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Backyard Burn Fall Trail Running Series
Fall Back Yard BurnRace Day Information for Race #1

Dear Backyard Burn Competitors:

Welcome to the 12th annual Fall Backyard Burn Trail Running Series. This Sun, September 17th, you will toe the line as we kick-off the series at gorgeous Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA.  Situated on beautiful Gunston Cove and adjacent to Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, the moderately technical course at Pohick Bay includes tight single-track, wide open double-track, challenging climbs, flowy descents, and spectacular water views.  It is going to be a great day on the trails and we wish you the best of luck!

Schedule for race day, Sunday, September 17, 2017:

- Check-in/bib pick up opens @ 7:30am (we recommend arriving by 8am)

- Pre-race brief @ 8:50am

- Race start @ 9am

- FREE Kids ‘Race’ @ 10:45am (for kids 2-11)

- Awards @ 11am

SEE BELOW for detailed info on course conditions, weather, directions, parking, check-in, course description, course marking, aid stations, post-race food, awards, sponsors, giveaways, etc.

- Course Conditions and Weather – The course at Pohick Bay is currently dry and in very good condition.  The weather this week is predicted to be mostly dry so I expect the trails to remain dry for the race.  The race day forecast is calling for partly sunny skies, temps in the high-70s, and a low chance of showers – nice running weather!  Of course, the forecast can always change between now and race day so please check the weather the day before the race and come prepared for the elements. 

 - Directions to Race Parking at Pohick Bay Regional Park

Pohick Bay Regional Park
6501 Pohick Bay Dr.
Lorton, VA 22079

From Interstate 95 North:
- Take exit 161 to Lorton, Rt. 1 N.
- Go about 1.8 miles to first stop light and turn right on to Gunston Rd.
- Go 3.2 miles to the park entrance on left (THE ENTRANCE IS PAST THE GOLF COURSE).
- Enter the park and follow the signs to race parking and check-in

From Interstate 95 South:
- From I95 S, exit 163 to Lorton.
- Left onto Lorton Rd at the end of exit ramp.
- Go under the second overpass and turn right onto Lorton Market St. (You will see Shoppers Food)
- Go about 1.1 miles to traffic light at RT. 1.
- Go straight through light (road name changes to Gunston Rd) and go about 3.2 miles to Pohick Bay park entrance on left (THE ENTRANCE IS PAST THE GOLF COURSE).
- Enter the park and follow the signs to race parking and check-in

- Parking – Vehicles will be parked in the asphalt and grass parking lots at the park.  Those arriving early will be parked closest to the staging area.  Please follow the blue EX2 parking signs and the direction of the parking volunteers.  We always advocate carpooling if possible. 

- Check-in and Staging:  Check-in and staging will take place in the open field near the main asphalt parking lot.  After you park, follow the signs to check-in.  Check-in opens at 7:30am.  At check-in you will receive your race number and t-shirt.  Please ARRIVE EARLY to help alleviate backups.  It takes time to park, check-in, use the bathroom, warm up, and attend the pre-race brief.  We recommend arriving by 8am. 

- Race Start:  The race begins at 9am SHARP!   Both 5 and 10 mile racers will start at the same time.  The pre-race brief will begin at 8:50am and take place in a small field near the race start and check-in.   

- Restrooms:  Porto-johns will be available near the race start and check-in.  PLEASE arrive and take your restroom break early.  We order enough porto-johns for our anticipated numbers but if everyone tries to use the restroom 15 minutes before the race then there will be long lines. 

- Race Course:  The moderately technical course includes tight single-track, wide open double-track, challenging climbs, and flowy descents.  There are plenty of roots and rocks but this is not an overly technical course.  Some of the trails are newer and soft and there is one section of the course that is perennially wet.  With 570’ of elevation gain on the 5 mile course and 936’ on the 10 mile course, the biggest challenge on this course is the hills. Don’t forget to look up when you near the water.  The water views are beautiful and bald eagle sightings are common.  To start the race, there is .6 miles of wide asphalt road running before entering the single-track.  While passing is possible throughout the course, once you hit the single-track, good passing opportunities are limited.  So, it is advisable to find your comfortable pace and placement during that first road section.  The course is all single-track except for the first road section and two sections of dirt road, from mile 2.1 to mile 2.4 and from mile 3.1 to mile 3.6.  The 10 mile racers will complete a full first lap and then a slightly shortened second lap.  The 5 mile race has been measured at 5.65 miles and the 10 mile race is 10.05 miles.  To view a course map and course description, visit the following link:

- Race Strategy/Trail Etiquette:  As mentioned earlier, many of the single-track trails at Pohick Bay are tight and narrow and passing may be difficult in some areas.  So, it is suggested that you factor this into your race strategy.  At the beginning of the race, there is .6 miles of wide road running, perfect for passing.  You will hit single-track after this section.  So, it is recommended that you place yourself appropriately at the start line, with faster runners near the front, mid pack racers near the middle and ‘back of pack’ runners near the rear.  Also, proper trail etiquette should be practiced.  Overtaking runners should use audible signals ‘passing on your left’ or ‘passing on your right’ and, when possible, slower runners should allow them to pass.  Keep in mind, however, that it is the responsibility of the overtaking runner to pass safely. 

- Course Marking:  The course will be marked with pink surveying tape.  Red and/or blue arrows will be posted at all trail intersections.  Yellow caution tape will block off the trails that are not part of the course.  Course marking will be heavy before and after all trail intersections but light along the rest of the course.     

 - Mile Markers:  Mile markers will be located three miles from the finish, two miles from the finish, one mile from the finish and ½ mile from the finish.  Keep in mind that the 10 mile racers will pass these mile markers twice (once on each lap).

