Frequently Asked Questions


I’ve never done a Trail Race Before, what should I expect?

When you're out on the trails- Be prepared to experience the race course in a personal and unique way. Be ready for uneven terrain and steeper ups and downs than on the roads. In fact, even the fastest racers will be walking the steep ascents.

Since you are closer to objects you pass on trail and need to be nimble on your feet over rocks and roots, you may feel like you’re running faster than you actually are. Plan to run about 1-2 minutes per mile slower than your usual race pace.

Both the 15k and 50k races have guided bushwhacking sections that are not official trails, but will be marked. These sections provide off-the-beaten path scenery and add to the challenge.

More tips on the race are here.

How are the courses marked?

The entire racecourse is marked. Trail insertions / roads will be marked with 12”x18” signs with arrows. Trails and guided bushwhacking sections will be marked with utility flags and ribbons. The pre-race meeting will have examples of each and pictures are shown in the race guide.

How much of the race course is Trail?

Each course will have a mix of gravel, paved roads, and paved off-road bike & pedestrian paths. The 50k racecourse starts on a 10 mile loop all on dirt that is run in both directions then finishes on the 15k race course. The first 5 miles of the 15k race starts on dirt then transitions to dedicated bike & pedestrian path. The majority of the the next three miles are on either sidewalk or roads. Most of the final mile of the route to the finish is through downtown Wausau parks on off-road bike & pedestrian paths.

Check out the race course map here.

Where are the aid stations and water stops on the course?

The 50k will have aid stations at miles 5 1/2, 10 1/2, 15 1/2, 21, and 26 1/2.

The 15k will have an aid station at mile 5 1/2. This serves as the same aid station as mile 26 1/2 for the 50k race.

There are also water fountains along the off-road bike & pedestrian path at mile 3 of the 15k / mile 24 of the 50k and mile 8 1/2 of the 15k / mile 29 1/2 of the 50k.

These are all shown on the race course map here.

Each aid station is guaranteed to be stocked with:

  • Tailwind

  • Water

  • Coke and ginger ale

  • Fruit (oranges, bananas, watermelon)

  • Potato chips, pretzels, saltines

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

  • Chicken/ veggie broth

  • Cookies

  • M&Ms, Swedish fish, gummy bears

  • Any additional items are at the discretion of the hosting sponsor of the aid station. If you have special requirements, please be sure to put it in your drop bag or on your being.

Remember, this is a cupless race, so bring your own bottles/ hydration packs!

THis is a point-to-point race How do I get to the race start?

For both 50k and 15k racers, the start is separate from the finish area. Be sure to know how you are getting from either one. We greatly encourage you to use our shuttle transport from the 400 Block to the race start as it cuts down on traffic at the race site and is convenient for finishing where you parked!

See schedule of events for load times here.

Are pacers allowed?

No. Convince a friend to sign up for the challenge to keep you company on the trail!

Can I do this?

Absolutely! No matter the ability level, we have generous cut-off times that as long as you keep moving on the race course you can finish. If this is your first trail race, we recommend joining a training run and previewing the race course to know what to expect. Study the elevation gain and remember that as the race exits the dirt at Rib Mountain State Park, most of the hills are done.

Even if you’ve never done a trail race, give it a try! Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with the challenge, scenery, and serenity of the trails.

What can my family do while I’m racing?

There are many things to do! In addition to cheering you on the racecourse, families may explore one of the many shops and restaurants in downtown Wausau.

If your family wants to venture outside, they may take in the peak of fall colors at the top of Rib Mountain State Park by driving to the top, riding on the ski lift at Granite Peak, or hiking one of the many trails. Spectators can cheer on racers while riding on the ski lift to the summit (may be purchased at the pre-race 10/4 expo or day of the event) and then enjoy the beautiful fall colors riding back down to the base to head back to the 400 Block to support the achievement of the runners’ hard day of work!

Spectators may also enjoy Wausau Events Harvest Fest festivities from 10am-2pm on the 400 Block which includes everything from pumpkins to crafts to horse-drawn wagon rides to live music.

For IRONBULL races, families are welcome to enjoy the free access to the YMCA on race day. This includes open swim, workout facilities, and/or a sauna and shower.

WHat do I do between finishing and the awards?

Be sure to grab a free shower at the Woodson YMCA and get on some fresh clothes so you can kick back and enjoy a complementary beverage on the 400 Block while listening to live music by the Allen Brothers Band (3 pm to 7 pm), recapping the race with friends & family, or enjoying a free meal from the taco bar provided by Urban Street Bistro. We also would love for you to cheer on the folks out on the race course from dawn to dusk.