Join Frozen Otter Ultra Trek
The Ice Age Trail is a National Scenic Trail stretching 1,200 miles (1,900 km) in the state of Wisconsin in the United States. The trail roughly follows the location of the terminal moraine from the last Ice Age. As the route traverses the moraine, it sometimes meanders into areas west of the moraine, including the Driftless Area in southwestern Wisconsin. The trail passes through 30 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, from the northwestern part of the state to the Lake Michigan shoreline in the east. The western end of the trail is at Interstate State Park along the St. Croix River, which is the border between northwestern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. The eastern terminus of the Ice Age Trail lies at Potawatomi State Park, along Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula off of Sturgeon Bay.
Along its route, the trail crosses numerous local parks, state parks and forests, state wildlife and natural areas, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The trail often coincides with other trails within various county and municipal parks. It passes through the land of various owners, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, and hundreds of private citizens.
The Frozen Otter is a 64 mile ultra trail marathon that takes place in Dundee, Wi on the 3 weekend of January. Why the third weekend? Because that is historically the coldest weekend of the year in Wi. The race is made up of 8 segments, and the competitors have 24 hours to complete the distance. The racers are self supported, meaning that they can receive no help or assistance while competing. The only resupplying that can take place occurs at the half way point (32 miles). Participants traverse 64 miles of Wisconsin’s hilly terrain left in the wake of the great Wisconsin Glacier. Racers may only register as a solo racer, although participants are encouraged to race with others, and must carry a variety of gear to ensure their safety during the event. Racers have 24 hours to conquer the distance. Those that do are then part of the elite Frozen Few.
The Ice Age Trail spans the entire length of the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit and is host to some beautiful wildlife and scenery. The Frozen Otter is an opportunity to see it all.The goal of the race is to travel the entire length of the forest on the Ice Age Trail and then return. There are approximately 32 miles each way making a total distance of 64 miles. The 8 segments of the race are:
1. Butler Lake (Start) to Greenbush picnic area: The distance is 8.1 miles, and it is the easiest of all the segments. However it is exposed to wind at the beginning of the race.
2. Greenbush to HWY P trailhead: The distance is 7.1 miles, and it is the second easiest segment.
3. HWY P to Greenbush: Just the reverse of segment 2.
4. Greenbush to Butler Lake: This is the reverse of segment 1 and marks the end of the 32 mile race, or the halfway point of the 64 mile race. It is the only point in the race where you can exchange gear and resupply.
5. Butler Lake to Mauthe Lake: The distance is only 7.5 miles, but it is the toughest segment of the race. The frequency of hills and changes in elevation are what makes this the segment I dread the most.
6. Mauthe Lake to HWY H trailhead: The distance is 9.0 miles, and has possibly the worst hill that the competitors will encounter.
7. HWY H to Mauthe Lake: Just the reverse of segment 6.
8. Mauthe Lake to Butler Lake: If I ever make it this far, anyone in the parking lot will hear a crazy person yelling and singing as he makes his way along the last ridge.
Aid Stations and volunteers are posted at roughly 8 mile intervals along the trail and provide a haven with a warm fire, hot water.
Those racers that complete the entire 64 mile course within the 24 hour cutoff become part of the 'Frozen Few' and receive a set of dog tags for bragging rights. Top times get their names added to the perpetual Frozen Few plaque which is displayed each year at the race staging area.
All participants are treated to hot soup, grilled food, and a large fire.
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The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.