Bull Run Run 50 Mile Race Report – Meagan Denman

Race: Bull Run Run 50 miler

Runner: Meagan Denman

Race Date: 04/09/2022

Location: Clifton, VA

Results: 3rd overall female

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  • Trails are in great condition and not overly technical
  • Volunteers were very nice and helpful
  • Very well marked course – never felt lost!

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Finish line was under-whelming

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

That it’s not actually 50 miles! maybe 46? We did the high water course due to all the rain all week, we were told it would be about two miles shorter, but seems we were closer to 46.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I finally fell into a groove after a couple of hours and was able to enjoy that I was finally participating in a 50 mile race, and would actually finish!

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

The hills on the way back are pretty brutal, save some energy and keep fueling!

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Gummies/gels aren’t substantial enough for 9+ hours of running…need to find a way to eat more calorie dense food.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The rocks along the river at the end are the worst part of the race. The Do-loop is actually not that bad. The course is VERY well marked.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

The bluebells are very pretty, otherwise it’s early April and not much is growing. Still pretty woods though.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

There are technical sections but it’s a fairly runnable course.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Definitely well run race. I didn’t have anyone come with me – we had drop bags we could access at 3 points throughout the race. They’ve been doing this race for years so they have it nailed down.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

It didn’t seem overly competitive but most likely has years that are competitive.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Very easy to get in! There was a waitlist at some point but they cleared it and re-opened registration.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Gatorade was the electrolyte option, otherwise normal aid station type stuff (soup, fruit, bagels etc.)

Weather and typical race conditions

The weather was perfect, started in low 40’s ended in low 50’s. Partly sunny, breezy. The weather can vary though due to spring, could be cold or hot.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

Nothing special needed, except trail shoes that do well in mud!

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

There are plenty of spots that spectators can access folks (there weren’t any spectators though)

How’s the Swag?

Nice finishers sweatshirts!

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

I’d rank it a 4 – mostly because I finished 3rd and had to ask someone how I did ..no one seemed overly excited about it. To me top 3 is a big deal! Not even sure if they do prizes for top 3.

Looking to run your first ultra? Check out our 7 steps to get started!