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Lost Cat

50K · Marathon · Half



Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, ALL 2020 Nor'east races have been cancelled. see our full statement here


Stay safe, stay #netrstrong!

welcome lost cat runners

The Lost Cat is a scenic and challenging road-to-trail race that takes you through hardwood forests and past historic marble quarries on Dorset's Mount Aeolus. One of the most varied courses out there, the Lost Cat features steep gnarly climbs, a 6-mile descent, buffed out singletrack, and rolling dirt roads. From the sandy lakeshore to the shoulder of the mountain, the Lost Cat showcases the natural beauty and incredible terrain of the tiny town of Dorset, Vermont. 

The Lost Cat is part of the  Dorset Running Festival, a three-day running extravaganza with road and trail races from 1 mile to 50K. A portion of the proceeds of the Dorset Running Festival benefit  Second Chance Animal Center, Bennington County's humane society that serves animals in Southwestern Vermont and nearby New York and Massachusetts. 




The Lost Cat offers steep climbs, varied terrain, and scenic descents. Incredible valley views and historic buildings from the height of Vermont's marble boom. The 50K consists of roughly 50% trail (about half and half singletrack and doubletrack/jeep trail) and 50% road (10% pavement, 40% packed dirt/gravel)

Starting down low at Town Hall in East Dorset, you'll get a rolling prelude to the climbs ahead. Historic orchards and stands of sugar maple line this part of the course. The course then transitions to steeper class 4 roads and trails on Mount Aeolus after a beautiful 5k singletrack section through old pine plantations above Emerald Lake. All distances are a single loop-type format, and will end back in town where they started.

This is NOT a flat race! The half marathon has approximately 2,400' of climbing and the 50K has approximately 4,500'.

If you don't like dirt roads, you won't like this course. In the style of classic races like the JFK 50 and the Vermont 100, the Lost Cat is a great way to showcase your speed and practice tough transitions while hitting a wide variety of terrain. Depending on the year and how recently some of the jeep roads have washed out, some sections can look more like rocky technical trail or like smooth runable road.


If you don't like trails, you won't like this course. 2019's race featured a rock pile the size of a small house near the finish of the course. You can count on slippery, rocky, rooty, and quad-busting sections. Be prepared for lots of changing gears and some serious descents. 


Road shoes and trail shoes are both a bad choice. 

Note that the 50k has the most trail of any of the distances. If you drop down to the marathon you'll be missing out on one of the most scenic sections of the course, 5 miles of trail straight up Mount Aeolus. 

Due to the land ownership considerations, there will not be a course map available before the race. Rough outlines and Aid Station locations will be available, along with crew/spectator access directions. The course will be very well-marked.

There is a ~2 mile highway section positioned several miles into the course; all distances will cover the highway stretch. There is ample shoulder and good visibility, however it is the runner's responsibility to ensure they are safe on the road. This includes bright or reflective clothing, etc. There will be volunteers, flagging, and marking on the road sections of the course, but traffic will not be stopped on this segment. You will also cross an active set of railroad tracks... twice! While it's unlikely any trains will be present, be prepared to wait a couple of minutes.

Be prepared for mountain weather and changing conditions. As we say in Vermont, if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes!!

The CUTOFF time for all distances will be 4 PM. This gives half marathoners 7 hours, making it a great event for walkers!

Aid stations

There will be fully stocked aid stations every 3-7 miles. Aid stations will feature electrolyte drinks, gels, and salt tabs. Expect all the traditional sweet and salty aid station foods plus MAPLE SYRUP SHOTS available on-course. Seriously.

Bring a bottle or pack for water! It may be hot and humid and the next aid station might feel a lot further than it is!

There will be one drop bag location near the midpoint of the 50K with crew access. Drop bags/crew for marathon and 50K runners only.


The Lost Cat will be photographed by renowned sports photographer Joe Viger. All participants will take home FREE web-sized downloads of their photos, courtesy of Nor'east Trail Runs! Higher resolution prints and downloads are also available - support your amazing photographers! Last year, two Lost Cat runners wound up on the cover of the American Trail Running Association (ATRA) page when one of Joe's photos was selected to represent USA trail running around the world!

View previous years' photo galleries: 2018 | 2019



The Lost Cat will be chip timed by Mike Melton, a leader in the industry and the timer of record for several world and national championship events. Results will be available live at the finish line and online in real time.

Timing and scoring will also employ backup checks along the course, including a bib punch system and manual check-ins at each aid station. It is the responsibility of every runner to ensure that you are checked in at each aid station. 

Trail sisters approved!

The Lost Cat is once again a Trail Sisters Approved race for 2020! 

From equal space on the starting line to equal prizes and podium spots to women's-specific t-shirts and menstrual products at all aid stations, we are committed to promoting equality in trail running. Whether the Lost Cat is your first trail race or your 100th, all are welcome! 

In 2019 the Lost Cat was 43% women. Let's get it up to 50% in 2020!



All runners will receive a tech shirt. Finishers get a custom dog tag medal and a finisher's pint glass!

50k finishers take home something unique to remember the race that can't be had anywhere else, we promise. You'll have to find out what it is by finishing... Custom, locally made awards for top three male and female at each distance!

There will be a raffle to benefit the Second Chance Animal Shelter with great local prizes courtesy of our awesome sponsors on Sunday, 8/23 following the  Dorset Hollow Road Race 5k & 10k! Tickets will be available to purchase at the Lost Cat. 100% of the proceeds go to Second Chance!


Rep the Lost Cat wherever you go with BOCO Gear trucker hats, stickers, and unique limited edition commemorative posters (100% of poster sales go to Second Chance Animal Center!).

Check it all out all in the webstore and select Pick up at a Race to have it waiting for you on race day!

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follow Lost cat

Like the Dorset Running Festival on  facebook

Mark yourself as Going to the  2020 Facebook Event

Follow  #lostcat  and  #rundorset  on facebook & insta and tag your Lost Cat posts!

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Race entries are non-refundable and non-transferable. See our full terms HERE

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