What: 25K/50K “Fatass” trail run organized by the CATs. See our “Trails” page for the Google Map of the route, which you should load on your phone before arrival. See this tutorial for how to use Google Maps for trails.
You can also find a great description of the course, including maps and elevation profile is available here, thanks to the VHTRC’s Furbutt’s Favorites.
The full route is just about a perfect 50K. A shorter option is to turn around at Blackrock summit for a total of about 14 miles–do some loops in the parking lot if you really need 25K. Or skip the final AT section to Turk Gap, instead heading back down to parking the way you came up, for about 25 miles.
When: Labor Day Monday, September 7. We’re doing a flex start this year to promote distancing; most people are starting at 7 or 7:30am. Try to find a buddy starting at the same time to run with.
Where: Among spectacular trails within Shenandoah National Park, starting at the parking area just beyond Sugar Hollow Reservoir, (also called Charlottesville Reservoir) at the end of Sugar Hollow Rd.
What to bring: Enough water to get through a long run on a very hot day (70 oz hydration pack + 2 handheld bottles) + food/beverages
to share at tailgate afterwards. Due to COVID-19, you should bring your own food and drink. Sharing is discouraged.
Aid on course: Limited. There is a spring for refilling bottles on the Doyle’s Run trail that may or may not require purification, and there’s a chance that someone will be at Blackrock Gap with refreshments upon the return on the AT at Mile 9 (25K) or Mile 19 (50K).
There will also be self-service aid for the 50K runners at Turk Gap parking, near Mile 26. Sorry, no aid at Turk Gap this year.
The CATAss 25K/50K run is an informal “Fatass” event, (the official description of a Fatass is “no t-shirt, no entry fee, no wimps and no whining!”) run in the Shenandoah National Park (SNP).
The CATAss will start at the parking lot just beyond Sugar Hollow Reservoir (also called Charlottesville Reservoir) near Whitehall, VA, just outside the SNP boundary. The 25K and 50K courses follow along beautiful Appalachian Trail (AT) spur trails and the AT as they climb to the top of rocky summits, down through lush forests, and past beautiful waterfalls.
The 25K run will be an out-and-back that climbs from Sugar Hollow parking lot up the North Fork of the Moorman’s River Trail and continues on the AT north to Blackrock Summit, before turning around to descend back to the start point. The 50K run follows the 25K course to the top of Blackrock Summit and then continues north on the AT until turning onto the Jones River/Doyle’s Run loop spur trail. The 50K runners complete the loop and then turn back south on the AT all the way to Turk Gap Parking, before descending back to Sugar Hollow on the Turk Branch and South Fork Moorman’s trails.
There are plenty of out-and-back and trail-cut choices that can make your run less than 25K or 50K, and all distances are welcome.
We will have a meet-and-greet social at Sugar Hollow following the run, for anybody interested in hanging out afterwards! Please think about bringing some sort of finger food to share! Bring food and drink and hang out in the water by the finish afterward.
- This is an informal run in which everybody is responsible for their own safety, whereabouts, and well-being. This includes taking appropriate precautions for the Coronavirus. You are encouraged to carry a mask in case you find yourself in close contact while looking at a map or some other reason, but it probably is less safe to wear the mask while running due to the heat.
- If unsure about the course, you should definitely use the Google Map of the course linked in the “What” section above, and please run with someone who knows where they are going!
- Bring enough water to last a long day with no additional aid on what is likely to be a hot summer day. We suggest 70 liters of water in a hydration pack plus two handheld bottles full of water or sports drink. The good news is there are plenty of creeks to cool off in! In addition, there is a spring on the Doyle’s Run Trail that provides cool and refreshing water, but it might require purification before drinking.
- Come join us for the post-run party at Sugar Hollow. Consider bringing some food and/or drink to
Max elevation: 3097 ft
Min elevation: 1004 ft
Total climbing: 6929 ft
Total descent: -6926 ft