Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon Race Report

The Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon took place Saturday February 20th on the Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail in King George, VA. The race was the first in the  2021 Coldwell Banker Elite Grand Prix Series. Conditions were challenging to say the least. The snow we received leading up to the race wouldn’t have been a big deal but the freezing rain that followed created a course that was more about survival than times.

149 runners ran the live Dahlgren Half with another 16 participating virtually.  The race attracted a number of runners from out of town who were looking for live half marathon events. There were runners from Seattle WA, Harpers Ferry WV, Raleigh NC, Pittsburgh PA, Bethlehem PA, Platteville WI, and Austin TX.


Course Conditions

Thanks to the aforementioned snow and freezing rain that preceded the race the trail threw a little bit of everything at participants. The trail changed from snow, frozen snow, ice, small patches of trail, and even a few puddles.

The pictures really don’t do it justice as it just appears to be snow. Runners had to pay close attention to slight variations in the color of the surface for clues to what they may be encountering next. 

The top finisher this year was 2 minutes slower than in 2019. Honestly I would have expected an even larger gap. The lead runners seemed to accept their fate and just went for it. Very few escaped without a fall.

Photo credit to Schellenbach Photography & Design

“It was icy, don’t let the pictures fool you, that wasn’t snow. Only fell twice (well 3 times if you count the first time during my warm up), but no injuries. It wasn’t pretty, no PR today…” Karen Wingeart

Top Finishers

Brian Flynn of Mechanicsville, VA was the top overall finisher with a time of 1:20:24 and an average pace of 6:08. Brian was absolutely flying for the conditions and finished 4 minutes ahead of the 2nd place runner.

Kathleena Mumford of Manassas, VA was the top female finisher with a time of 1:38:19 and an average pace of 7:30.

The top club finisher was Chris Pirch, 2nd overall, with a time of 1:24:33.  The top female club finisher was Tracy Dzibela with a time of 1:45:35.

You can view the complete race results here:

The Unofficial Grand Prix Standings can be found here:

Photo credit to Schellenbach Photography & Design

Fun Moments

Only Leslie can project a smile while wearing a mask!
That is just plain hardcore.
This about sums up what the course felt like.
Not to be outdone, a few ladies did not let the cold bother them.

Photo credit to Schellenbach Photography & Design


Brian Pessolano

How to Sign up!

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting signed-up for Miles for Meaning on Kilter and joining the Fairy Godmother Project Team!

The guide below was done on Android but the process shouldn’t be much different on iPhones.

Download the Kilter app

  • Go to the App Store on your phone (Google Play Store or Apple App Store)
  • Search for “Kilter” and select the install button

SIGN up for a Kilter account

  • Once the app has completed installation launch Kilter
  • Select the “SIGN UP” button and complete the account creation process

Connect a Fitness Tracker

  • You will be presented with a list of fitness tracking apps
  • Select the “Connect” button for your fitness tracker of choice
  • Step through the permission requests to give Kilter the ability to access your activity information
  • Once done select the “Yep, I’m connected” button

Go to the events page

  • Once you are done connecting fitness trackers the app will ask for some additional optional information you can skip these if you’d like
  • You’ll then be taken to the Kilter Dashboard
  • Kilter will step you through an orientation process to point out the features of the app
  • On the bottom left of the Dashboard select “Events”

Join Miles for Meaning

  • From the Explore Events menu type “miles” in the search bar
  • You should see “Miles For Meaning” in Upcoming Events
  • Select “Join” on the Miles for Meaning event

Join the Fairy Godmother Project Team

  • From the Miles for Meaning page select “JOIN” under “Have a Team?”
  • In the Select Team menu type “fairy” in the search bar
  • Select “Fairy Godmother Project” and then “JOIN”
    • You may see more than one Fairy Godmother Project Team; just select any of them
    • Kilter limits teams to 100 participants and creates additional teams to accommodate bigger groups
    • All the miles will still go to Fairy Godmother Project

You are ready

  • You are all set to get out and log some miles
  • The event runs from March 1st to 31st
  • Get your family and friends involved, every mile helps


Fairy Godmother Project

Join the FGP Facebook Group

Facebook Group



FARC Scholarships


Eligibility Requirements
1. Must be a FARC member
2. Must be a graduating high school senior or currently enrolled as a college undergraduate in good academic standing
3. Must attend college in the fall of 2021
4. Must be an active volunteer in school, college, and/or the community

Complete applications are due March 15, 2021.

