Today is simply a splendid day to be outdoors. We see a great blue heron take flight from the lake upon our approach. We also scare a deer and countless geese. I experiment with taking photos using my new cellphone. Our 45-minute early start lets us reach the VHRTC aid station at Bull Run Marina just before the fastest runners. Michele Harmon, Ron Ely, Mike Broderick, and others of the MCRRC's JFK 50 miler contingent greet us as they blast past. So does cheerful Rayna Matsuno, whom I haven't seen since the HAT Run 2005. I thank her again for saving my bacon at the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon 2005 when she gave me some of her electrolyte capsules. Today she gives me a hug, then races onward.
A few minutes past three hours into the jog Caren Jew and I reverse course, ~1 mile short of Fountainhead. Back at the start, in the Hemlock Regional Park lodge we celebrate with pizza, bagels, and orange juice, and chat with fellow runners. If the distance estimates on the BRR map are correct we've done almost 23 miles; if the marker posts are accurate, however, our pace was ~15.5 min/mi for the first half and ~18.5 min/mi on the return journey, implying a total of ~21.5 miles. Be conservative and call it ~21. It's all good!