FAQ and Rules

Who can run??? – You must have minimally completed The Cats Tail in any previous year or within the last year:

1) Cats Tail 2018 (or 2017)

2) A legitimate trail marathon distance or greater race (no fat-ass or other unorganized events) with at least 4,000 feet of elevation gain within the cut-off.

3) The Escarpment Trail Race within the 6 hour cut-off.

4) A mountain ultra distance trail race within twice the time as the winner.

5) Another race that you think qualifies you to run 26+ miles of rugged Catskill trails with 7000+ feet of elevation gain in a reasonable time that will not have us out looking for you when it gets dark.

Start time and cut-offs – We will begin shuttling people from the finish to the start around 6 am or so.  The race will start at 7 am.  We will be utilizing a wave start, groups of 15 runners, each 5 minutes apart.  We anticipate all runners to be on the trail no later than 7:30 am.  The only easy place to drop from the race is at the Winnesook Club at mile 9.5.  We will enforce a 11 o’clock cut-off there (3.5 hours ~ 2.7 mph ~ 22:13 min/mile).  If you can’t keep this pace on the “easy” part of the course, you will not make the 10 hr time limit for the whole course.    If you get injured along any part of the trail, there will be sweeps following the last runner that can assist you in returning to civilization.  Keep in mind, they could take quite some time reaching you especially if you are up front.

Littering – Don’t.  Carry out your wrappers, tissues,  etc. and discard them at an aid station or the finish.  This is a wilderness area. LNT

Dropping out – Tell the race director or an aid station worker that you are not continuing.  We don’t want to be looking for you all night long when you’re sitting on your couch.

Dogs – Not allowed.  These trails are not easy for dogs.  Hikers have them on the trail but please don’t bring yours to run with you.

Headphones – Acceptable just keep the volume low enough to hear other people and your surroundings.

Trekking poles – A good idea if you like them.

Pacers – No, only registered runners allowed to run with you.

Bathrooms – There is a real bathroom at the mile 9.5 aid station and the finish.  Other than that, get off the trail, bury it, and pack out paper.

Aid Stations – There will be 4 aid stations.  #1 – water and snacks at 7.5, #2 – full aid at 9.5, #3 – full aid at 17, #4 – water and snacks at 25.5.

Required Gear – You need to be semi self supported.  It is required that you carry food and 1-2 liters of water from the Winnesook Club/9.5 mile aid.   There are no reliable water sources along the route between 9.5 and the finish and it is very remote. A headlamp with extra batteries will also be required upon leaving the Winnesook Club aid station.   We don’t expect anyone to need it, as sunset is at 6:35 pm on race day and our cut-off is 5:30, but better safe than sorry.

Recommended Gear – You may want to carry extra clothes.  It can get chilly in the afternoons this time of year.  A whistle is always a good idea to have as is a basic first aid kit, some duct tape, and rain gear.   Watch the forecast and expect the worst.



Add yours →

  1. Do you need all 4 requirements to run or one the requirements.


  2. Kathryn M Fenton August 12, 2017 — 6:22 pm

    Is there a shuttle from finish to start line or where do we park?


  3. Can you please clarify the duct tape recommendation? Thx.


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