IronHorse - USATF Certified & Sanctioned

Thu April 2, 2020 Riceville, IA US 50466 Directions

IronHorse Half

9:00AM CDT - 12:00PM CDT

IronHorse 10K

9:30AM CDT - 11:30AM CDT

IronHorse 5K

9:30AM CDT - 11:00AM CDT
IronHorse 2020 Cancelled - Look to IronHorse 2021 on May 1st

Coronavirus Update March 27, 2020:
2020 IronHorse Races (Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K) are cancelled.

Out of respect to our athletes, our volunteers and the community into which we would all gather . . . and in accordance with USA Track and Field safety advisement, the CDC protocols and in light of Minnesota’s Stay-at-Home Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08, and Iowa's extended Executive Orders, the IronHorse Races scheduled for May 2, 2020 have been cancelled.

Thank you to our 2020 IronHorse Race Sponsors: Riverside Feeds, LeRoy City Lines, Thrivent Financial, Northern Iowa Grain Processors, Erdmann Engineering, Goodale Custom Pumping and Regional Health Services of Howard County.

We respect our race community and will offer a refund (minus processing fess) to all registrants through April 1st. Registrants not requesting a refunded by April 1st will roll-over to next year’s IronHorse. We encourage runners to allow the rollover of their registration to IronHorse 2021 on May 1st, 2021.

For those still needing to race, we have established a 5K RaceJoy route titled Sunshine & Sanity. The Sunshine & Sanity Run is a cellular and GPS tracked 5K race on the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail. Sunshine & Sanity will take place the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of every month April – August. Runners may race at their chosen time allowing for the established minimum six foot social distancing. Upon correct course completion, racers may submit their recorded time to be ranked with other runners. For those racers wishing to train for health and not competition, they can either chose not to submit their run/walk time or submit simply that they “Finished It!.” View all details at: Let’s train together and in the process get a little sunshine and keep our sanity. All rules including COVID-19 public health requirements for social distancing and no group gathering is listed on the registration site. These public health requirements of public spaces apply to the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail. Thank you for supporting and safely enjoying the trail during these challenging times.

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at

Wapsi-Great Western Line Welcome Center
110 East Main Street
Riceville, IA US 50466

The IronHorse Races include a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races that takes place on the Wapsi-Great Western Line (WGWL) Trail located in Riceville, Iowa.  The WGWL Trail has a Northern Branch and a Southern Branch.  The race takes place on the Rails-to-Trails recognized paved and concrete laid Northern Branch.  The Northern Branch is the official interstate trail connecting to Minnesota's Shooting Star Trail.  The WGWL Trail is the first connecting Iowa to Minnesota.

Full and Half runners will experience winding woodlands and railroad level grades on paved trail.  10K and 5K runners will experience railroad level grades on paved trail.

Safety is paramount.  The race is located on a dedicated recreational trail.  Shuttles provide racers transportation to the starting points (Full, Half and 10K).  The 5K is an out-and-back. Aid stations and port-a-potties are located along the race route.  The finish of all races is at the WGWL Trailhead Welcome Center in Riceville, Iowa (110 Main Street).

Scenery is extraordinary.  Rural and quiet, yet full of American beauty like cattle grazing, Amish farming by horse and hand, modern energy advancements in the form of a 30+ wind turbine farm, a 240 acre Oak savanna, a wetland boardwalk, the small village of McIntire, and the wide expanse of farmland being planted in May.

Awards given to the first three finishers in each gender in each race.  Awards are not given out by age category.  All Full and Half Marathon registrants who finish will receive a finishers medal.

Location is a getaway, but not too far.  Riceville, Iowa is one hour:

south of Rochester, MN
east of Mason City/Clear Lake, IA
west of Decorah, IA

And an early morning drive from:

the Twin Cities, MN (2 hrs south)
Des Moines, IA (3 hrs north)
Madison, WI (4 hrs west)

Lodging is ample and variety abounds.  Riceville has four lodging establishments and a campground with 80 campsites, modern showers and bathroom facilities. Surrounding communities offering additional hotel options.

Historic Riceville Hotel
Lake Hendricks Campground
Rossiter Studio Inn: 641-220-2685
Sweet's Hotel
10th Hole Inn & Suites

Racers without lodging are welcome to use the Lake Hendricks showers following their race.

Why Iron Horse?  The IronHorse represents the abandoned railway corridor preserved by the WGWL Trail as well as the industrial power and revolution the railroad brought to America.  The railroad actually hauled iron ore in this area as well.

May you feel that frontier spirit as you “lap the miles and lick the valleys up . . . ” -Emily Dickenson’s The Railway Train

IronHorse proceeds directly impact nature preservation and restoration, trail maintenance and enhancements.  Thank you.

This is a race.  For the safety of all involved, no strollers and no dogs please.  Individuals with a physical disability may participate using a hand-cycle (a one-minute lead start will be given to ensure freedom of movement for all racers).  Registrations are final after April 1st - no refunds or race exchanges.  No club discounts after April 1st.  Pacers are welcome, but must be a registered participant. Thank you.


Race Contact Info

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