Saturday, September 9, 2017 • Fairfax, VA • Course Map
Described by race organizers as a “low-key event” designed to encourage interest in trail running among women, the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club’s Women’s Trail Half Marathon takes participants on a tour of the Fountainhead Regional Park just outside Fairfax, along mainly single-track dirt trails and rolling hills and forest areas.
The 13.1-mile course includes the race’s famous “Do Loop,” which takes runners in a lollipop-stick-like formation around a trail, and crosses a number of streams and bridges along the way.
The out-and-back course starts and finishes just over half a mile inside the park from the entrance road off Hampton Road, where runners make a loop around the parking lot and then head toward Hampton Road along the entrance road.
The course then turns off the road and onto the single-track trails within the forest, taking runners along the stretch of the race known as the Do Loop, which got its name from the the first time the race was held in these woods, and many runners found themselves missing the loop’s exit and repeating the loop thanks to its then-poorly marked trail.
Now, of course, the trails for the race are well-marked with blue, yellow and red blazings, but the “Do Loop” moniker has stuck, and runners encounter some curious sights along this section of the race, including rusted-out cars and an old abandoned washing machine.
Once they’re done with the Loop, runners then head back off the trail and onto the entrance road for the second part of the race, a longer trail that takes them northward and westward through the woods along the Bull Run Trail to Wolf Run Shoals Road, where they hit the turnaround point and then make their way back along the trail they’ve just run to the finish line back at the parking lot on the park entrance road.
Race Weather & Climate
Located just outside the Beltway in northern Virginia, about 20 miles west of Washington, D.C., and roughly 100 miles north of Richmond, Va., Fairfax typically sees September temperatures that average between 79°F and 56°F, while rainfall totals average just over 3.9 inches for the month, making September the city’s third-wettest month of the year.
On the day of the race (Sept. 9), the average low is 56°F and the average high is 79°F.
- 2016 VHTRC Women’s Half Marathon Trail Run Results
- 2015 VHTRC Women’s Half Marathon Trail Run Results
- 2014 VHTRC Women’s Half Marathon Trail Run Results
To reserve your spot in the 2017 running of Fairfax’s VHTRC Women’s Half Marathon Trail Run, visit the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the VHTRC Women’s Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, as well as anything you learned about the race that you think other runners/walkers should know.