Almost 200 racers brave the cold and snow for 9th annual Frozen Snot
McELHATTAN — Weeks worth of snowfall and ice build-up created the perfect conditions for the ninth annual Frozen Snot Trail Race in McElhattan.
With temperatures in the teens and one to two feet of snow blanketing most of the trail that weaves through Zindel Park and up Bald Eagle Mountain, the 196 racers that toed the line Saturday morning were in for a challenge.
Racers had the option to run a short course — 8.3 miles — or push a few miles farther to the longer 13.5 mile course. Due to the rough conditions, some finishers dropped down to the short course. However, nearly 97 percent of racers finished the race and all with no injuries.
The first male and female finishers for the short course were Drew Funk, of State College, and Larie Hall, of Winburn.
“The course was challenging and adventurous,” Hall said. Hall, who finished the course in 2 hours and 45 minutes, was all smiles as she warmed herself by a fire in the Restless Oaks Pavilion after the race.
“The snow made it easy in some places. It was incredible, beautiful. It was a day you stop and look around and say ‘how blessed are we,'” she said.
This wasn’t Hall’s first race, having taken part five times since Frozen Snot began in 2013.
For Funk, who finished the course in 2 hours and 19 minutes, this was his first time taking on the mountainside. He made an attempt in 2020 but was unable to take part due to an injury.
“It’s that one race you always hear about, people are always talking about it,” Funk said.
South Williamsport resident Justin Beatty took first in the 13.5 mile course with a time of 3 hours and 51 minutes.
This was Beatty’s first time taking part in the Frozen Snot, although he’s run the trails in Zindel Park before. His wife, Summer, registered him for the race as a Valentine’s Day present.
“I hadn’t done this race before because it’s pretty narly. But it’s an adventure,” Beatty said. “The first loop was pretty good, but still tough and the descents were fun. The Beast Loop was the tougher part.”
About a half an hour later the first female to take on the long course crossed the finish line. Mendy Gallo, of Kingston, N.Y., crossed the line at 4 hours and 17 minutes.
Kingston took part in the Frozen Snot in 2020 but hadn’t placed, she said.
“I loved having the snow. I didn’t feel like I was going to break my face on rocks,” she joked. “There were softer landings when you fell.”
Kingston commended race director Luke Ebeling for putting on the race each year.
“It’s a really lovely thing he puts on. It’s just nice for the community,” she said.
Ebeling and his band of nearly 70 volunteers, many of whom were on the trail to help racers, put the event together which was sponsored by the City of Lock Haven.
The Maguire Family, owners of Restless Oaks, donated the use of their pavilion and kept fires going to ensure racers and their families stayed warm during the event.
“This event would not have happened without them,” volunteer Joanne Bowes said.
Other sponsor’s of the event included Redmond’s Complete Climate, Little Caesar’s, Dunkin, Love Disposal Inc. and Oregon Hill Winery McElhattan. Oregon Hill were onsite with a variety of wines for racers to try after the event and purchase as well.