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Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra (Complete Guide)

Tuscobia Trail Winter UItra

The Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra is an endurance event that takes place on the Tuscobia State Trail in northern Wisconsin.

The event usually occurs during the winter, making the conditions particularly tough due to the cold temperatures and potential for heavy snowfall.

The Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra first started in 2010 and a Run, Bike, Ski event and it continues to grow in popularity.

Since then, it has grown in popularity among ultra-endurance athletes, drawing participants who seek to test their limits in the challenging winter conditions of Wisconsin.

Main Image: Tuscobia Winter Trail

When Is The 2024 Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra?

The Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra typically takes place in late December or early January each year, aligning with the coldest part of the winter to maximize the challenge posed by the snowy and icy conditions of northern Wisconsin.

This timing helps ensure that participants experience the trail under true winter ultra conditions.

In 2024, the races will take place in December with registration closing in September. Official dates are yet to be confirmed.

How To Enter The Ultra?

To enter the Tuscobia Winter Ultra, you need to register through UltraSignup. Registration typically opens on August 1st and applicants are selected and notified by the end of August or early September.

The entry fees are $150 for the 80-mile race and $200 for the 160-mile race, and these fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

For the 160-mile race, it’s important to note that participants must have previously completed specific qualifying events, such as the Tuscobia 160/150/80/75 mile, Arrowhead 135 mile, or other recognized ultra-endurance races like the Iditarod Trail Invitational or the White Mountains 100 mile.

This is to ensure that participants are adequately prepared for the rigorous demands of the race.

Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra Format

This challenging ultra-marathon is designed for runners, bikers, and skiers, and offers several distance options, typically including 160-mile, 80-mile, and 40-mile races across the Tuscobia Trails.

Participants in the Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra are required to be self-supported, meaning they must carry or pull their own gear, including food, water, and safety equipment.

This adds an extra layer of difficulty to the race, as managing resources becomes crucial to success. The trail itself, which is a converted rail trail, provides a relatively flat but often snow-covered and icy terrain, adding to the physical challenge.

The race is not only a test of physical stamina but also of mental toughness. Competitors face long hours of solitude and the harsh winter elements, which can include subzero temperatures and strong winds.

The Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra attracts a diverse group of endurance athletes, from seasoned ultramarathoners to adventure racers, all looking to push their limits in a uniquely challenging environment.

Tuscobia Winter Ultra Routes

The Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra features different routes based on the distance categories offered in the event.

The main distances are typically 160 miles, 80 miles, and 40 miles. The routes generally work via the information below:

160-mile route

This is the longest option and is often an out-and-back course. Participants start from a designated point (often in Rice Lake, Wisconsin), head to the turnaround point at Park Falls, and then return to the starting point.

80-mile route

Participants in the 80-mile race also usually follow an out-and-back course. They start from the same location as the 160-mile racers but turn around at a halfway point that is 40 miles away, before returning to the start/finish line.

40-mile route

This shorter distance typically involves a point-to-point course or a shorter out-and-back route. The specific starting and finishing points can vary from year to year based on logistics and trail conditions.

All races use the Tuscobia State Trail, which is a converted rail trail that provides a relatively flat but challenging terrain due to snow and ice accumulation.

The trail’s surface and width can vary, making navigation and progress dependent on weather conditions and trail maintenance.

Participants must be prepared for varying degrees of trail difficulty, from packed snow to loose, deep snow, and icy patches.

Tuscobia Trail Winter Ultra Winners & 2023 Result

The Tuscobia Winter Ultra has seen various winners over the years across different distance categories.

In the 2023 event for the 160-mile race, Herman Watson led the male category with a time of 37:35:00, while Simone Valentin Austin was the top female finisher with a time of 57:13:00.

In the 80-mile category, Korey Konietzki and Michael Ryan both finished in a tie at 16:58:00, making them the fastest male participants, while Nicole Diedrick led the female category with a time of 18:53:00​.