Learn More


Eligibility Requirements
1. Must be a FARC member
2. Must be a graduating high school senior
3. Must attend college in the fall of 2021
4. Must participate as an active member of high school track or cross country team during either the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year

The deadline for submission is Noon on April 15, 2021.

Learn More


Impacts to VCR Trail due to Proposed Gas Station

All FARC members are encouraged to push the city for a pedestrian bridge over the Blue and Gray Parkway!

Why would the city be so enthusiastic about building trails only to partially destroy the VCR, one of our very beloved running trails, by approving a Royal Farms gas station?

The planning commission is studying the construction of a Royal Farms at the southwest intersection of the B&G Parkway and Lafayette Boulevard. The proposed Royal Farms location is indicated on the map above.

Construction of the convenience store would cut off an entire section of the trail as users proceed towards Alum Spring Park. The commission has asked for the pedestrian bridge to be studied and considered, but even if it is approved it could be many years before it is constructed. We all have patiently and nervously waited at the B&G stoplight in order to continue onto the VCR and probably many of you have already thought the pedestrian bridge would be an asset. This would solve both problems by getting around the store and not having to wait at the crosswalk.

Please state your concern and viewpoint at planning@fredericksburgva.gov as soon as possible.

The following contains more information from planning commission member, Adam Lynch on 12/3/2020:

A developer, Sumner Partners LLC, wants to put a Royal Farms convenience store at the intersection of Blue & Gray Pkwy and Lafayette (see map). A Gas station at this location requires a special use permit, so the developer will need to win City Council approval to move ahead. Right now the proposal is at the planning commission (of which I’m a member) to make a recommendation before the measure goes to Council.

At the Wednesday, Dec 2 planning commission meeting there was almost 2 hours of discussion which you can watch here if you like: https://amsva.wistia.com/medias/8ubui5r17g(Discussion runs from 1:36 to 3:30)

Here are the cliff notes:

  • The planning staff (led by Chuck Johnston) recommends approval, arguing that commercial development here is consistent with the comprehensive plan.
  • The city received 17 public letters and 2 in-person comments, all opposing
  • The planning commission had a number of concerns, especially about the effects on the VCR trail. The entrance to the Royal Farms would come off of Alum Spring Rd and create a 40-foot gap in the VCR trail. This presents safety concerns for trail users since there would be 1,000 or more vehicle-trips crossing the path per day. The city looked at re-routing the trail to bypass the Royal Farms at grade but found it wasn’t feasible. 
  • Sensing a vote of disapproval at Wednesday’s meeting, Johnston persuaded the planning commission to defer their vote till the January 13 planning commission meeting to allow time for the developer to amend their proposal.

The developer will likely need to come back offering significant conditions in order to win the approval of the special use permit. For me, that means a financial contribution that will accelerate the timeline of a planned pedestrian bridge that would allow the VCR trail to cross Blue & Gray and bypass the Royal Farms site. (In case you’re curious, here’s a link to a YouTube clip of a city staffer describing the pedestrian bridge plan: https://youtu.be/bJpQl-eCjUU)

During the meeting, I suggested the developer contribute $100,000 to an engineering study of a planned pedestrian bridge over Blue & Gray. He said no, but may come back with a counter offer. Of course, it’s possible the planning commission will vote to deny the permit and the City Council will vote to allow it anyway.

If members of your club want to put in public comment, they should send an email to planning@fredericksburgva.gov before 4:30 pm on Jan 13 (earlier the better) or attend the Jan 13 planning commission meeting in person. The email comments will be read at the meeting. They can also email, call, or text me at the number below if they have any questions about the process or details.


