About us

CAT Founders (Andrew J. Krueger, David Smith, Christian Dahlhausen)

CAT Founders (Andrew J. Krueger, David Smith, Christian Dahlhausen)

We founded ourselves as an informal trail running club in February 2011. Our organizational structure was informal, i.e. there were no formal board or membership. At the club’s inception, the CAT founders — Christian Dahlhausen, Drew Kreuger, and David Smith — eschewed a board or official leadership in order to keep things simple, and to focus on the fun of running and spending time together. At the same time, the founders recognized that an informal structure limited what the CATs could do to support a mission to promote trail running. So in March 2015 we “incorporated” as a 501.3c Non-Profit organization (through RRCA) in April 2015. The intend was to have an organization that would continue to foster trail running and community. We’ve had lots of success and fun interacting as an informal group that encourages friendship and a love of the trails in and around Charlottesville. Our club includes all types of runners, from those of us that are slow, back-of-the pack runners, to some of the speediest ultra runners in Virginia.

Mission Statement

The mission of the non-profit Charlottesville Area Trail Runners Club (CATs) is to promote the love of trails and trail running. We strive to welcome runners of all types into the world of trail running, to sponsor events that promote trail running, including trail races and social events, and to provide stewardship in developing and maintaining a high quality trail network in and around Charlottesville. This stewardship extends to helping preserve the areas through which trails run, including working to prevent and repair damage created by the use of the trails. Funds raised by the CATs are be used to further its mission.  Our EIN is 47-3752699.

What we do

We are a group of trail runners based in and around Charlottesville, Virginia. We train together, support each other in races, and have fun both on and off the trail.

We usually meet up for group runs every Tuesday and weekend and vary our training locations, particularly when preparing for a race. A couple of our favorite training locations include various spots on and near the Appalachian Trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding state, county or national parks.

If you are interested in trail running — either as a veteran or newbie — consider joining us for a run. Folks of all abilities and endurance levels are welcome! You can join our Google mailing list by signing up in the window below


The CATs are members of




Email: google groups

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16 thoughts on “About us

    1. Christian Dahlhausen

      Yes, absolutely! We love to encourage outdoor activities and trail running as a family activity.
      Also, feel free to send group run requests to our mailing list. I know there are many on the list that are looking for shorter, more minor friendly distance runs.
      In fact many participants in our Summer Trail Running Series have been families with their kids.

      Looking forward to have you!

      Vice President & Treasurer

  1. Naaila

    Hi there! Super interested in joining, but I wasn’t sure if you guys just do races together or train on a regular basis together? Is there a weekly schedule that I’m overlooking on the website?

    1. Christian Dahlhausen

      Hi Naalia, Yes we do train and run together! We have a standing Tuesday evening group run and weekend runs that are varied. Soon we will have an organized half marathon training program for our CATHalf event in October. Best thing to join in is to get on our mailing list https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/charlottesvilleareatrailrunners and look out for run announcements. Feel free to email to the list anytime with questions or particular runs you’d are interested in. I usually add runs to our calendar here: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/b/0/embed?src=cvilleareatrailrunners@gmail.com&ctz=America/New_York


    1. Christian Dahlhausen

      Channon, I am sorry you are having trouble to access the member page. It looks like our SSL certificate has expired. Your browser should give you the option to proceed to the website however.

      I am working on updating our SSL certificate at the moment and it should be resolved by the end of the day.


  2. Lea Donahue

    Hi, I am not new to running but new to trail running. I just moved to the area and I am interested in starting to trail run. I have been struggling with getting back to running after a prolonged sabbatical from running due to chronic autoimmune diseases. So basically I feel like a newbie to all of it again. Is there a specific group for new runners, sort of an intro to trail running group? I have been so down and out that I really am starting back at the beginning again. 🙁 I am interested in the trail series for sure, but sort of self conscious about my speed and ability right now. Thinking that trail running may be a bit more what I need to be doing other than road running. Thank you.

    1. Christian Dahlhausen

      Hi Lea, Welcome to the area! There is a lot going on in general and a lot going on in terms of running. We have a regular Tuesday night run (https://calendar.google.com/calendar/render?eid=MmxjN2Y1dTFlM3RpcXYyMHBsdGI0a2Q4ODhfMjAxNjEyMjdUMjMwMDAwWiBjdmlsbGVhcmVhdHJhaWxydW5uZXJzQG0&ctz=America/New_York&sf=true&output=xml#eventpage_6 ) that is very welcoming to veterans and newcomers. Otherwise we usually have weekend runs that go in the mountains or around Cville on the Rivanna Trail. It would be best for you to join the mailing list here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/charlottesvilleareatrailrunners or the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/charlottesvilleareatrailrunners/?ref=bookmarks Feel free to post anything running related to either of those. Folks are pretty responsive and I am certain that there are many more that are just getting into or back into trail running as well. There is also a New Years Group run planned which is always well attended. There are varying distances that people can opt into. Even though you are just getting into trail running its a great event at a popular starting spot for a mountainous run. There are many slower folks too that would run-walk or run with slower pace

      Happy Trails and Happy New Year!

  3. Leigh Prezkop

    As spring races are being cancelled, is the club planning for any small-group informal races/long-runs?

    1. Bob Clouston

      Hi Leigh, it’s really hard for us to organize anything and keep it to a small size, and also monitor whether everyone really is healthy enough to join. We’ve cancelled our 50K training runs, which seem a lot like what you have proposed. I just can’t see reversing that decision.

      In the next week or so we’ll be announcing plans for the summer series, which will include virtual races for those we can’t have, and likely a virtual race option for those not wishing or able to do a live race once we are able to hold those. But this series is just 5K-5M in distance, not the long runs you are asking about.

      We can give some thought on how to help people find a very small group to do long runs with on their own. It’s been advised by one medical professional in our group that we shouldn’t be encouraging this though. We need to weigh that with the safety of not running alone.

  4. Leigh Prezkop

    Completely understand. As things change day, by day, I even realize that my thought of maybe running with a couple other people has already changed. Thanks, again.

  5. Tracy Henke

    Good afternoon!

    I work for the Waynesboro Family YMCA, & we’re planning a Virtual Challenge (5k/10k run and 15 mile/30 mile bike) as a fundraiser for our COVID-19 Response and other critical community support programs. We plan to open registration on May 7th, registrants can run/bike anytime during Memorial Day Weekend (Friday, May 22nd – Monday, May 25th), and individual times are submitted on our race page. Registrants would receive a Waynesboro YMCA “I Gave” washable face mask (attached), as well as a finisher medal to commemorate the race.

    I’d like to know if y’all would be willing to promote this event to your group, and encourage your members to participate. I know there are a lot of folks looking for opportunities both to run and to help their neighbors – and the beauty of virtual races is that anyone can join in. We’re operating on the “run where you are, then submit your time” system. If they have a favorite 5k/10k/15mi/30mi route, they can use it!

    Please let me know if you’d be interested in promoting the event. We’d love to have this shared as far and wide as possible. You can see more about what Waynesboro YMCA is doing for our community on our website (www.WaynesboroYMCA.com), or you can feel free to contact me with any questions (thenkeymca@lumos.net). I look forward to hearing from you!


    Tracy Henke
    Director of Advancement
    Waynesboro Family YMCA

  6. Cynthia Harding

    I am the Business Manager from Peakland UMC and some of the United Methodist churches in the area have given a monetary donation in Honor of Scott Davis, our outgoing District Superintendent. Where can I mail a donation check?

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