Greasy-Gooney 10K - Click image to load a new image randomly

Browntown Course Information

A "virtual race" has no official course. You are encouraged to run your 10K (6.2137 miles) wherever you live and on whatever route & terrain you choose! We are officially discouraging participants from trying to do their virtual 10K on the actual Greasy-Gooney 10K course in Browntown, unless they live in the immediate area. We know, however, that a few will want to run or walk the loop anyway, so we've provided this course info so that those folks will know what they're in for. The most important things to know:
  • Park in front of the Browntown Community Center. (See Directions page.)
  • Do not block access to the fire substation behind the community center.
  • There are no public bathrooms in Browntown.
  • There are worship services at the churches in/near Browntown each Sunday at 11 AM.
  • The 10K start line is 0.8 miles west of Browntown on Bentonville Road (Rt. 613). There is no parking there.

  Basic Greasy-Gooney 10K course map
  Color map
If you want to take a much closer look at the 10K route, check out our super detailed course map, which combines both satellite imagery and elevation data (with higher elevations indicated by "warmer" colors). We have both a 600x800 JPEG version and a more detailed Adobe PDF version (588 KB).
While the Greasy-Gooney 10K is quite scenic (go to the course photos page to see for yourself!), it is also somewhat challenging. The "U"-shaped course starts on Bentonville Road (Route 613) and quickly turns onto a quiet little road called the Gooney Manor Loop. This road heads south up the Greasy Run valley for around three miles, gaining about 480 feet in elevation. Then the Gooney Manor Loop curves back around to the northeast and comes down the Gooney Run valley all the way to Browntown, losing about 500 feet in elevation. So in other words, it's uphill for the first half and downhill for the second half!

Certification & measurement
The Greasy-Gooney 10K course was certified for USA Track & Field by Neal Riemenschneider on 11 August 1999. The cerification number is VA99025RT. (Due to USATF rules instituted after our course was measured, technically our course's certification has "expired", but our route is unchanged from our first running in 1999. But we may recertify it at some point in the future, now that the course has been fully paved.)

The course is 100% paved, and the narrower section from the quarter mile mark to about mile 3.9 was repaved in 2020.

Start & finish locations
The starting line (38.81647, -78.24603) is about 0.8 miles west of Browntown on Bentonville Road (Route 613). It's 0.18 miles west of Red Hille Way, just past the end of a sharp leftward curve in the road, adjacent to the driveways of 4872 and 4859 Bentonville Road. The exact start is in line with a large, mostly dead tree trunk on the left side of the road, and it is marked on the left side with a small white line and the letter "S". You can click/tap on the photos below for larger views.
View of the Greasy-Gooney 10K starting line, looking east
View of the starting line looking east. One should line up to start with the dying tree trunk on one's left.
The Greasy-Gooney 10K starting line, in line with the dying tree trunk
The start is exactly in line with the center of the tree trunk!
View of the Greasy-Gooney 10K starting line, looking west
Afternoon view of the starting line, facing west in the direction one starts.

The finish line (38.81079, -78.23373) is on the Gooney Manor Loop (Route 631) about 150 feet south of the intersection with Bentonville Road (Route 613) and Browntown Road (Route 649) at the center of Browntown. The exact line is about eight feet south of (before) the south end of the Browntown Baptist Church parking lot, and it's about 15 feet before a speed limit sign which faces the opposite direction on the left (west) side of the road. The finish line is marked with small white lines on both sides of the road. We recommend you scope out these marks before you run the course, as they can be difficult to spot while you're running! Click/tap the photos below to enlarge:
View of the Greasy-Gooney 10K finish line, facing northeast
View of the finish line, looking northeast toward the Browntown Baptist Church. You'll be coming to the finish line from the right.
View of the Greasy-Gooney 10K finish line, facing east
View of the finish line looking east. It's pretty much in line with the second-to-last fence post.
View of the Greasy-Gooney 10K finish line, facing northwest
The finish line mark on the left (west) side of the road is 15 feet before the speed limit sign.