Running USA’s 2020 Global Runner Survey

Take the new 2020 Global Runner Survey from Running USA and share your input on how you’ve run through the challenges of 2020, diversity and inclusion in the sport, how you feel about virtual racing, brands and more! Your opinions help races and running companies all over the country know what runners are thinking and feeling.


Take the Survey



Win a Free Entry for the Haunted Hopyard 5k!


Think you can handle double duty by running a 10k and 5k on the same day?

  • The 10k Run Through History kicks off at 8am.
  • The Haunted Hopyard 5k will run in waves starting at 11am.


Here is what you need to do to be entered:

  1. Register for the 10k Run Thru History by October 2nd (if you already registered, even better).
  2. Fill out the entry form below.

We’ll have a random drawing on October 3rd. If you don’t win a free entry feel free to register for Haunted Hopyard anyway!

Entry Form:


Grand Prix Update as of September 14

Like so many other things in 2020 the Coldwell Banker Elite Grand Prix has needed to adapt to the impacts of COVID. Several races were canceled or went virtual this year. The Grand Prix Directors have been working diligently to provide runners the ability to compete/participate even with the loss of races. Be sure to stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook or by checking theRunFarc website.

There have been several posts that provided key pieces of information that we hope to bring together and provide a clear picture. Runners have 2 options available to them in 2020:

  1. Receive recognition for completing the Grand Prix by completing 6 live or virtual events
  2. Compete for a Grand Prix Points Award by completing at least 4 live events

The below graphic summarizes the Grand Prix status and requirements for 2020:

Key Points for 2020 Grand Prix:
  • Visit the Grand Prix website for a list of events, results, and registration links 
  • Runners must be a member of FARC to qualify
  • There is no volunteer requirement for the Grand Prix
  • The Halloween 5k was added to the Grand Prix for 2020
  • The FCA 5k recently decided to hold a virtual only event
  • There are 3 live races and 1 virtual only race remaining in 2020


Make sure you don’t miss a post from FARC!

I ask people from the club frequently, “How do you get your updates about FARC?” and the answer is usually Facebook. Unfortunately I also hear that club members miss a lot of information. Hopefully I can help.

The Facebook News Feed can be a bit of a mystery. You see something at the top and wonder why Leslie just finished the Icy 8? Its the middle of summer… only to realize the post is 7 months old.

Did you know you can set preferences for what people and groups you want to see first in your News Feed? Its not what I would call intuitive and the instructions are different depending on if you are on your computer or your phone. Hopefully we can help a little bit. 

Instructions for setting News Feed preferences from your computer (https://www.facebook.com/help/1188278037864643):

  1. Click  in the top right of Facebook.
  2. Select Settings & Privacy > News Feed Preferences.
  3. Click See First.
  4. Select a person or Page to see first by clicking  next to their name.


Instructions for the mobile app:

  1. Tap More in the top right of Facebook.
  2. Scroll down and tap Settings and Privacy > Settings > News Feed Preferences.
  3. To adjust your News Feed preferences:
    • Tap Prioritize who to see first to make posts from people or Pages appear at the top of your News Feed. 
    • Tap the people or groups that you want to see first.

FARC Track meets


Meets will be held every Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm-7:30 pm from July 7th to August 25th at James Monroe High School track.

Events: Mile, 2 mile

Runners MUST bring their own pen to sign up and water bottles. Please warm-up and cool-down on your own unless you are with family members. All participants MUST practice social distancing before and after the events.

FARC Track Meet Championship

The championship will be held on July 28th.  Volunteers are needed!

Please contact Terry McLaughlin at tjmclaughlin80@gmail.com if interested in helping.


A few reminders.

Meet across the street from Hyperion in the courtyard next to the Fredericksburg Area Museum.

Read, print, sign, and bring with you the waiver which can be found here:


Pass single file while on the run. Allow space when near other groups.

Masks must be worn while gathered before and after the run.

There will be no FARC provided refreshments. Be sure to bring your own water.

The run will begin promptly at 8am. Please arrive 10 minutes early to work through waivers and a safety review.