Saturday, Oct 22, 2022
This Event Took Place Sat. Oct 22, 2022

About the Event

We would like to thank the 'Tres Hermanas' of Karen, Natalie, and Nancy for entrusting us with this event in 2024. Over the past several years they have poured a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and endless nights and energy into growing this wonderful event and helping our local trail and ultra running community flourish. We are hoping to do them justice in continuing to serve up a fun filled grassroots race!

Glacier Hills Ultra gives runners the chance to take the next step to a longer distance as it provides race distances of 20 km, 30 km, and 50 km. We have a hard cutoff of 8 hours the 50k, 7 hours for the 30k, 6 hours for the 20k. All races must be completed BY 2PM!

Since we start at 6am all runners must be done by 2 pm (horses are not allowed on the course until after 1:30) if for some reason horses do get onto the trail before the set time make sure to notify us so we can alert the park rangers.
Our volunteers are limited on their ability to stay and help so we need to be strict with this. If the time cut off is an issue please message the directors.

This race is just a fun event and a break from the daily grind of our daily lives. This is not our full-time job. Sometimes our communication is great, sometimes overwhelming and other years next to nothing. We thank you for choosing to run with us and see the secrets that Newton Hills holds!

Depending on volunteers we will try to get splits for your loops during the race. We are not perfect.

Join us November 2nd for a great run through Newton Hills State Park (near Canton, SD), one of the jewels of SD state parks.

Be sure to be ON TIME! The races start as follows:

50K - 6am
30K - 7am
20K - 8am

The Course

The course consists of a 10k figure 8 loop through the Newton Hills trail system. Each loop has roughly 850ft of elevation gain. Each race is comprised of the number of loops needed to reach the chosen distance (i.e. 2, 3, or 5 loops)

All races start and finish in the same area near the picnic shelter which is also where the aid station will be. You will be able to utilize the aid station twice each loop as the start/finish/aid will be at the center of the figure 8 course at miles 4 and 6. 50k runners are encouraged to park in the horse camp parking lot that is roughly .5 miles from the start/finish. You will be running through the horse camp every loop and this way you would have access to your car to use for additional aid/drop bag area.

The race begins be leaving the start heading towards the horse camp on the gravel, after .5 miles you will hop on to the Blue Diamond multi-use trail ‘A’ and begin a gradual climb for the next .25 miles. The ‘theme’ for race course directions is STAY RIGHT! You will take your first right onto Blue Diamond Trail ‘B’ roughly .8 miles in. You will then be greeted with your first of 3 big climbs at mile 1! You will continue on Trail ‘B’ (staying right and mostly flat) for the next mile. Just after mile 2 you’ll have a short and steep descent. After this descent you will turn right on to Trail ‘D’ and cross a bridge and at mile 2.5 encounter the 2nd big climb of the course. After that climb you’ll stay right on Trail ‘D2’ and enjoy half a mile of running through the trees and then take another right onto Trail “D1” and enjoy another half a mile of running through the pines and sumac – both are flatter terrain, just watch for tree roots! You’ll then take another right onto Trail ‘D’ and come to a nice .5 mile descent back to the start/finish aid at mile 4. After running through the aid station you’ll hit the 2 mile lollipop portion of the figure eight on the hiking trails. You’ll begin with a short and steep climb on the Turkey trot trail. About .4 miles into this section you’ll stay right, carrying on to the Woodland trail. Just before mile 5 you will hit big climb #3. At the top you’ll stay right to continue on the Woodland trail which will quickly take you into the descent. Be careful on this descent as the trail will have multiple erosion boards and tree roots and is off cambered. After the descent, STAY STRAIGHT! (ignore the single track to the right with steps and the trail to the left!) This wide flat section will loop you back to the Turkey Trot trail – you will take your first and only LEFT to cross a nice large wooden bridge at roughly mile 5.5, then immediately take a right to head back to the start/finish aid.

The course will be well marked with signage, pin flags with reflective strips, and tape, although someone is still bound to get lost. When in doubt, STAY RIGHT!

Remember, this is a trail race, so pick up your feet! There are sticks, rocks and tree roots on the trail! There may also be dust, mud, and horse poo!

A link of the 6 mile loop can been seen here. Just remember 2 loops for the 20k, 3 loops for the 30k, and 5 loops for the 50k!

Drop Bags

This is a smaller race with the longest distance being the 50K. With runners being able to pass by the aid station 2 times each loop drop bags are not necessary unless you need to pack extra clothing, specific food items or to remove your headlamp when done running.

We will have a tarp located off to the side of the aid station where runners will be able to place their drop bags. It is your responsibility to label your drop bag. The items will be safe while you run WE DO NOT keep an eye on items (Midwest Trust).

It is suggested if you plan on changing shoes or socks you bring a chair or a bucket to sit on.
Also, as mentioned before, it is recommended that you park in the horse camp parking area, this way you can use your vehicle as your drop back to discard your headlamp or extra clothing or grab your preferred fuel.


The easiest and best way to get to Newton Hills State Park is to put it in your GPS. Directions will vary based on where you are driving from. Plug in this address please Newton Hills State Park, 28767 482nd Ave, Canton, SD 57013.
This will get you to the main park entrance. From here you will still have nearly a mile of slow driving to reach the small parking area near the picnic shelter at the start/finish area. We will have clear signage to direct you to the race parking once you enter the State Park.
PLEASE give yourself an additional 20+ minutes to get to the race than what Google gives for your ETA! The driving in the park, parking, and walking to the start will take AT LEAST 20+ minutes!

For the 50k, we recommend parking in the horse camp parking lot. This way you can utilize your car for additional or as a drop bag service. You can put these coordinates into google maps to get directions to the horse camp: 43.23499123346393, -96.57307984250541
The horse camp is a good half mile trek to the start/finish (follow the gravel road and reverse signage for the race). PLEASE, be sure to give yourself an extra 20+ minutes to get to the start line from the parking lot!

There are multiple vault toilets in the horse camp and horse camp parking area we recommend for pre-race use if you park out there. There is only one vault toilet at the start/finish/aid station!


There are tent sites, RV sites and limited cabins at Newton Hills State Park. Make the time to stay for the weekend and enjoy the beauty of Eastern South Dakota.

The Challenge: How to Earn a Betty!

When “The Tres Hermanas” first took over this race they devised a fun award that runners could earn from consistently running this event. Betty the Yeti is a great award that runners are lucky to have in their possession. In order to earn a Betty a runner must complete all of the distances (20K, 30K and 50K) within the time cut off and will earn a Betty The Yeti designed by Aravaipa_Artworx.

This challenge takes three years to complete but the energy this event brings is well worth the wait!

YOU NEED TO NOTIFY the race directors that it is your intention to earn your Betty this year so one can be ordered for you. This needs to be done well in advance of the event. We will double check that you have done all distances.

Multiple Betty:
We will not be keeping track of people who are attempting to get a multiple Betty. It is your responsibility to notify us if you are aiming for another trifecta. If you complete the trifecta multiple times, instead of a Betty, you will receive a Mini Betty medal to hang on your original Betty.


Feel free to reach out to us via email or our Facebook page. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner!

Event's current local time: 6:45 PM MT


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