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Whistlestop Marathon

Ashland, WI

Race Dates

2017: Saturday, October 14, 2017
2016: Saturday, October 15, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Downhill
Type: Point to Point
Surface: Trail
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 47°F (8°C)
Average High: 57°F (13°C)
Average Low: 36° F (2°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 100.50
Course Score: 100.50

Race Size

2016: 269 Finishers
2015: 305 Finishers
2014: 377 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 10.9%
2015: 13.1%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

From the race website - The Whistlestop Marathon course offers a flat and fast running trail surface that is firm but is much more forgiving to the knees then asphalt.

The course stretches from two miles east of Iron River, Wisconsin and features ten re-decked railroad trestles, wetlands, trout streams, Chequamegon National Forest woodlands, dairy farms, residential neighborhoods and traffic-free quiet. Being a fall marathon, the course will feature some of the nation's finest autumn colors.

Marathon Rankings

The Whistlestop Marathon was the 231st largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 212th largest in 2015.

Last year 10.9% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 13.1% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Whistlestop Marathon the 177th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 109th highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 100.50 ranks it as the 22nd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in Wisconsin.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are within the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Whistlestop Marathon a PR Score of 100.50. This PR Score ranks it as the 21st fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 1st fastest in Wisconsin.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 1182 feet (360m)
Min Elevation: 614 feet (187m)


Ratings & Reviews for the Whistlestop Marathon

2 Stars from 3 Reviews

review of 2015 Whistlestop Marathon.   

2 / 5 Stars


While very scenic, the trail is NOT packed gravel. It is mostly very loose, soft gravel that takes a lot of energy to run on, and twisting an ankle is very possible. If the course wasn't so loose / soft, I would love to run this race again.

Race Tips

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2014 Whistlestop Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


Cool fall temps and scenic (if a bit lonely) course. Because it is on a trail there are very few spectators, but the water station volunteers are lovely and enthusiastic. Not a ton of port-potties along the course, but plenty of woods! Trail is not as hard-packed as I believed it would be and I spent a significant amount of time trying to get footing and/or weaving around softer areas. Fresh gravel applied in some areas prior to the start of the 2014 race made some spots pretty tough to run over (as the blisters on my feet attest to). Easy packet pickup, great volunteers, finish is by the train depot and train which are both beautiful. Shuttle from Primrose Lane was a breeze. Great medals and race finisher jackets!

Race Tips

Be prepared for any and all conditions along the trail. The trail is open to ATV\'s which significantly contributes to it's loose condition. Not as firmly packed as it\'s advertised.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2014 Whistlestop Marathon.   

0 / 5 Stars


This is the second year I've done it. Cold at the start but lots of fun the colors on the trees was great

Race Tips

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Whistlestop Marathon in 2:52:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.