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Ice Age Trail 50

May 11, 2024

The Ice Age Trail 50 is one of the oldest continuously-running ultras in the country and is rated by Strambecco as one of the Best Trail Running Events in the Midwest. Experience a truly unique course as you traverse the Wisconsin landscape. The route will take you through dense deciduous forests, under the shade of tall pine trees, over rugged rocky ridges, and across sprawling open prairies. Along the way, you’ll be able to observe a range of natural features and ice age geological and glacial formations, such as picturesque lakes, distinctive kettles, and towering kames. There are 3-course options for participants; 50 miles, 50K, and Half Marathon. Registration includes race entry, timing chip, commemorative t-shirt, finisher’s award, catered lunch, and post-race party that includes live music and awards ceremony. Awards are given to the top 3 men and women in each category, 13 categories, including overall winners. Registration opens mid December each year and sells out within hours.

50-mile – This course is mainly single-track dirt, tree-rooted, rocky trail that winds through forests and prairies with incessant hills. There are 13 aid stations, not including the start and finish line, with a mix of hydration and nutrition. A full schedule includes course details so runners can plan when to fuel up with snacks during the long race. The 50-mile is marked with yellow rectangles painted on trails and rocks.

50K – This 31-mile trail run has two basic sections. The part cruises along many known horse trails in the area. There is a narrow, single track winding up and over many hills with few flats. The second section has two loops of the Nordic Trail, a cross-country ski trail popular in Wisconsin’s winter months. During summer, they are wide, scenic, and runnable and provide every type of terrain possible in a gravel race. There are nine aid stations between start and finish, and 7 include fluids and food. See the full schedule to plan your breaks. The 50K is marked with orange ground flags.

Half-Marathon – This course is two loops on the Nordic Trail, which are wide, scenic, and a good representation of the glacial topography of the Kettle Moraine. There are three aid stations for each loop that you will hit twice along the course. The Tamarack Aid Station on your second time through the course is a marker that there are only 4.5 miles to go and all courses merge join together for the finish line. Blue ground flags mark this course.

An otherwise quiet, comfortable town, La Grange becomes the center of the universe for the ultra community each May. Participants of The Ice Age Trail have multiple options for lodging including a list of recommended hotels, vacation rentals, popular Ottawa Lake Campground as well as other unique camping locations in the vicinity. Use the remainder of the weekend to enjoy this beautiful part of the Midwest, whether that’s exploring more of the Ice Age Trail, fishing, or visiting other nearby towns of Whitewater and Lake Geneva.




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