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!


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.


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!


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)!


There were a couple stream crossings:



And a lot of beautiful scenery.


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!


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!


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.


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



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!


My hiking companions:


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


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?


  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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