Message From The Race Director

Welcome to the
Ice Age Trail races!

Ice Age is a true trail run. Outside of a few road crossings, you’ll have dirt (or mud), grass, pine needles, rocks and roots underfoot the entire time you’re on the course.

Run every year since 1982, Ice Age is one of America’s classic ultras.  While we’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for our runners, the event retains many of the “charms” that have kept it going for 33 years.  Much of that credit goes to the runners who keep coming back (our list of 500-mile and 1,000-mile club members — 10 & 20 finishes, respectively — grows each year) and to our dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers.  We’re proud to have four aid station captains who been assisting Ice Age runners for more than 20 years!

And Ice Age is the penultimate event in the Montrail UltraCup Championship Series.  As a MUC event, we’re assured a competitive field as runners from across the country come to collect series points and pursue a top-three finish in the 50-mile race, which means an automatic entry into the Western States 100.

The Ice Age course takes you through some scenic, historic and geologically fascinating areas. You’ll run in dense deciduous forests, across open prairies, under tall pines and over rocky ridges – and see lakes, kettles, kames, erratics and other natural features left when the glaciers finally retreated from Wisconsin more than 10,000 years ago. You’ll pass sites that provide a glance into the lives of the area’s first settlers and climb Bald Bluff, a place revered by Native Americans and the location of the Black Hawk War, the last major Indian war in Wisconsin. Included among the 3,500 soldiers who camped beside the bluff were two future US Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Zachary Taylor.

Without question, the competition that comes to the Southern Kettle Moraine forest each May keeps this race exciting, but I think most long-time Ice Agers will say that it’s the beauty of the trails, the race’s rich history and the friendly volunteers and runners that makes Ice Age a “bucket list” event for any trail runner.

And the weather?  Hard to say.  Last year’s race was sunny and in the 70s.  In the four previous years, conditions were excellent for running – mostly cool and overcast, with one year that was “deceptively warm.”

There is more information about the weather, course and the race itself on this website – or “like” us on Facebook and receive additional news and updates.

Good luck with your training. I look forward to congratulating you at the finish line!


Jeff Mallach

Race Director

 

P.S. If you have any questions, I can be reached at iceage50rd@sbcglobal.net.