The Stone Cat Trail Race has been a staple of the New England trail ultrarunning scene for more than two decades, but the legendary event is about to write its final chapter.
First held in 2001, Stone Cat offered runners 50-mile and marathon races for its first 18 years before consolidating to a single 50K race in 2019. The 2020 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it returned for its 20th running in 2021.
The 21st edition of Stone Cat, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5, will be the last Stone Cat according to the race details posted on UltraSignup.
“Yes the Stone Cat is back for another year. Still one race – 50K,” race organizers wrote. “However, all good things must come to an end and after 22 years this is likely going to be the FINAL Stone Cat. So if you want to run it…sign up and don’t wait for next year.”
Registration opens at 7 p.m. today and is capped at 300 runners. Registration may be done at this link.
As has been the case for the 50K editions in 2019 and 2021, the course will once again begin with a loop around the soccer field behind Doynton School in Ipswich, where the race starts and ends. Runners will then complete three 10-mile loops through neighboring Willowdale State Forest.
Jason Smith set the men’s 50K course record of 3:49:42 at the 2019 race when he held off Brian Burke by five minutes for the win. Rachel Bainbridge set the women’s record of 4:26:08 in 2021 when she outdistanced the field by 13 minutes and eclipsed Cori Nawn’s previous record of 4:39:49 from 2019).