The 50K runs begin in the finish area. To calibrate the distance to exactly 50K, Deb Vomhof and her team (Trail Marking and Race Course Management), measures and re-measures distances and subtle changes are continuously made to the 50K race course to adjust for trail rerouting that takes place during the year. The 50K course is marked with ORANGE ground flags. For simplicity, the 50K race course can be broken into two basic sections.
Section 1 is an out to AS 9 (Horserider’s Camp) and back to the finish area at the Nordic trailhead. Your run on the Nordic Trail is short at only 1.6 miles to AS 3. Daya Pillay and his team will be staffing AS 3. From AS 3 you cross Bluff Road running up the horse trails for .5 miles until you reach Confusion Corner. Once you reach Confusion Corner you continue on the Ice Age Trail by going straight across the horse trail. Look for the Ice Age Trail markers (yellow painted rectangles on trees). You are on a high esker with nice views to your left and on your way to AS 8 and a visit with Jeff Weiss and his crew.
From AS 8 you begin your climb of Indian Signal Hill (Bald Bluff on the map) to the highest point on the course. At the top, enjoy the view and the significance of this Native American spiritual site that (according to settler accounts in the mid-1800’s) attracted Native American peoples from as far away as Illinois and other Wisconsin areas. The very trails you run are the trails used by earlier peoples traveling to this site for centuries.
The terrain from AS 8 to AS 9 is constantly changing. Expect narrow, single track winding up and over hill after hill until you finally reach AS 9. There are some flats; but, they are few and far between. At AS 9, appreciate the hard work by Franny Keyes and other seasoned Ice Age veterans who man this critical aid station. This is your turnaround and you begin your trek back to the finish line at the Nordic Trail for a total of 13 miles.
Section 2 is two loops of the Nordic Trail. Designed as a cross country ski trail, this 18.0 mile section is two loops of the outer trail (Blue Loop – highlighted in green below). Referring to the race map, you are running in a counterclockwise direction from AS 2 passing by AS 1 just off Tamarack Road and running by AS 3 and returning to AS 2 at the Finish for the 9.0 miles. Enjoy new Captain and ultrarunner Kevin Clark and his team at AS 1, Captain Michele Loehner at AS 2 and her aid station volunteers and Daya Pillay and his gang at AS 3.
The Nordic Trail trails are very wide and scenic. This 9.0 mile loop is very representative of the glacial topography and natural diversity that you can expect in the Kettle Moraine. As a cross country ski trail, it provides every type of terrain imaginable for skiing.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN THE START/FINISH AREA AT MILES 13 & 22, BEAR LEFT. DO NOT ENTER THE FINISH CHUTE ON THE RIGHT! PASS THE AID STATION, THEN BEAR RIGHT AND FOLLOW THE 50K SIGNS (AND ORANGE FLAGS). DO NOT CROSS THE FINISH LINE UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE SECOND LOOP.
The trail or tread on the Nordic is very runnable. There will be sections in the pines and meadows that you will want to develop some speed. Easy on the feet, joints and with towering trees all around, you are preparing yourself for a great race. Many areas that were rocky have been wood chipped over to help skiers save their equipment.
We recommend that spectators and crew for 50k runners remain in the Start/Finish area throughout the race. There, you will be able to see your runners four times — at the start, at 13.3 miles, at 22.2 miles and at the finish. Given the proximity of AS3 (Bluff Road) to the Start/Finish area and the limited availability of parking at that aid station, you may miss your runner at one or both of those stops if you try to shuttle between the two areas.
Crews and spectators are not allowed at the Horserider’s Aid Station (AS9) — the 6.5 mile turnaround point in the first leg of the 50k race. Despite our best efforts to to slow traffic through the campsite, the DNR has received numerous complaints and has chosen to restrict access to this aid station. RUNNERS: Please make sure your crew is aware of this change. CREW: Do not risk disqualifying your runner by attempting to meet them at Horserider’s. Thank you.
NEW: Beginning in 2017, the Tamarack Aid Station will be manned and fully supplied until 3:00 p.m. After that time, basic supplies will be available, but there will be no volunteer support. Runners will need to hold about a 15:00 minute mile pace for 27.2 miles to arrive at AS 1 before 3:00 p.m.
|Distance Out||Station||Distance Between||Cut Off Times||AS Supplies||Drop Bags||Crew Access|
|1.5||AS 3||1.5||Fluids & Food||Designated Parking|
|2.4||AS 8||0.9||Fluids only||#1||Designated Parking|
|6.6||AS 9||4.2||Fluids & Food||No Crew Access|
|10.9||AS 8||4.3||Fluids only||No Crew Access|
|11.8||AS 3||0.9||Fluids & Food||#1||Designated Parking|
|13.3||AS 2||1.5||Fluids & Food||#1||Designated Parking|
|18.3||AS 1||5.0||Fluids & Food||No Crew Access|
|22.2||AS 2||3.9||3:10 PM||Fluids & Food||#1||Designated Parking|
|27.2||AS 1||5.0||Fluids & Food||No Crew Access|
|31.1||Finish||3.9||6:00 PM||Fluids & Food||#1||Designated Parking|
50K CREW MAPS AND DRIVING DIRECTIONS (LINK BELOW):
Crew Driving Directions-50k
50K AID STATION GPS COORDINATES:
Start Finish (AS2)
Bluff Road (AS3)
Young Road (AS8)
A Few Words About Confusion Corner
Refer to the Trail Map on the Section 1 Description. Locate AS 3 and AS 8. Note the point where the trail moves to the southwest and to the northeast. Understanding this cross over point is critical to keep you on the correct race course. As you leave the Nordic Ski Trail from AS 3 you are running on horse trails for approximately ½ mile. The horse trail bisects the Ice Age Trail to the northeast (straight and slight right for 50Kers). Look for a yellow marker (painted rectangle on trees or rocks). This is the identifying marker for the Ice Age Trail along the entire course. There will be sentries there to help guide you through this intersection.
PLEASE NOTE THAT AID STATION #1 (TAMARACK) WILL BE OPEN UNTIL 4:30 P.M. BUT WILL BE UNMANNED AFTER 3:00 PM.