A new running record is set on the Ice Age Trail

On June 22, Coree Woltering finished the trail in 21 days, 13 hours and 35 minutes.
two men running together
Photo by Lysianne Unruh
Jason Dorgan (left) of Blue Mounds ran briefly with Coree Woltering during Woltering’s record-breaking run on the Ice Age Trail in June.

In 2007, Blue Mounds resident Jason Dorgan set a record for running the entire Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a nearly 1,200-mile trail which snakes across Wisconsin. He completed the trail in 22 days and six hours. Dorgan’s record run garnered a lot of media attention and raised $15,000 for the maintenance of the Ice Age Trail.

Dorgan’s fastest known time, or FKT, would stand until Annie Weiss of Milwaukee, in 2018, would better it in 21 days, 18 hours and seven minutes. To achieve that, Weiss ran between 50 and 75 miles per day.

But Weiss held the overall record for less than two years. On June 22, Coree Woltering shaved about five hours from Weiss’ time, finishing in 21 days, 13 hours and 35 minutes. The progress of Woltering, from Ottawa, Illinois, was followed by ultrarunning fans via his GPS-enabled Strava account.

Dorgan not only paid attention to these runners as they bested his FKT, he encouraged and joined Weiss and Woltering on the trail during their record runs.

“The additional mental challenge of knowing there is a time to beat is one less obstacle I had to overcome,” Dorgan says. “I think having multiple runners attempt and succeed at lowering the record brings good support for the trail, and I look forward to many more attempts,” Dorgan says.

Dorgan caught up with Woltering on a road section of the trail near Westfield on Woltering’s 14th consecutive day of running. In that area, the Ice Age Trail branches off into two long sections before reconnecting, giving trail users a choice of routes to take. That divergence of the trail didn’t exist when Dorgan made his record run 13 years ago, which will affect how the FKTs are compared.

“The Ice Age Trail is a true gem of the National Scenic Trails and I want the FKT to encourage people to come out and use the trail in any manner they are able,” Dorgan says. “In this time of COVID-19, there are more users [of the trail] than ever and I look forward to that converting to more volunteers and donors to help maintain it.”

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