The Arctic Frog lived up to its name with the kind of temperatures you'd expect in Wisconsin during December. This was the first year the race was held in this location (it was previously in Illinois) and the new course is what piqued my interest. I had heard that the previous course was very flat and fast, but this new route had around 4,500' of elevation gain and loss, which is much more in my wheelhouse. I also liked that this route was 5 x 10.3 mile loops. This made it very easy for my wife to crew for me and I appreciated that, in true ultra-marathon fashion, the race was actually 51.5 miles.Some solid climbs allowed me to break free from the pack early. At the 20 mile mark I was in second place, but took the lead shortly after and continued to socially distance myself all the way to the finish. I was pleased with my splits, holding around 8 min pace for the entire race and the last few miles were my fastest. I fell just shy of breaking 7 hours (I ran 7:01:48) but this race gave me the confidence and hunger to get it next time. My 50-mile split was 6:50, so I know I can do it.
The cold and the hills seemed to be the real winner of the race, with a finisher rate of around 25% (only 9 finishers out of 35 runners).
Thank you to my beautiful wife for crewing for me, Frog Hop Sports for organizing a very safe and competitive race, and congrats to the runner-up Dave Janet (IL) and Amber Hardwig (MN).