This classic ultra marathon, the Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Trail Races was started in 1996. It is the second leg in the Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Series and a qualifier event for the famed Western States 100. Besides the main 100 and 100k events, additional course options include a 38-mile fun run, 50k, and a 100-mile team relay. Strambecco rates Kettle Moraine as one of the best trail running events in the Midwest.
The Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Trail courses run entirely on trails (except for road crossings) and traverse the Ice Age National Scenic Trail for 65 miles. The runners deviate from the Ice Age Trail when near the Nordic Trails at the start/finish and also near the Scuppernong aid station. The course consists of 2 different out and back sections. The trail is about 80% wooded terrain, with the rest meandering through prairie or marsh areas. Part of the course will be a roller coaster of hills, with rocks and roots scattered to various degrees. Other sections will be gently rolling with relatively smooth running surfaces. The pine sections give you that soft bed of pine needles many of us like to run on. Though the hills are not long and/or especially steep, they can take a tremendous toll over many miles. The full 100-mile course has an altitude gain of approximately 8,800 feet.
The Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning was established in 2012 and is comprised of completing any four of the midwest’s premier 100-mile trail races: Mohican Trail 100; Kettle Moraine 100; Burning River 100; Hallucination 100; Indiana Trail 100. Runners completing all five races are designated “Super Slammers.”
The Western States 100 is the grandaddy of ultra-running events. It is an epic 100-mile trail run from Olympic Valley to Auburn, CA, in one day on the last weekend of June. It is the world’s oldest 100 trail race, starting in 1974 as one of the ultimate endurance tests. Over the course, runners will climb more than 18,000 feet and descend 23,000 feet. See the dedicated Western States Endurance Run website for details on the lottery process, training, support, and volunteer opportunities. Participants must qualify for the race within two years and enter the lottery. If you are selected as part of the lottery, you are officially sent details to register within two weeks. If not completed in time, the registration will be available to runners on the waitlist of 50-75 people.