Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frosty WAS Frosty!

Nothing funny or clever to say about the 2009 Frosty 50k . . . this one was a challenge!  Not because of a tough course, but the temperature and winds made the race just work.  Hard work.

17* at 8am when the race started.  31* when I finished . . . and it got as hot as 35*!  The Frosty 50k was definitely well named!  No wind at the start, but by 9:30 or so the winds kicked up.  Not terribly strong but they just cut through you and made the temperatures seems even colder.  But no snow on the ground!

I made fairly good clothing choices and was prepared for the temps (and the mid-day wind!).   I was never really uncomfortable.  Tights, nylon shell pants, three tech shirts, gloves, a wind shirt, toboggan and a balacava!  But there were two or three fools out there that actually wore shorts!!

Usually before the start of a race, you have a chance to visit some with friends you've made at other races.  But for this one, everyone stayed in their cars until 5 minutes before the start!  Still, I happened to find myself standing next to Michelle Hepler, someone I had met at last year's Frosty 50.  Other than Michelle, I only saw Eric Chatham and Ron Fleming (we had shared a motel room the night before!).  It was only later on the course that I saw the others!

 Here is a picture of Michelle and her friends at about mile 8 (Michelle is the one in orange!)

I'm learning the joys of a different side of running . . . cutoff times!

For the uninformed, most marathons and ultramarathons establish a set cut-off time that a runner must finish by.  For Frosty, we had to finish within 8 hours.  Really a gracious plenty!  And I ended up beating the cutoff by 30 minutes . . . but it was on my mind from mile 23 on!

Up to that point I really felt I was running good!  I usually use my watch to remind me of my intervals, but at Frosty with all the clothes I couldn't hear my watch going off!  So I honestly hadn't looked at the time or my pace all day up until mile 23.

That's when I ran into the wall . . . and hit it HARD!  Lucky I didn't break my nose!  When I did look at my watch I was shocked!  I had already been out there almost 5 1/2 hours!  I honestly felt like it should have been 5 hours.  I should have been at 26 by this time!  Don't know where the time went!

Finished the last 8 miles with Paul Pickett . . . my new friend from Sanford, NC.  Paul had run further in a 24-hour race, but had never done a 50k with a cutoff.  I believe we inspired each other and finished together . . . the last two finisher of the 2009 Frosty 50k!  (Sorry but the camera lens got wet from my sweat and froze up some!)

Here are some more pictures from Frosty:


  1. WTG, Frank!

    Sounds like a long, hard, COLD race... but another one under your belt!

    Great start to 2010!

  2. Congrats Frank. Kinda glad I didn't do it, what with the cold and too much play-off beer :)

    Wow, another runner from Sanford!

  3. Great job on finishing the 50K!! And AWESOME photos. I especially the the frost on the lens one. I imagine this is how things looked from the eyes of all those who were out there!

  4. AWESOME job Frank!!!! Great race report and loved the pictures!! Hope to run trails with you sometime soon!!

    take care!



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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.