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Start of the 2017 Women’s Half Marathon.

Keith Knipling

2017 Report

25th Running

VHTRC Women’s Half Marathon Trail Run

Fairfax Station, VA

Saturday, September 9, 2017

185 starters, 180 finishers

97% finishing rate

Report

Furbutt makes his debut at 2017 Women’s Half Marathon.

The 25th Women’s Half Marathon will go down in race history as “the Furbutt one.” A 5-foot-tall stuffed teddy bear (named after the VHTRC’s logo of a running bear) joined the ranks of silly stuff that racers can pick up at an aid station. Furbutt was an instant classic, with many runners vying for the chance to lug a preposterous plush toy through the final miles of the race. Two women worked in tandem to bring him back home from the Wolf Run Shoals aid station, and then Furbutt hung out at the finish line for the rest of the day, taking selfies with finishers. And he looked good. Damn good.

Also, the weather was ah-maze-ing. We had an autumnal chill before the race with temperatures hovering around 70 in the late morning and sunshine all around. It’s the best weather we’ve had in recent memory, maybe ever.

First VHTRC finisher, Brienne Thomson.

Unfortunately for many runners, 2017 might also be remembered as “the year with the bees.” Several women reported getting stung repeatedly in the Do Loop. No one had ever seen or heard about bees on this course, so they came out just for you, you lucky thing. Other injuries amounted to the usual scrapes and sprains. It’s not a trail race without ‘em. Thanks for being tough out there, ladies.

Mary Hui won the race in 1:41:01.

Mary Hui, who is new to the area, ran away with a first-place finish of 1:41:01. Charlottesville resident Sarah Schubert took second place exactly 60 seconds later, and third-place finisher Erin Williams clocked in at 1:52:05.

The 2017 podium, right to left: Mary Hui (1:41:01), Sarah Schubert (1:42:01), and Erin Williams (1:52:05) with race director, Tracy Dahl, on the far right.

Many thanks to our amazing volunteers, who cheered at fully stocked aid stations, marked the sneaky-tough course with flagging ribbon, picked up heavy things (and put them back down somewhere else), smoothed smoothies, hand-delivered pizza at the finish line, pulled shenanigans at Juanita’s Cantina, and much more. Thanks, guys! We couldn’t do it without you.

This year’s race will be tough to beat. Here’s looking at you, 2018!

Happy trails,
Tracy Dahl, race director

Last updated May 11, 2021