Overall Rating
Overall Rating (6 Reviews)
3.8
(6 Ratings)(6 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
4.2
SWAG
3.5
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a tree-lined mostly flat converted railroad line that crosses through the scenic Iowa countryside. All three events are point-to-point races finishing in downtown Shenandoah, 6 hour time limit. Shenandoah, Iowa, the city with energy… a beautiful garden city with renewable fuels production and plenty … MORE
Local Weather (Sep 12):
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
 
H (°F) 66 79 81 84 84
L (°F) 47 64 58 58 61
Powered by Dark Sky
Find Nearby Lodging (Hotel, Airbnb, etc.):

Recent reviews

    mharm78 FIRST-TIMER '20

    This was an unusual year for this race (I'm assuming, have never run it before) because so many of us were running our virtual Boston at it. Given that there … MORE

    This was an unusual year for this race (I’m assuming, have never run it before) because so many of us were running our virtual Boston at it. Given that there are really only small trail races happening right now, this was a pretty ideal set-up for virtual Boston (and it was nice to feel like a bunch of us were actually running “Boston” together!). The trail is very easy as trail races go – pancake flat, smooth, wide, well-maintained – so this would probably make a great entry to trail marathons for anyone who hasn’t tried one before. Also plenty of aid stations and helpful, friendly volunteers. They did a good job managing the COVID situation, and I really appreciated that they actually got the adjusted course certified after they had to change it due to COVID (from a point-to-point to out-and-back for the marathon, to minimize busing). That was definitely above and beyond and appreciated by all of us who had to run on a certified course for various reasons. The “medal” (which is wooden) is unique – I’m not picky about medals, but my daughter commented right away that it’s one of her favorites that I’ve gotten. I didn’t have a great race time-wise, but it was because I decided to run this pretty last-minute and had recently run another marathon – this would definitely be a good opportunity for someone who wanted to BQ or PR in a trail race. The only downside to the tree-lined course (which is very nice and would provide good shade in sunnier weather) was that it generally blocked the view of the scenery, which I think would have been beautiful. But trees are nice scenery, too, and I got to take in the scenery on my drives to and from the race. All in all, very nice trail race I would recommend, and in particular this year, appreciated the effort they made not just to put on a race in COVID, but to do a great job with it and provide the full race experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    penguins014 REPEAT RUNNER '20

    Great work Wabash organizers and volunteers. First time running the full here. I’ve done the half several times. Perfect weather 50s - 60s. Changed course to out and back. I … MORE

    Great work Wabash organizers and volunteers. First time running the full here. I’ve done the half several times. Perfect weather 50s – 60s. Changed course to out and back. I got a little weary of the trail since my only previous marathons were big ones with lots of spectators and entertainment. But that’s also the beauty of a small marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Joann FIRST-TIMER '18

    It was a rails to trails race. The trail was soft and very easy on the feet. It was shaded most of the time. We were bused to start line … MORE

    It was a rails to trails race. The trail was soft and very easy on the feet. It was shaded most of the time. We were bused to start line but the ride was pleasant.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    usamhall FIRST-TIMER '18

    This is a rail to trails race. There is very to no technical skill necessary. The expo was tiny and the medal was made out of wood. I really like … MORE

    This is a rail to trails race. There is very to no technical skill necessary. The expo was tiny and the medal was made out of wood. I really like the layout of the route but as usual I was too hot to produce a great run.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    SlowJuan FIRST-TIMER '18

    If you like rural courses, small crowds, local hospitality and peaceful scenery, this is your race. Nearly 22 miles of the race course are on the Wabash Trace trail, a … MORE

    If you like rural courses, small crowds, local hospitality and peaceful scenery, this is your race. Nearly 22 miles of the race course are on the Wabash Trace trail, a “Rails to Trails” system that stretches 85 miles across Iowa. You won’t be needing sunscreen as most of the route is one long, straight, flat, green tunnel through a corridor of trees and bordered by rolling cornfields. (Be careful not to step on the black walnuts that litter the path, though!) You will cross over 20 wooden bridges along the way, many of which were originally train trestles. There are porta-Johns along the route, but I took great delight in doing my best James Earl Jones impression by peering into the surrounding cornfields, giggling and then stepping between the stalks and out of sight. For the slower runners (present company included), the race has a hard stop at 6 hours, which is usually about where Slow Juan finishes. At Mile 16, I looked back to see a 4-wheeler with 2 EMTs trailing the final three runners in the field, picking up the Mile signs along the way. I’ve never been the caboose in a race before and found the squee-gee experience of a sweep vehicle a little disconcerting. Just the same, this is a great small-town race and highly recommended for a true Iowa experience. Go the distance.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