- NO EARPHONES or LOUD AUDIBLE MUSIC:  The use of EARPHONES or LOUD AUDIBLE MUSIC that restricts hearing is not permitted during any EX2 race.  Why, you may ask?  Well, for the following three reasons:

  1. Safety – we need to look out for each other!  Our courses are held on trails in remote areas.  If someone gets injured out on the trails, we rely on racers to notify us so we can activate emergency response.  So, we need racers to be alert and able to hear calls for help. 
  2. Courtesy – trail races are very different than road races.  Passing is usually not a problem in road races but passing can be a challenge on single-track hiking trails.  To pass safely, trail etiquette suggests using audible signals such as passing on your left.  Passing someone who can’t hear you is difficult and frustrating.
  3. Community – at EX2 Adventures we strive to build community.  Please use your time with EX2 to unleash yourself from your device, enjoy the sounds of nature, talk to people, make some friends, and have fun.   

- Aid Stations:  This race has four on-course aid stations and one post-race aid station.  All aid stations will be stocked with water and Gatorade. The aid stations will be spaced 1.1 - 1.5 miles from each other.  The 5 mile racers will have four opportunities for aid at mile 1.0, mile 2.1, and mile 3.6, and mile 5.0.  The 10 mile racers will have seven opportunities for aid at mile 1.0, mile 2.1, mile 3.6, mile 5.0, mile 6.5, mile 8.0, and mile 9.4.  First aid kits and emergency communication will be available at each aid station.    

- Recovery Tent:  Dr. Kathy Coutinho, local ‘chiropractor to the athletes’, and her staff from Positively Chiropractic will be on hand offering up their chiropractic, massage, active release therapy, and first aid services to all comers.  Stop by the ‘Recovery Tent’ to take advantage of these FREE services.  Come see how Dr. Kathy can help you ‘always move forward’. 

- Post Race Beverages/Food:  Water, Gatorade, and sodas will be available after the race.  Food includes pizza, breakfast burritos, bananas, trail bars, chips, cookies, bagels, peanut butter, M&Ms, etc.  FREE food and beverages will be available at the finish line for all racers and volunteers. 

- Kids ‘Race’ – At 10:45am, all kids aged 2-11 are invited to participate in the FREE kids race for treasure.  We will match kids in age groups and have them run a short out and back ‘race’.  After they run, all kids who participate can grab something from the Treasure Box!  

- Awards:  The awards ceremony will take place at 11am!  Awards will be given to the top five male and female racers in each age group for both the 5 and 10 mile races. 

- Photos:  Professional photographers from Swim Bike Run Photography will be at this event capturing the spirit of adventure and friendly competition. They offer digital downloads and traditional prints.  The talented photographers at SBR take thousands of photos at each race and they all go online within 7 days of the event.  A link to their website will be available from the ‘results’ webpage.

- Sponsor Giveaways:  Below is a rundown of all our sponsor giveaways.  We will randomly select winners for the giveaways using a variety of different methods.  We have a lot of swag to give away but you must be present at the awards ceremony to win.  So, please plan on sticking around to join in the fun!

- Baseball Bonanza:  Extra, Extra, Get Your Nats Tickets at EX2!  How cool is this?  All EX2 sponsors chipped in to buy tickets to the Washington Nationals - so we could give them away to you.  We have a pair of tickets to randomly give away at every race until October….that’s 13 races!       

- Baird Automotive $100 Benjamin Bash: Benjamin, C-note, Hundie, Charlie, 100 Clams, Big One… it what you will but it all means the same thing….$100 of cold hard cash.  Back by popular demand, race or volunteer in any of our eighteen (18) races in 2017 and you could win a crisp $100 bill, generously furnished by longtime EX2 racer and all around good guy, Joey Baird of Baird Automotive.   

- Integrated Financial Partners Surprise Swag Raffle:  At all races in 2017, fellow racer and IFP Financial Advisor, Erik Scudder will give away $50 in swag.  He likes to surprise us with what he gives away but it is always nice stuff.  Just stop by their table, fill in one of their forms, and you are eligible to win.  Erik is also known for bringing hot coffee on cold mornings! 

- Drink More Water – Hydration System Giveaway:  Drink More Water is committed to help you achieve peak performance by, well, drinking more water.  Not only do they supply tons of water to EX2 (literally), but they will randomly give away water bottles and/or hydration systems at each race of the season.  Pretty cool, huh?  Racers and volunteers are eligible.

- Free Racing and Post-Race Photos from Smiles of Fairfax Corner:  We are thrilled to welcome, ‘Smiles’ as our newest sponsor.  Offering general, restorative, cosmetic, and sedation dentistry for the whole family, Smiles is all about community.  At each race, they will give away $100 of EX2 racing and provide all podium and post-race photography, free for download from the EX2 Facebook page.  So, after the race, head over to their table to get your photo taken in front of the big, cool banner.  Smile big for Smiles of Fairfax Corner! 

- Volunteers:  Finally, we can always use the help of volunteers.  If any of your friends or family can help out, please ask them to sign up online at the following link:  Volunteers help with check-in, aid stations, course marshaling, timing, food distribution, course sweeping and course demarking.  Times vary from 7am-11:30am and shifts are usually 2-4 hours.  Volunteers receive free food, a cool race t-shirt, $15 off a future EX2 race or $5 off EX2 merchandise, and our sincere appreciation. Plus, volunteering at EX2 races is fun!

Thanks for participating in the Fall Backyard Burn Trail Running Series.  We are looking forward to a fantastic day.  See you this Sunday!

Jim Harman
Race Director
EX2 Adventures




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Since the year 2000, EX2 Adventures has produced quality outdoor adventure experiences for the greater Washington DC metropolitan community. We encourage you to browse our site and join us at our events. Whether as a competitor, volunteer, or sponsor you are sure to have an excellent experience!