The Frozen Otter Ultra Trek is by far one of the toughest races in the Midwest and with roughly a 20% completion rate, possibly the country.
Participants traverse 64 miles of Wisconsin's hilly terrain left in the wake of the great Wisconsin Glacier. As if the sheer feat of conquering the mileage isn't enough, racers must do it without outside support, on trail, in the dead of winter.
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. Conditions are a huge factor in the race and are highly unpredictable. Past years have cursed racers with conditions including temperatures dropping down to 20 degrees below zero and knee-deep snow. The race is truly the ultimate test of both physical and mental endurance.
But wait.... there's more! Just to add to the mental challenge (and to keep track of the racers), volunteers are posted at roughly 8 mile intervals along the trail and provide a haven with a warm fire, hot water, and the option to take a shuttle back. This is where racers begin to drop like flies!
Historically, by the third checkpoint nearly 50% of the participants have chosen to throw in the towel and return to the comfort of their warm cars. 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 that return to the staging area either as a ranked racer or by shuttle are treated to hot soup, grilled food, and a large fire to share their experience with other racers. Do you think you have what it takes? Give it a try, it will be one of the toughest and most rewarding things you ever do!
"This is the one race everyone has to do once, just so they know how to do it right the NEXT time" Chad Hannon - Racer 2008