    3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Oct 05, 2018 at 1:47pm

    Ha, great "Field of Dreams" references! Wabash sounds like quintessential Iowa and a nostalgic slice of Americana, from its rolling cornfields to its wooden bridges to its black walnuts. Thanks… MORE

    Ha, great "Field of Dreams" references! Wabash sounds like quintessential Iowa and a nostalgic slice of Americana, from its rolling cornfields to its wooden bridges to its black walnuts. Thanks for another awesome review Slow Juan, and congrats on staying ahead of the sweep vehicle — glad you got it done and had a great time doing it! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    SlowJuan Oct 05, 2018 at 2:20pm

    Thanks for the kind words! Much appreciated. This was a low-key, low cost option for an Iowa marathon and I really enjoyed the remote, rural aspects of the course. The… MORE

    Thanks for the kind words! Much appreciated. This was a low-key, low cost option for an Iowa marathon and I really enjoyed the remote, rural aspects of the course. The Mount Desert Island (MDI) in Bar Harbor, ME is up next. Have heard nothing but rave reviews about this particular race. Really looking forward to it. And as slow as I am, I'll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. Gotta go to Bah Hawbah to get some lobstah! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    M_Sohaskey Oct 05, 2018 at 3:30pm

    I've heard the same about Mount Desert, and in fact it made our list of 2018 "Quick picks" earlier this year. Hoping to get there myself in 2019, so look… MORE

    I've heard the same about Mount Desert, and in fact it made our list of 2018 "Quick picks" earlier this year. Hoping to get there myself in 2019, so look forward to your thoughts. Enjoy Acadia! LESS

    RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my 45th state and 51st marathon, getting Iowa checked off the list. It's very small but that's a good thing in my opinion. Here are the pros and … MORE

    This was my 45th state and 51st marathon, getting Iowa checked off the list. It’s very small but that’s a good thing in my opinion. Here are the pros and cons as I saw them:

    Pros:
    -Small – low key race production and minimal communication until the week of. No spam just important info leading up to race day.
    -Easy packet pickup day of or day before. Took two minutes.
    -Pasta dinner was at a restaurant and was actually pretty good. Could buy ahead of time or there.
    -Transportation to the start – only about 100 marathoners so pretty easy. They had buses that took us to Malvern.
    -Start was at a school so indoor hangout area and real bathrooms.
    -Good amount of aid stations, about every two miles and then about every mile after mile 20. Gatorade and water with some food and power blocks.
    -Great course! There are about two miles on roads in Malvern, shaded and easy, then a rail to trail fine limestone surface for the next 22 miles or so. It’s all blessedly shaded for the first 23-24 miles with only some gaps of sunshine. Scenic and peaceful, I was alone or nearly so for much of the run which is ok with me. You’re running by corn fields and farms. Supposedly bugs can be a problem but I sprayed myself down and didn’t notice or hear about any issue on this day.
    -Medal – it’s a wooden medallion with the logo. Very unique and pretty. The shirt was okay, not a fan of the color but long sleeve and technical with the great logo on the front.

    Cons:
    -We started a bit late, not sure why.
    -Mile signs were off on the trail portions but seemed fine and on target by the end. I logged over 26.35 miles.
    -Age group awards only went two deep. I got third. But it’s a small race so this is understandable.
    -Heat. Certainly not the race’s fault but be aware. The start was cool, about 60. Warmed up to above 80 by the last few miles. The shade and breeze made the difference but the last couple of miles were warm.

    Overall I thought this was a great low key marathon. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for an alternative to a city marathon. They do a nice job in the organization and it’s a cute little town with a few good places to check out. I recommend the pasta dinner the night before and The Sanctuary restaurant is great for lunch or post-race meal. The Shenandoah Inn and Suites is great for the start and bus loading as well as the finish – two blocks away.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    6 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Sep 14, 2017 at 6:39pm

    This is awesome Meg, loved reading it! Particularly because I really don't know any marathons in Iowa outside Des Moines. The wooden medallion piques my interest (thanks for the photo),… MORE

    This is awesome Meg, loved reading it! Particularly because I really don't know any marathons in Iowa outside Des Moines. The wooden medallion piques my interest (thanks for the photo), I love races like Wabash, Big Sur and Crazy Horse that have unique medals that stand out from the usual shiny bling. And what says "Welcome to Iowa" more than running past farms and corn fields? Congrats on state 45, can't believe you're so close – 4 more and then you'll be celebrating on the beach in Maui. Enjoy your two-week respite! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

  1. Races
  2. Wabash Trace Nature Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay