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EX2 Adventures Backyard Burn Trail Race + Hiking!

I had such a wonderful day yesterday – all of it was spent on trails! We had GORGEOUS weather this weekend here in DC – I’m hoping that spring has sprung because winter? I’m totally over you. Sorry.

My Sunday began bright and early (actually… dark and super early thanks to Spring Forward) with a trail race!

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I’ve been hearing great things about the Backyard Burn trail race series for awhile now. From their website:

The tenth annual Spring Backyard Burn is a series of 5 and 10 mile trail running races held on some of the best trail networks in the Northern Virginia Area. All the courses include a mixture of forested fire roads, twisty hiking trails, several stream crossings, grassy fields, and minimal pavement.

Sounded good to me! I gathered a few buddies (my college friends Kathleen and Sarah and my running buddy Karen) and we signed up for yesterday’s trail race (the 5 mile option) taking place at Wakefield Park in Annandale, VA.

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It was FREEZING when we arrived but once the sun came out to play it turned into a lovely day. At 9 a.m., we lined up and got ready to go! It was fun to do such a small, low key race – I’m used to enormous DC races now!

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And we’re off! The race itself was awesome – since it was on a trail, we had to pay a lot of attention to our feet so we didn’t trip on a root or rock, so the time seriously FLEW by. I could hardly believe it every time my watch beeped another mile because I was so distracted by not falling (and by chatting with the girls)!

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There were a couple stream crossings:

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And a lot of beautiful scenery.

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The girls and I stuck together and chatted for nearly the entire way, not worrying about pace and just having fun with it. I really love trail races and runs – I need to do more of them!

Before we knew it, we were done! We’d gotten an email the day before that the 5 mile option was really closer to 5.5 – according to my watch, it ended up being about 5.6 miles. Nice!

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Trail race success. :) Our average pace was about 9:45 minute miles – about as fast as we could have gone without biting the dust on the winding and rocky trail!

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Thanks for the fun morning, ladies! We need to do another trail run together ASAP. :)

When I arrived home, Matt said that one of his buddies had invited us out on a hike. More trails? Don’t mind if I do! I had a quick lunch, pounded a latte, and out we went. We all met up at Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax, VA.

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If I didn’t know better, I’d say that sky was Carolina blue. ;)

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Matt and I had never been out to Fountainhead Park before so it was fun to explore a new area. It was really pretty – definitely one to return to again!

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My hiking companions:

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Me and Matt (I’m rocking my new shirt from the trail race!):

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We ended up hiking about 6 miles. The weather was so nice we didn’t want to stop! And yes, I was totally exhausted last night after such an active day. :)

How did you enjoy the great outdoors this weekend?

Comments

  1. 1

    Congrats on your trail race! It looks like it was a blast! Your pictures are great! I just finished my first trail race at the beginning of this month and it was so fun. We had some water crossings and a lot of mud too. It is such a nice way to remember why we love running and just enjoy the miles and our surroundings without being concerned about pace. Happy running!

  2. 3

    I bet your toes got cold in that creek! One more month & there will be lots of green leaves on those trees. I spent the day inside at a natural food expo! It was amazing. Made up for the lack of sunshine yesterday lounging in the backyard & walking to the farmers market!

  3. 5

    So much fun! I did my first trail fun in January! So hard but at the end it was such a great challenge and great way to change things up!

  4. 6

    I’ve never done a trail race – sounds awesome though! I’ll have to try one out sometime soon.

  5. 7

    Um, I LIVE in Annandale. Why have I not been to either of these parks?! I must remedy this soon!

  6. 8

    I love trail runs. I used to do bootcamp trail runs where intermixed in your 3-5 mile runs were bootcamp exercises, jumping in rivers, running down a river, they were awesome, but we moved and now they are quite a drive.

  7. 10

    I love trail running and hiking! Such a great change of pace to city living. And you’re right, the time totally flies by!

  8. 11

    Nice! HI MELBY!! :)

  9. 12

    Trails are the absolute best! I could spend all day, everyday in the woods.

  10. 13

    I am itching to do a trail race! I have recently fallen in love with hiking and can’t get enough of trails. Congrats on a good run :)

  11. 14

    It’s always hard to set a goal with trail races because you can never know what to expect! I haven’t done one in awhile and really want to after seeing this post!

  12. 16

    I ran the Backyard Burn on Sunday as well. Funny story: I was in the restroom washing my hands when a group walked in. One of the girls looked familiar to me, but I couldn’t place where I knew her. I must have had a funny expression because the girl I had glanced at gave me an odd look. Now I know from the photos that it was you. Sorry for whatever expression I had on my face. I was just frustrated that you seemed familiar and yet I couldn’t place you.

  13. 18
    Stephanie says:

    Hey Anne…so glad that you had a great time at the race on Sunday – and also liked Fountainhead! There is actually a Backyard Burn at Fountainhead on May 5th. A little more hilly and not as fast as Wakefield, but a blast as well.
    Full disclosure…I work for EX2 Adventures. :)
    Hope to see you out there again soon!

  14. 20
    Healthy Eater says:

    Great work and most impressive. You certainly earned a nice dinner. Well done!

  15. 21
    Kristin S. says:

    Hi Anne! I, too, ran the BYB race on Saturday. I was talking to you and your friends during the pre-race speech. And I managed to run the 10 mile without falling! Haha. I knew you looked familiar, and like the reader above, I couldn’t place it right away despite the fact that I read your blog regularly. Hopefully I’ll see you at another race!

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