Truly a Frosty 50

Zachary Vaslow (Left) and Bailey Reutinger (Right) NC RRCA Ultra Champions

In comparison to last year, 2024’s event can truly be called a Frosty 50 event. With temps in the 30s, whipping winds and practically sideways rain, most would want to shut their doors and stay inside. Not this crazy group of runners. Dozens of runners in the community braved the wind, cold, and rain to run either the 12.5K, 25K, or insane 50K races!

Using the beautiful trails of Salem Lake, our runners had the option of picking their poison to run: 12.5K, 25K, or 50K. For those more familiar with the imperial system, that’s about 7.75 miles, 15.5 miles, or 31 miles. This may be a bit overkill at this point, but that’s 1 lap, 2 laps, or 4 laps around the 7 mile trail plus a small out and back on the Salem Creek Greenway. There are also the relays where a group of four can each take on a lap of the course. Even with the ease of the shorter distance, there was still the challenge of each relay runner having to wait in the cold in anticipation of the previous relay buddy for the hand off. What else is new about 2024’s event is it was dubbed for the first time as RRCA’s (Road Runner’s Club of America) State Championship event for NC’s Ultra Marathons. We’d like to congratulate the winners of this year’s championships:

Zachary Vaslow            1st Male Overall

Bailey Reutinger           1st Female Overall

John Ashcraft               1st Male 40+ 

Rebecca Hughes          1st Female 40+

Nathan Beamguard       1st Male 50+

Beverly Nestor              1st Female 50+

Tom Frantz                    1st Male 60+

If running four times around the lake and weather conditions weren’t enough of a challenge, much of the course was turned into an unconventional slip and slide, especially the back half throughout each lap. It got more difficult finding ways to navigate around the mud slicks as the rain progressed and the trail got more compacted by runners. 

Nonetheless it was still another successful year for the Frosty 50 events as there were plenty of people, both runners and volunteers alike, who braved the wind and rain to make such an event possible. We again had the incomparable David Daggett as our announcer to officiate and keep morale up throughout the long day. He gave high fives and hugs all around for those who welcomed it as a means of giving a boost to continue their treacherous journey on to the next lap or to welcome them to the finish. 

We of course can’t forget our 5K event that takes place the night before. However, even with some cold as the sun went down, they got off easy with avoiding the other challenges of the course of the slick mud, wind and rainy conditions. Congrats to everyone who ran that course. Even with decently optimal conditions, Salem Lake has its challenges with winding turns and a couple of noticeable inclines. Another aspect that made Frosty 50 incredibly successful is we raised over $1,300 for our charity donations! Thank you so much to everyone who donated!

There were a handful of brave athletes who unfortunately bit off more than they could chew. There were people who tried their best to brave the weather but Mother Nature won out against them and they ended up dropping. Regardless of successes or losses, YOU GET KUDOS AND YOU GET KUDOS. 

No matter how you break it down, Frosty 50 is not an easy event. It’s in winter, right after the holidays. This year’s annual race just goes to show how tough not only the events, but our runners can be. We can’t wait to see how our runners do next year for the next Frosty 50!