Race: Frozen Yeti 15 Miler
Runner: Coach Keith Nadeau
Race Date: 02/05/2022
Location: Hale Reservation – Westwood, MA
Results: 2nd Overall – 02:08:46
Strava Activity Link: https://strava.app.link/ahKm2U5DCnb
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- The snow was in excellent condition for running! Partially because it was so cold, but also well packed.
- The trails are fun and challenging. There isn’t a significant amount of vertical, but the inclines are quick and steep throughout the whole course.
- The local community is very welcoming and therefore fun! Everyone rooting for each other and some good stories and laughs around the campfire at the finish.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Parking was far away from the start and no shuttle. I walked over with another runner and we got a bit lost for a bit. Over a mile walk on trail from where I parked and no markers to direct you where to go. I pulled up a map on my phone which is the reason we got to the start on time.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
8pm start time for the 15 miler! Kind of weird, but fun in an interesting way to run hard on snowy trails in the dark.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I went out pretty hard with the leader and we stayed together for a few miles. I could tell I wasn’t feeling my absolute best, and the leader was really crushing it. I decided to back off a bit instead of trying to stay with him. In hindsight this saved the race from being a total bomb for me. I struggled for the second half but it would’ve been much worse if I tried harder in the start.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Course recon can be crucial! I ran the course in the daytime a few weeks prior and all the things I learned helped at the race. Knowing the lay of the land in the light helped me understand where I was in the night, and know what turns were coming up next.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Continuing proper course recon prior to events will surely be something I continue after this. Otherwise remembering to have fun even while racing and trying to compete is something I enjoyed and want to continue to focus on. It feels easy to get caught up in what place or time I am in, but I run for the joy of running and community too so good to remember that.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
It’s three 5 mile loops with start/finish in the middle. These trails have tons of intersections and sharp turns so easy to get lost. With that said flagging was great and not many people struggled with saying on course.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Yes! Beautiful park and some cool architecture throughout with stone buildings. Being at night the 15 miler doesn’t allow runners to see most of the views.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
It is a fairly tough course but very runnable. The quick rollers add up and sap the energy out of your legs for the latter parts of the race.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Very well organized and run event. The RD’s are very welcoming and friendly and seemed to have it all figured out from the years past of running this event and others.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
More of a local field and not highly competitive. Some quality local runners for sure though!
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
Easy to register through Run Reg. TARC also has a website with events and updates listed.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Single aid station in the middle of the course with everything you need. No car access due to the parking situation, and no inside access at the lodge this year due to Covid. Inside space would have been amazing as it was very cold and most finishers for the 15 were sweaty and needed to change out of the wet clothes quickly. I know I did!
Weather and typical race conditions
As New England goes the weather is not typical or reliable. This was postponed from the weekend prior due to the worst blizzard in years, but one week after the race we had a day that was sunny and 55 degrees. SO you never know until race day what you’ll get.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
I used a handheld bottle with custom sock/hand warmer cover for the nozzle to not freeze. Also a small pack as their is a fairly extensive mandatory gear list that is required.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
No spectators allowed this year due to Covid. Usually it is allowed to have spectators and crew though.
How’s the Swag?
Some cool swag! As many buffs as you wanted, and a cool little stuffed frozen yeti for finishers. Also, a Frozen Yeti sugar cookie.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
I would give this a 5 out of 5! So much fun and had that small event / local energy that I really love. Also, the course is engaging and fun while being easy to follow.
Keith Nadeau is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about him or to work with Coach Keith, check out his coaching page.