It is nearly impossible to get lost on the Greasy-Gooney 10K course itself, as there is only one major turn. This turn, a left, comes a quarter mile into the course as Bentonville Road curves sharply to the right; here you turn left onto the Gooney Manor Loop (Route 631). (Note: As of early October 2020, the road name sign at this intersection is missing.) From there, you just continue straight all the way back to Browntown! (There is a second semi-turn at mile 5.8; you'll encounter a stop sign where Fetchett Road [Route 632] comes in from the right. Just bear left here to continue on the Gooney Manor Loop [Rt. 631].)

In addition to the start & finish lines, there are usually subtle spraypainted mile marks along the sides of the road, along with the 5K mark up at the top of the big hill. Some of these marks were paved over in mid-2020, but we've already got them repainted & freshened up!

Some words of caution
The route follows lightly-travelled rural roads, and although the few drivers you encounter are probably used to seeing pedestrians, they may not necessarily be looking out for you. Parts of the Gooney Manor Loop are also very narrow with a few blind curves & hills. We strongly encourage you to run on the left facing traffic and to avoid wearing headphones or using personal listening devices! (Personal listening devices are not allowed at all at our live race.) Also, the route is lined with many old trees, so rainy or windy weather brings an increased risk of falling branches and trees. And of course you may encounter wildlife, including black bears; these bears are usually skittish and harmless, but keep an eye out anyway!

Elevation profile
As mentioned above and as illustrated below, the course is basically 3.1 miles up and 3.1 miles down. But don't worry-- the incline is fairly gradual until about 2½ miles. That next half mile is the hard part, getting steeper and seeming to go on and on and on. Many runners will slow to a walk. But eventually you'll reach the top, and from there it's essentially all downhill!

  Greasy-Gooney 10K elevation profile

Strava segments
If you're a Strava user, you'll find four Greasy-Gooney segments on Strava! There's one for the entire course, one for the first (uphill) 5K, one for the last (downhill) 5K, and one for the steepest climb in the 3rd mile.

And if you want to run the 10K in the opposite direction, there are also segments for the Reverse Greasy-Gooney and the reverse climb and reverse descent!

Reverse Greasy-Gooney?
As we just mentioned above, if you want to run the 10K course from the finish line back to the starting line instead of doing it in the regular direction, feel free. No reason you can't!

Note to GPS users:
If you wear a GPS watch or smartphone during the race, it may tell you that our measured course is long (or short). If it does, your GPS device is incorrect. Particularly when worn on the wrist, when used at faster paces, and when used under tree cover, GPS devices have a tendency to record inaccurate data points, and more often than not they end up measuring long. Companies like Garmin do not sufficiently explain the limitations of GPS devices to consumers, and many GPS users place too much faith in the numbers their watches and smartphones give them, as if the devices work by magic. As a result, race directors have been hearing a lot of unjustified complaints about allegedly long courses over the past few years.

Any measurement by a GPS watch or smartphone should be considered nothing more than a ballpark estimate with a large margin of error, unless you can verify the recorded data points through some other means. Please be assured that despite whatever your GPS device winds up saying on our 10K course, the route has been measured to USA Track & Field's standards and is as close to 6 miles 1128 feet 4.787 inches as we can get it! And our mile marks have been carefully measured as well.

Simulated 3D overhead views
Below are a couple computer-generated three-dimensional overhead views of the course, created many many years ago with a flight simulation computer game. We've highlighted the 10K course in yellow on the two images:
  3D overhead view of the Greasy-Gooney 10K course looking south-southeast
Looking south-southeast, with the Blue Ridge above the course and Gimlet Ridge coming down on the right. Most of the mountain areas are part of Shenandoah National Park. View larger versions of this image with labels or without labels.
  3D overhead view of the Greasy-Gooney 10K course looking due north
Looking north, with the Blue Ridge curving around at bottom and the Massanutten Ridge visible at upper left. View larger versions of this image with labels or without labels.

(These images were created in the days before Google Earth made 3D mapping easy. We may eventually update these images with some Google Earth stuff.)

The Greasy-Gooney 10K Web pages are maintained by Karsten Brown.