Reflections from the race director of the Frozen Snot
The Frozen Snot, this little winter race thing we do, is an 8.3 or 13.5 mile adventure race held at Zindel Park in McElhattan. The long course includes over a mile of elevation gain — brutal climbs, worse descents and both are held during the coldest week of the year. Welcome to the Frozen Snot.
This was a VERY difficult year for the event. It was the first year since our inaugural year (2013) that did not sell out. Between COVID-19 switching to being an all outdoor event, and all the crazy Central PA weather, there were a lot of changes/unknowns. As the Race Director (RD), I was incredibly impressed with the respect that was given to the COVID-19 expectations that we put out.
I was reminded that prior to becoming the RD 5 years ago, the FS was my favorite trail event. It was my favorite due to the devious course masterminded by Original RD Jeff Stover, the tremendous volunteers, the beautiful mountains, and the fact that it was run during MY favorite time of the hiking year. It also helped remind me that while I don’t even live in the county in which the event takes place, any chance that I have to expose people to the BEAUTIFUL (and often PAINFUL) Bald Eagle State Forest/Central PA mountains … I NEED to take.
As I am sure you all know, events like this take a village. I would love to thank each and every one of our wonderful volunteers, but honestly, I would be worried that I would miss someone. We truly have the most wonderful (and hearty) volunteers. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! WE COULD NOT DO THIS WITHOUT EACH OF YOU!
A special thanks to our Aid Stations: Steve Stevenson and his Leadership Clinton County Alumni team at Zindel; and to the Bacon Station (Mike Haffley/Scott Lippy and their team). You all rule!
Also, a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our wonderful sponsors and government agencies that assist in making this event possible — The City of Lock Haven, DCNR, Bald Eagle State Forest, Redmond’s Complete Comfort HVAC, Little Caesars Pizza, Dunkin, Oregon Hill Winery McElhattan, Love Disposal Inc, and the US Army Reserve Center.
We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the hosts of this year’s event, Restless Oaks, and the Maguire family!
Finally, last but CERTAINLY not least … the Frozen Snot Team.
I am not sure if you all know this, but we are all volunteers as well. Not one of us gets paid a dime to put on this event (and in many ways, we lose money each year in gas money, hotel rooms, countless hours spent organizing/trail working etc). We do this because we LOVE this event, we LOVE that you all LOVE it, and we LOVE the trail community!
I COULD NOT do it without these folks:
Joanne Heimer: Volunteer Coordinator. Joanne has been involved in this event from the beginning (even I only have 8 years in). The amount of work and planning that it takes to organize volunteers who are willing to spend hours and hours in the freezing cold is mind numbing … not to mention all of the work it takes to coordinate with sponsors.
Paul Noll: Trail Coordinator. Paul took this difficult task up last year and ran with it. While I am a bit ashamed to admit this, this is the first time in 8 years that I did not tie one flag, blow one leaf, or move one rock from the course. Not because I didn’t want to, but, because of Paul … I didn’t NEED to.
Jeff Stover: Original RD. While Jeff is not as involved as he once was, he remains a cornerstone of this event and is there to offer support/help any time that we need it.
Maddie Sell: Social Media Coordinator/Registration Organizer/Candle Maker. Maddie has brought her type-A game to the Frozen Snot and has taken our social media to a whole new level. Her organization, creativity, and enthusiasm has been a huge boon to this year’s event.
Jane Kone: Kitchen Coordinator/Jill of all Trades (aka) the RD’s mom. Mom busts her tail to feed bellies and make sure that we have food where it needs to be. In addition, she is my right hand woman and has been integral in communicating with the city of Lock Haven and DCNR. For better or worse (better for me, worse for her), if I needed something done and didn’t have the time to do it, she was my first call. Thanks, Madre!
Hope to see you all for FSX 2022!