Winter trail race draws 300 to area

PHOTO PROVIDED Friends from a number of points across the state met up at Saturday’s Frozen Snot, and sported a patriotic theme for the race.

From staff reports

LOCK HAVEN — This past Saturday marked near perfect conditions for a winter trail race, and nearly 300 people took on the challenge of the Frozen Snot, held in the McElhattan area on Bald Eagle Mountain on city of Lock Haven Watershed property and Bald Eagle State Forest.

In all, 273 people finished the race – 173 of them opting for the 13.5-mile course, and another 100 completing the 8.3 mile course.

Ty Draney, a 44-year-old from Auburn, Wyo., was first to complete the long course. His time of three hours, one minute was four minutes faster than Wellsboro’s Eric Kosek, who finished second. Emanuel King and Allen King, both of Mill Hall, finished third and fourth, respectively, with times of three hours, eight minutes and three hours, 13 minutes.

Although he competes in other wintertime races, Draney said this was his first trip to Pennsylvania.

Brock Rider, who finished fourth in the 8.3 mile event, was a good example of what happens to sweat during a wintertime race!

“The Frozen Snot did not disappoint! The snow, ice, rocks, climbs, and volunteers were all spectacular – I hope to be back,” he said.

Meira Minard of State College was the first women to finish the long course, coming in ninth overall with a time of three hours, 36 minutes.

“This race knocked the snot out of me,” said the 45-year-old Minard, who is well known as a top contender in the trail racing community. “It was such an amazing, life-affirming, threatening experience. And the volunteers were incredible: every time I’d start to feel cold and alone, I’d come across another heaven-sent volunteer huddled around a camp fire. There really was a pile of dedication to making this festival of frozenness happen.”

Always a top finisher, Matt Lipsey, 28, from the Harrisburg area was first to finish the 8.3-mile course with a time of one-hour, 49 minutes. Lipsey credited race founder Jeff Stover, and current director Luke Ebeling, with putting on an amazing event.

“Since its inception, the Frozen Snot has become a catalyst for the Pennsylvania running and outdoor community. To me, this race is the edge of what I’m comfortable doing and is as much a mental challenge as a physical one, but I can’t imagine not doing it.” Added Lipsey, “The Frozen Snot always brings out the best in the community, as they say…cold hands, warm hearts!”

At left, Ty Draney from Wyoming sported some frozen facial hair as he made his way up the first mountain climb in Saturday’s Frozen Snot Trail Challenge. Draney finished first in the long-course event, with a time of just over three hours.

A first time participant, Kylie Noll Kimball from Reading, was the first female to finish the shorter course, coming in fifth overall with a time of two hours, 45 minutes.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect – it was a humbling surprise,” said the 34-year-old, who’s already planning her return in 2020. “This race is not for the faint of heart — the assents were impressive, there were technical downhills. My goal was to never stop and finish safely.

Kimball also credited race director Luke Ebeling for providing what she called ‘diligent updates’ prior to the race that helped make sure participants were prepared for the conditions they would be facing. In fact, there were no serious injuries reported and both participants and volunteers commented on the fast pace for the day.

Ebeling, who has served as race director the past couple years, agreed, saying, “By all accounts, the 2019 Frozen Snot was a perfect day. The weather was frozen and the snow and ice was beautiful. The course was challenging, yet the smiles were plenty. And when you see the runners after the race, smiling and chatting about their on-course experiences and then taking the time to thank you and let you know what the race means to them, you remember exactly why you do it.”

While most of the race participants were from Pennsylvania, the event drew people from seven other states, the District of Columbia, and Ontario, Canada.

Lori Depolis of Schwenksville is all smiles as she gets ready to climb Bald Eagle Mountain. PHOTOS PROVIDED