Sunday, November 8, 2015 • Triangle, VA • Course Map
Though it’s located less than an hour’s drive from the white stone and concrete of downtown Washington, D.C., the challenging hills and trails of Virginia’s Prince William Forest Park will make you feel like you’re a very long way from the city when you tackle the 13.1 miles of the half-marathon at the EX2 Off-Road Half Marathon & 10K.
This trail race is roughly a decade old — it dates back to 2005 — and has already become a popular local race in the Northern Virginia/D.C. area. Organizers say the race usually sells out weeks before it is held — it also has a limited field size, to minimize the impact on the park — so runners thinking of signing up for the event are encouraged to do so well in advance of the date of the event.
With an out-and-back loop course that those running the half-marathon run a single time and those running the full run twice, this trail race starts and finishes at the park’s visitor center just off Joplin Road, and follows the park’s South Orenda Road to the intersection with the South Valley Trail, where runners turn left and head onto the trail, which follows roughly in tandem with the winding South Fork Quantico Creek.
Runners later leave the South Valley Trail and head onto the High Meadows Trail, which twists and turns through the next few miles of the course, taking runners over several stream crossings and along the side of numerous streams, with all natural surface trails through the forest.
They’ll leave the trail once they reach the Farm Road that runs north through the park, and cross Scenic Drive on their way to the northernmost point of the trail.
Once they make their way northward through the park along the Meadows Trail and then south along the North Valley Trail, runners then hit the park’s southeastern corner and start running alongside the water for much of the next stretch of the race.
The course meets up once again with Orenda Road in the final stretch toward the finish, taking runners again onto the Park Entrance Road and Telegraph Road for a brief out-and-back stretch before finishing back at the visitor center.
The scheduled starting time for the race is 9:00 AM, and runner check-in begins at the park at 7:30 AM. Just over 400 runners crossed the finish line in both races combined in 2014, including 240 finishers in the half marathon alone.
Race Weather & Climate
Located just a stone’s throw from the banks of the Potomac River and the nearby Quantico Marine Corps Base, about a 40-minute drive south from Washington D.C., Triangle typically sees September temperatures that average in the 60s and 70s, and precipitation is spread pretty evenly throughout the year.
On race day (Nov. 8), the average low is 40ºF and the average high is 60ºF.
- 2014 EX2 Off-Road Half Marathon Results
- 2013 EX2 Off-Road Half Marathon Results
- 2012 EX2 Off-Road Half Marathon Results
- 2011 EX2 Off-Road Half Marathon Results
- $65 for the half marathon, until September 8
- $70 between September 9 – October 25
- $75 between Oct. 26 – November 5
To reserve your spot in the 2015 running of the EX2 Off-Road Half Marathon & 5K, register online at Active.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the EX2 Off-Road Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.