and mini mart there.) Turn left on Clifton Road and take it for 2.3 miles. After Henderson on the left, look for a left turn onto Yates Ford Road and a sign for Hemlock Regional Park. Turn left and take Yates Ford all the way to Hemlock.
  • *Important Note about Parking at the Finish Parking will be very* tight at the finish, especially early in the afternoon. Please don’t go to the finish before you expect your runner to arrive. If there is no parking at Hemlock when you get there, you will have to leave. We will do all we can to have parking for you, but if there is none, you must not park illegally. The later you come to Hemlock, the more likely that early finishers will have left allowing you to find a place to park.

Food, Shopping, Gas

The aid stations are not next to shopping or other conveniences. Shopping is not far away, however. Here are suggestions.

Near the Marina and Fountainhead aid stations

There is a gas station and small mini-mart at the corner of Wolf Run Shoals and Clifton Roads. This would be the most convenient to the Marina and Fountainhead aid stations.

Coordinates: 38.7590, -77.3402

Near Hemlock

The village of Clifton, which you may have driven through in the morning, has a small market that makes sandwiches and the Clifton Café, which has coffee and crepes. Both are on Main Street. The market is next to the railroad tracks, and the café is next to the market. We are not aware of gas stations in Clifton.

Coordinates: 38.7802, -77.3868

Upstream end of course

On your way to or from the Centreville Road aid station, go north on Centreville Road (VA Route 28) for a couple of miles to US Route 29, and you will find stores and restaurants on the left and gas at several locations.

Coordinates: 38.8339, -77.4323

Downstream end of course

From the Fountainhead aid station go right on Hampton Road out of the park to the first signal, Ox Road (Rt 123). There is a fire station there. Turn right on Rt 123 and go about a mile to a shopping center on the left (the Shoppes of Lorton Valley). There is a grocery store, pizza parlor, Starbucks, Popeye’s Chicken, Five Guys hamburger restaurant, and other restaurants here. A 7-Eleven with gas is also located here.

Coordinates: 38.7146, -77.2640

Other References