When does registration open?

The 2021 Ice Age Trail races are sold out. Runners who registered for the 2020 Ice Age Trail races have been automatically entered in the September race.

In non-pandemic years, Ice Age is held on the second Saturday in May. Registration for the May races usually opens the second weekend in December. Early registration is offered to runners who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Ice Age 50 volunteers
  • Nine-time finishers of the Ice Age Trail races (in a single event or any combination of events)
  • Overall top 10 finishers from the previous year (50M, 50K, Half)
  • Runners placing in the top three of their age division the previous year (men & women)
  • Race Directors of ultramarathons

Is it true that this race sells out quickly?

The 2020 50-mile race sold out in about two hours. The 50k and Half Marathons reached capacity in several minutes.

TIP: If you’re closed out from the 50k or Half Marathon, sign up for the 50-mile and drop down. It costs more, but you are guaranteed a bib on race day.

Do you keep a wait list?

We do, but only for the 50-mile race. To be added to the list, contact the RD at In the past, EVERY wait-listed runner has been given the opportunity to run on race day, although requests are processed in the order they are received.

We cannot, unfortunately, offer wait lists for the 50k or Half Marathon events, due to the growing number of drop-downs from the 50-mile race.

I missed out on registration this year. Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of running Ice Age next year?

Yes – volunteer! Ice Age Trail 50 volunteers are part of a small class of runners who can participate in an early registration event before general registration opens.

Why don’t you have a lottery?

Lotteries are exciting and engaging, but frankly no one here is interested in managing the process or defending the logic. And as much as we’d like to learn more about algorithms, the scramble format gives everyone who wants to run an equal chance to participate. The only requirement is that runners have access to a smart phone or a computer.

Can I get a refund…or transfer my entry to another runner?

Refunds and bib transfers are not allowed under any circumstances.

I’ve heard that I can defer my entry. Is this true? When do I have to decide?

Yes! As a service to our runners, we always allow runners to defer their entries up to a certain date, which can change year-to-year. Please do not ask us to defer your entry after that time. All deferral requests must be submitted via email.


Do you have any training runs where I can run the course and meet fellow runners?

Two training runs are scheduled for Saturday, August 21 (35 miles) and Saturday, August 28 (19 miles). Run both and you’ll see the entire 50-mile course, but you don’t have to run the entire distance. The courses will be flagged and one minimalist aid station will be set up on both days. The runs are free and everyone is invited, but you’ll need a state park sticker to park in the Nordic lot. Annual passes are $28 for Wisconsin residents and $38 for out of state vehicles. Daily passes are $8/$11. More information about the training runs will be emailed to runners in July/August.

I signed up for the 50-mile, but don’t think I’ll be trained in time. Can I drop down to one of the other races?

Sure can. But you must email the race director no later than August 31.

Can I camp in the finish area?

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources does not allow any type of camping in the area of the Nordic trail head.

Where do I get my race day parking pass?

Volunteers will be handing out passes at the Nordic entrance on race morning.

I can’t attend the packet pick-up. Can a friend pick up my bag?

Sure can. Just email the RD at

How do I sign up to volunteer?

Go to the volunteer page on this website or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Angela Barbera, directly at

I can’t volunteer the entire day. Can I still help?

Partial day shifts are available, and we are often looking for volunteers the Friday before race day.

I have friends and family coming to watch the race. Can I order extra BBQ lunches for them?

Yes! The best way to order extra meals is during the registration process, but if you don’t have a count by then, just contact the RD at any time before August 15.

Is there a non-meat option at the BBQ?

Yes. There are veggie wraps and vegetarian salads.

Race Day

Are pacers allowed?

Pacers are not allowed in any of the three Ice Age races.

Can I run with my dog?

Please don’t. The race courses are crowded on Saturday and the ultra events include miles of narrow, single-track trails.

Will there be a medical team on site for the race?

Physicians and other medical personnel from Mercy South Hospital (Janesville) will be available to help Ice Age runners in the Start/Finish area.

I understand that beer cups are not available after the race. Should I bring my own?

Please do. We are trying to reduce our footprint and eliminate waste. Souvenir Ice Age pint glasses will also be available for sale at the merchandise table next to the beer stand.

Is live tracking available?

Race day tracking is not available at this time.

When will results be posted?

Race night at


Do I need a parking pass to watch my runner?

If you plan on spending any time in the start/finish area, yes. Annual and daily parking passes can be purchased at the park entrance.

Where are the best locations on the course to see my runner?

50-mile: 50-mile runners return to the start/finish location at Mile 9. After that point, drive to either the Duffin Road AS (mile 14) or Hwy 12 AS (miles 18 & 26). You can also visit the Rice Lake AS (mile 22), but it somewhat difficult to find if you are unfamiliar with the area. After the return trip through Hwy 12, you can drive to Duffin Road (mile 30 on the return), Young Road (mile 32) or Emma Carlin (mile 40). Parking is limited at Duffin and Young and usually plentiful at Emma. After Emma, return to the finish area.

50k:  If you stay in the start/finish area, you will see your runner four times during the race: at the start, at 13 miles, at 22 miles and at the finish. Spectators and crew are also welcome at the Bluff Road Aid Station, but since that location is only 1.5 miles from the start/finish, it is difficult to see your runner at both points, given the possibility that parking may not be readily available.

Half Marathon:  Remain in the start/finish area. You will see your runner three times during the race – at the start, at the halfway point and at the finish. You can also drive to the Bluff Road Aid Station, but parking at that location is limited and since it is only 1.5 miles from the start area, it is possible you will miss your runner as they pass through the start/finish.

Can I bring my dog to the finish area?

Sure! Remember, though, that the finish area at Ice Age is extremely crowded and hectic on race day. Dogs must be kept on leashes and off the race course at all times. And there will be other dogs. Owners are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their pets and to ensure that they do not interfere with race participants and staff.