Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
5
(2 Ratings)  (2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4
Experience the Kanawha State Forest in the middle of winter with the Frozen Sasquatch 25K & 50K. The race is located just south of Charleston, West Virginia and is the first WVMTR race of the year. Beginning with a steady incline to the top of the mountain, the course features … MORE
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    Profile photo of Nicholas Mounts
    theserialfisher FIRST-TIMER '22

    This is my second ultra-marathon and first ever 50k. It lived up to it's name: Frozen. I used money from the ginseng I had foraged back in early Fall 2021 … MORE

    This is my second ultra-marathon and first ever 50k. It lived up to it’s name: Frozen. I used money from the ginseng I had foraged back in early Fall 2021 to fund this whole thing. Sponsored by nature, very fitting for my first ever trail race. The Frozen Sasquatch was frigid and snowy this year. A massive blizzard had blown in a day or so before, making the roads a wintry mess and creating the first challenge of the race: getting to the starting line.

    When I met a few friends from the local running club who were doing the 25k, the ride there had already been an adventure. Temperatures were hovering around 8 degrees and the roads were caked with a mixture of salt, ice, and snow. I walked around the locked front doors of Walmart feeling the wind cut through my layers to chill my core. I rummaged around in my bag and put on an extra layer. Later I’d regret overdressing.

    Onward to Charleston, the roads were in no better condition. The backroad leading into Kanawha State Forest was white with snow. Luckily my beat up RAV4 has 4×4, one of the few luxuries that still works properly (for the moment). Before long, I found the starting line and saw the crowd of chilly runners moving around to stay warm. Grabbing my bib was as easy as walking into one of the park buildings and giving them my name. I had braved the elements in the nick of time and was standing at the inflatable archway a few moments before the RD gave us some easy instructions (50k people take the first right, 25k people take the second right). He got the show on the road with the blowing of a some kind of wooden whistle. Then we were off.

    The course would have been a challenge on a dry, warm day, but this was post-blizzard mode and the thick powder covering the path was soon slick with icy mud that become icy-er and messier with every passing runner. The first mile of the first loop was steep and technical. Actually, the whole thing was, but the first mile was especially so. I found myself in the middle of a column of about 10 runners slipping and sliding up the snow banks. It wasn’t long until I witnessed the first fall. It wouldn’t be the last.

    The first mile is a doozy but once you’ve scrambled up the drain, miles 2, 3, and 4 are relatively level except for some rolling hills. I was able to get around a few of the other runners and start attempting to keep pace. I had a plan, you see, but it’s importance faded as the miles piled up. Mile 5 is a pretty intense downhill slope that’ll have you feeling superhuman just before you slam into mile 6’s uphill reality check. Mile 7 is another rather extreme downhill grade. Several times throughout the race, I had to sit on my butt and slide down the hills. A few times I slid along on my feet as if on skies. And yes, I fell a few times. The snow broke my fall. Mostly.

    Miles 8 and 9 were uphill and felt rough. I suppressed the dreaded thought of what those hills might feel like on the second loop. It was also somewhere around this time, or perhaps a little before, that I popped my first Little Debbie Oatmeal Creampie: one of my favorite race fuels for ridiculous distances through the hills. I washed it down with water and coca cola picked up from the aid stations. There were, I think, 3 of them. Special thanks to the volunteers willing to freeze their buns off feeding and watering us runners. They had plenty of snacks and even some warm food. I tried not to lollygag too much, which was definitely a temptation.

    The last miles of the first half were mercifully downhill or gently rolling. They went by quickly and instilled a false sense of confidence that lasted until *BOOM* the 16th mile’s hilly return. Again I pushed the little voice of doubt to the back of my mind and leaned into the second portion of the race with as much gusto as I could manage. The pack was spread out at this point, but I could see a couple other runners ahead of me. From the looks of them, they were feeling it too. Still we persisted through the slightly warmer but still frosty winter air. The layers I had on were beginning to warm up and I flashed between hot/sweaty and cold/damp whilst running through shady or sunny portions of the trail. The uphills were beginning to sap my energy around mile 20 or so but I still felt good. Throughout the many creek crossings, icy mudholes, and snow my waterproof Brooks had kept my feet dry and happy, but somewhere along the way moisture had made its way in there. I can only imagine the nightmare it would have been if my shoes hadn’t had GTX waterproofing. This is NOT a dry race.

    It was somewhere around mile 27 when I tripped over a root and fell for the final time. Both calves cramped up on impact with tendon-ripping pain that left me hurling obscenities and rolling around on the ground. Apologies to anyone near me at the time. Eventually the pain eased up and somehow I managed to get to my feet. The rest of the way, I utilized every sapling, trees, and rock to keep myself right-side up and slowed down considerably.

    Several other runners blew past me the last 6 or 7 miles of the race. It was definitely the hardest part mentally. My legs threatened to cramp at every step towards the end, leaving me a little reluctant to surge or jump around too much. It was a GRIND! I heard the music at the finish line a good mile before I got there. So close but yet so far! Then, finally, I reached the parking lot and saw the finish line. I finished in 6 hours and 35 minutes. 12th out of 34.

    I highly recommend this race. The price, the swag, and the adventure are excellent. And it IS an adventure. Judging from past race photos, this event tends to be frozen and snowy or muddy and chilly. This time was 100 percent the former. This will probably be one I do again next year. It isn’t a “big production” race but it’s not one to be missed, especially if you happen to run it post-blizzard. Truly wild and rugged.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
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    bobbijodmb FIRST-TIMER '17

    I have been running for about 3 years- several half marathons, a marathon and many other races. I would trail run here and there and at first didn't like it. … MORE

    I have been running for about 3 years- several half marathons, a marathon and many other races. I would trail run here and there and at first didn’t like it. And when I would trail run, I would only do so in the summer. My boyfriend found this race and convinced me to do it; my longest trail run before signing up for this was 6.2 miles! So I said sure, why not and added more trail runs into my training. I had never done a trail race in the winter and it was going to be my longest trail run ever!

    Positives about the race:
    *Communication: they posted on their FB page; gave teasers of things to come and sent out emails.
    *The swag: I loved the handmade finisher awards; its one of my most cherished! The patagonia ladies shirts were so wonderful- they were soft, and pretty and fun!
    *The course!! So yeah its challenging; but I like that. But it was amazingly beautiful and pushed me past my comfort zone
    *Race day: it ran smoothly, course was marked and it started on time. It was well supported at aid stations and the volunteers were amazing.
    *Photo opportunity with a sasquatch! this may not appeal to some people but I LOVED it!! The race photos were super cheap to buy, so I also supported that.
    *The food/warm drinks at the end was awesome! It was cold that day, so it was nice to be warm after!

    Areas of suggestions:
    Honestly I don’t have any. There was nothing that I would have changed or didn’t like or wasn’t happy about. Several hours in beautiful trails will do that. Thanks to the race for making my first long trail run exceptionally amazing! You have set the bar high for other races!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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  1. Races
  2. Frozen Sasquatch Trail 50K & 25K