Wo-Zha-Wa Half Marathon & 4-Mile Run

Saturday, September 16, 2017 • Wisconsin Dells, WI • Course Map

activeregisterThis small city in southern central Wisconsin plays host every year to what race organizers say is the state’s oldest long-distance running event, the Wo-Zha-Wa Half Marathon & 4-Mile Run, which is now into its fifth decade of hosting runners from around the region as part of the city’s annual Wisconsin Dells Wo-Zha-Wa Festival.

Set along the city streets of Wisconsin Dells, a small city here in the region known as “the Dells” — named for the natural gorge and sandstone formations along the banks of the Wisconsin River that flows nearby, which were carved by glaciers eons ago — the race follows an out-and-back 13.1-mile route that starts and finishes at Dells High School on the unintentionally (but perhaps appropriately) named Race Street.

From the school, runners follow what is basically a clockwise loop course that takes runners through the downtown areas of Wisconsin Dells and then out into the rolling country roads and rural farmland areas east of the city.

Runners follow Iowa Avenue, Vine Street and Minnesota Avenue to the eastern edge of the city near the Kilbourn Dam, where they turn right and head onto Broadway/Highway 23, which they remain on for the next three miles.

Turns on County Road O and again on Broadway lead into the first real downhill stretch of the race, as the course drops just under 150 feet in elevation between the 5th and 6th mile marker.

After hitting the low point of the race between mile markers 7 and 8 along Zeitz Road, the course then starts a gradual uphill ascent over the next few miles, until hitting a brief downhill in the last mile or so of the race into the finish line back at Dells High School.

Following the race, runners can head out into town to take in the Wo-Zha-Wa Days Festival, which takes place over three days this time each year to mark the start of the autumn season, and features an arts and crafts fair as well as an antiques market.

Race Weather & Climate

Located in the southern central part of the state, just over 55 miles north of Madison, the city of Wisconsin Dells typically experiences mild to moderately cool conditions in the late summer and early fall, and generally drier weather in September than in the previous summer months.

In September, the city’s average monthly temperatures range between 47°F and 71°F, while rainfall totals average just under 3.5 inches for the month.

On the day of the race (Sept. 16), the average low is 47°F and the average high is 71°F.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Wo-Zha-Wa Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

8:00 AM


  • $35 for the half marathon, if registered before August 1
  • $50 between Aug. 1 – September 13
  • $70 on race day


To reserve your spot in the late summer 2017 running of Wisconsin Dells’s Wo-Zha-Wa Half Marathon or 4-mile run, register online at Active.com here.


Official Race Website



Ever run in the Who-Zha-Wa Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: September, Wisconsin