Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Race Report: Frozen Feat 10k 2019

When I find a race I like, I keep coming back year after year. The Frozen Feat 5k/10k in Grand Forks, ND is one of those races!


I returned to run this race for my third consecutive year because it's close to home (only 45 minute drive), parking is easy, the race is well-organized and the weather in February is about as close to gambling as I ever get.

The 2017 race was around 40°F, making an icy, slushy mess. The 2018 race was about 18°F above zero; just right if you ask me. And this year... the 2019 race ended up being -16°F actual temp with a windchill I'm not sure of. Though that didn't set any race day temp records. It has been colder!

On race morning, I took off at 7:45 am and drove to Grand Forks by myself. Whoa. My husband and the three boys had some "man time" at home while I was off for a "relaxing" mom's day out. Relaxing ;)

I cranked the tunes on the way to the race while sipping coffee and enjoying the absolutely perfect driving conditions. While it was very cold, there wasn't a blizzard in sight for the first time in a long time. This race has a public parking ramp nearby for participants and when I pulled in, the temp in my van said -12F... even sheltered in the parking ramp. Oh boy, here we go!

My running attire for the day included layers and lots of 'em. About three pairs of tights topped with sweat pants, a few shirts of different sleeve lengths, my running jacket, a vest, two pairs of gloves, two neck gaiters, one pair of normal socks, one pair of compression/taller socks, a hat and the trendiest ski goggles I could pawn off my husband.

Warm enough? For sure! Overdressed? Likely.

After an indoor National Anthem, the 10k-er's proceeded outside to dance around at the starting line before taking off. We took off in a herd that thinned out very quickly. The course was icy but well-cleared of loose snow; runners were all warned to wear appropriate footing for traction. I used my trusty YakTrax that haven't let me land on my butt yet.

My goal for this race: Beat last year. Considering I was 3-months postpartum after our 3rd son in 2018, this goal wasn't overly ambitious.


I always take off too fast but gradually fall into a more realistic pace after a mile or so. Running in all of these layers made me feel so slow and sluggish!

As I glanced at my watch 1-mile in, I thought I saw "8:19/mile" for the pace and thought to myself, this is going to be a rough one. Not that 8:19 is a bad pace to run, but because 8:19 shouldn't feel as hard as it did. Turns out that was a 7:07-mile... that's why I was tired. Were the fogging goggles messing with my vision already?!

Mile 1 - 7:07
Mile 2 - 7:20
Mile 3 - 7:46

Finally half way. Good. Because I can't see through these fogging goggles and the ice on my gaiter is blocking my breathing! Thankfully the man in front of me had a red jacket on, so I followed him as the foggy goggles continued to narrow my vision.

Mile 4 - 7:51
Mile 5 - 7:45
Mile 6 - 7:50
Mile .19 - 7:09

My pace was anything but consistent in this race but I was surprised to finish in 46:56 (7:36/mile avg). This ended up being my personal fastest Frozen Feat 10k time thus far, though I felt like a (blind) polar bear barreling down the path! This course was an out-and-back and WOW did I see some frosted, frozen faces on the home stretch.

In hind sight, I would have ditched a top layer and bottom layer. And the goggles? Well, my face and eyes stayed quite toasty, so maybe I would keep those. The style points for being one of the few goggled-nerds on the course were just through the roof!

I ran straight from the finish line directly to my van to grab dry clothes. Changing into them before sitting down was awesome - because, seriously I was drenched. In sweat or condensation or who knows what? (probably sweat)

Yes, there is a person under all those layers.

The post-race food included a couple warm soup/chili choices along with the holy grail of carbohydrates: the Texas Roadhouse BUNS and large amounts of that special cinnamon butter. Amazing. Delicious. Awesome.

The soup warmed me up and then I ate three buns. I probably could have eaten a half dozen!


Race swag this year included a pair of Frozen Feat Fitsoks (my favorite!), gloves, and a neck gaiter along with the finisher's medal. A Finisher's Shirt was optional this year for an additional cost. They also present mugs with gift cards to the Top 3 male/female finisher and the age group winners for for each distance along with flowers for the "Love Birds" couples winners at the end of the race festivities.


I ended up finishing 4th female overall, missing that top-3 spot, though I did manage to snag a mug for winning my age group this year. I was happy to grow my mug collection as they have such cool designs each year! And I love coffee.

The Frozen Feat 5k/10k is the perfect pick-me-up after a loooong, stinkin' cold Midwest winter and a great one to kick off spring marathon training! Speaking of marathon training, I should probably get on that...

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15 comments:

  1. I cannot imagine running with goggles! You are a beast ;-) Still a fantastic finish time, and congrats on the 1st place AG & 4th overall. Great swag!!!

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  2. Congrats on winning your AG--and PRing in such brutally cold conditions!

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  3. Wow that is crazy cold and icy! I would most certainly not have ventured out in that weather

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  4. I think it's great when you can find a race that you want to do year after year! It looks like this race had some great swag and post race good too :)

    Congrats on a great race and for winning your AG, that's awesome!!

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  5. OMG, I can't imagine those temps. Or running in all those layers! But you were amazing! Congrats on the award - cute mug!

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  6. WOW! I'm surprised they held the race. Congratulations to you for being so gritty and running in that weather!

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  7. I can't imagine running in weather that cold! I barely want to get out of bed when its under 40! I always tend to overdress in the cold...but I think I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed in cold weather! I've been to North Dakota once and it was horrifying haha.

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  8. Holy Coldness, no way ! But you did so well, still snagging an AG award! I find it so very hard to know how many layers I need when it's so cold outside.

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  9. Very impressive! Would that be a 'temperature' PR, lowest temp you've raced in?

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  10. Okay, yeah, those temps. Don't compute. Ha! Congrats on your AG win. I always love getting a good mug. :-)

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  11. Congrats on a great race! I cannot imagine just getting a regular run in those temps much less racing! Great job!

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  12. Oh, gosh! I can't even imagine! I think the lowest I've run in is 27*F at the race start, and at that point, I couldn't even feel my toes! Ack!

    I do love seeing all the runners in the snow, though! It always looks so beautiful. And that soup must have been perfect after so much cold! Congratulations on a great race (for the third year!)

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  13. Congrats on your 1st place AG finish! That was quite an amazing pace for a blind polar bear barreling down the race course! I love reading race recaps and yours was no exception! The medal and mug are really cute and that's some great race swag.

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  14. That's a helluva great pace to run with so many layer on! Mad props to you for doing so well in those conditions. You earned that AG award for sure. Gotta love a race with great swag!

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  15. Dang, that's a cold race! And you ran it so fast even with all those layers and those conditions! You are incredible!! And that medal is sweet. :)

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