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The Spring Backyard Burn Trail Running Series
The Backyard Burn

Race Day Information for Race #2 @ Hemlock Overlook

Dear Spring Backyard Burn Competitors:

The second race of the Spring Backyard Burn Trail Running Series will take place this coming Sunday, March 19th at Hemlock Overlook in Clifton, VA. 

This beautiful and challenging course consists mostly of rocky and root strewn hiking trails (including the Bull Run Occoquan Trail), old dirt roads, and open fields. You and a few hundred competitors will run along Historic Bull Run, up some demanding hills, and across a few streams.  Prepare for a fun day of running in the woods.  I wish you the best of luck!

Schedule for race day, Sunday, March 19, 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

- RACE STATUS – This race is currently a ‘GO’ and based on the weather forecast, I do not anticipate having to postpone to another day.  BUT, I wanted to mention that postponing this race is a possibility if we do not get the melting we anticipate over the next few days.  IF we need to postpone this race, we will post a message on our homepage AND email all registered racers by Sat at 5pm.  See below for the specifics on weather, trail conditions, and parking.  

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

- WEATHER:  As of Wed. 3/15, there are 3-4 inches of snow on the ground at Hemlock.  The forecast over the next three days is calling for sun and warmer temperatures, which should melt most, if not all, of the snow.  The race day forecast is calling for partly sunny skies, high temps in the high-40s, and a low chance for precipitation.  With this said, the forecast often changes this far out.  So, as we get closer to race day, please check the weather and plan accordingly. 

- Trail Conditions:  We ran the course on Monday and the trails were in excellent condition.  Most of the snow we received over the past couple of days should melt by race day but the trails may still be wet, soft, and slick.  Watch your footing, be cautious, and prepare for a slippery adventure!

- Parking:  Vehicles will be parked in asphalt and gravel parking lots near the entrance to Hemlock and in the grassy fields near the Hemlock administrative building (The Farmhouse).  Parking is very limited at Hemlock so we will be controlling the flow to maximize available space.  By race day, most of the parking areas should no longer be snow covered, but they will likely be soft.  You can help make parking run smoother by CARPOOLING (if bringing friends and/or family), driving a 4WD vehicle if you have one, and ARRIVING EARLY (we recommend arriving by 8am).  

- Directions to Race Parking at Hemlock
(13220 Yates Ford Rd., Clifton, VA 20124)

From Interstate 66:
- Take I-66 to Route 286 (Fairfax County Parkway – formerly Rt 7100).
- Exit at 55A SOUTH toward Springfield.
- Travel south on Rt. 286 for approx. 6 miles.
- Exit at Route 123 SOUTH (Ox Road).
- Travel approx. 1.6 miles to the Clifton Road traffic light.
- Turn RIGHT onto Clifton Road (Route 645).
- Travel approx. 4 miles on Clifton Rd.  Continue straight on Clifton Rd. after traveling through the 4-way stop at the gas station.
- Pass Yates Ford Road on the RIGHT then pass Henderson Road on the LEFT.
- Turn LEFT at Yates Ford Road (Route 615). 
- Continue straight on Yates Ford Road after traveling through the 4-way stop.
- Please drive 25MPH for 1.5 miles to the entrance of Hemlock Overlook.

From Interstate 95:
- Take I-95 to the exit for Route 123 (Ox Road) NORTH toward Fairfax.
- Travel NORTH on Route 123 (Ox Road) for approximately 8 miles.
- Turn LEFT onto Clifton Road (Route 645) immediately past the entrance to Burke Lake Park.
- Travel approx. 4 miles on Clifton Rd. Continue straight on Clifton Rd. after traveling through the stop sign at the gas station.
- Pass Yates Ford Road on the RIGHT then pass Henderson Road on the LEFT.
- Turn LEFT at Yates Ford Road (Route 615).
- Continue straight on Yates Ford Road after traveling through the 4-way stop.
- Please drive 25MPH for 1.5 miles to the entrance of Hemlock Overlook.

- Check-in/Bib Pick-up:  Check-in will take place in the dining hall on the Education Center side of Hemlock.  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 (one/person for the series).  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 near the start/finish area on the Education Center side of the park.   

- Restrooms/Showers:  Restrooms/showers are located about 50 yards up the hill from the start/finish area. 

- Race Course:  The race course includes mostly single-track hiking trails with some open field and dirt road running mixed in.  With three significant hill climbs on each lap, several very rocky and root filled sections, and a couple of shallow stream crossings, this is one of the more technical and challenging courses of the Backyard Burn series.  Please watch your footing.  5 mile racers will complete one lap and the 10 mile racers will complete two laps.  The course starts at the Hemlock Education Center and takes racers in a series of three loops.  Each loop starts at the top of a hill, makes its way down to the waters of historic Bull Run and Popes Head Creek, then back up to the Education Center.  The course will begin with a little less than one mile of pavement and gravel road running before heading into single-track.  The 5 mile course is actually 5.5 miles and the 10 mile course is actually 10.3 miles. The map and course descriptions are on the website at the following link:

- Race Strategy/Trail Etiquette:  Many of the single-track trails at Hemlock 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 .8 miles of road, gravel road, and double track running.  This section is perfect for passing, but you will hit single-track after this section.  So, it is recommended that you factor this into your race strategy and 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. 

- 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.   

- 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 approx. three miles from finish, two miles from 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).

- On-Course Aid Stations:  This race has three on-course aid stations stocked with water and Gatorade. The 5 mile racers will have three opportunities for aid at mile .8, mile 2.7, and mile 4.1.  The 10 mile racers will have six opportunities for aid at mile .8, mile 2.7, mile 4.1, mile 5.5, mile 7.5, and mile 8.9.  First aid kits and emergency communication will be available at each aid station.   

- Post-Race Aid Station:  The post-race aid station will have water and Gatorade.    

- 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, sodas, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate 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 a prize 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. 

- 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 nineteen (19) 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.

Thanks for participating in the Spring Backyard Burn Trail Running Series.  We are looking forward to a fantastic day.  Good luck and see you this Sunday!

Jim Harman
Race Director
EX2 Adventures



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