This wekend we had a great FUD Meetup at Mauthe Lake, in central Wisconsin, in order to celebrate the intrepid @CarolynA and her dear (@)Watson racing in a 75K/100K race, the Frozen Otter in (very) cold Wisconsin!
@CarolynA drove all the way from Colorado to do the race! @Michel and I met up with her the night before for dinner and had a wonderful chance to bond with her and her lovely parents, Bruce and Patty. She is an AMAZING person and we were both in awe. We are considering adopting her outright if her parents will let us.
How tough is the Frozen Otter? How about extra-hyper-super tough? There is an 80% drop-out rate: it may be the hardest cold weather race in the Midwest. But it did not seem to phase either @CarolynA, her father (also racing), or her super dog (@)Watson who was also racing the first 8 miles: Go, Watson, Go!
The morning was really cold:
It was so cold that there were ice crystals in the car! OK, this may be an exaggeration: I suspect that these are, in reality, dust particles on the dash (it is @Michel’s car after all…). But it was really cold: 1F at 8:00am, 7-10mph winds, -15F windchill about 1 hour SW of Mauthe Lake where the start of the race is.
We drove up to Mauthe Lake, worrying about the windchill factor: if it stayed below -15F the competitors would have to carry tents along (they do have to carry bivvies and mergency supplies either way), another several pounds of weight, and, of course, worsened risk inherent in the extreme cold, for a race that can last up to 24 hours.
We arrived in the start area around 9:00, about one hour ahead of the start. You can see how truly cold the Frozen Otter is:
Yes, you are seeing it correctly! Less than 30 yards from the start area, the ice is supporting a 3500 lb SUV, and there are people ice-fishing through very thick ice…