Racing began to make a comeback in 2022, according to RunSignup’s State of the Industry report. Racing events in 2022 grew 16.4% over 2021, although they still remained about 10% below 2019 levels.
But if this year’s Frosty 50 is any indication, 2023 may be a good year for racing in our corner of the running world. Participation in this year’s races was up about 39% from 2022. That increase was probably strongly influenced by the presence of Des Linden in the 25K race, but participation in both the 25K and the 50K relay were both up from 2020, just before the pandemic hit. So we’re hopeful that racing will continue to grow this year.
And speaking of that chilly early January race, how did it go?
In the 5K, the race field grew 28% from the inaugural 2021 race, and the Summers family showed well, with Clay and Phillip taking first and second place with just over two seconds separating them. Two more family members placed in the Top 10 overall.
Top finishers 5K:
Clay Summers: 21:33.59
Phillip Summers: 21:36.02
Chris Squires: 23:28.17
Anna Spivey: 22:13.79
Jo Frankel: 25:53.32
Anna Summers: 26:27.98
In the 25K, the field topped out at 290 runners, the largest showing in the past seven years.
Top finishers 25K:
Donnie Cowart: 1:29:46.37
Esayas Nida: 1:32:08.72
Justin Pfuender: 1:32:22.51
Paula Pridgen: 1:37:03.26
Adriana Piekarewicz: 1:38:40.25
Desiree Linden: 1:41:56.61
While 50K race numbers were down a bit, Josh Stone’s winning race time was one of the best on this course.
Top finishers 50K:
Josh Stone: 3:14:56.93
Tim Mann: 3:40:40.63
Alex Dunbar: 3:44:20.38
Kristi Arledge: 3:58:49.55
Anderson Dibble: 4:16:08.16
Sally Van Nuland: 4:29:14.88
Connecting with our community
The Frosty 50 event also highlighted the generosity of the running community and the talents of local artists.
The Gwyn’s Grace Relay returned for its second year welcoming 36 teams to the event. The EDGE Running Club took top men’s honors and the Winosaurs/Buffalo Creek team took top women’s honors. The relay was run in honor of educator and advocate for special needs children Gwyn Gibbs Corum, sister of Race Director Bill Gibbs, who lost her battle with cancer.
Awards for the race were created by Monarch, a not-for-profit organization that provides support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance abuse disorders.
The Frosty 50 was the final race of the Fit 4 Race Series, a series of trail races that also raised money for two local nonprofits, the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Winston-Salem and the Winston-Salem Street School. Read more about that here.