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Soft snow stalls leader, opening door for Stull in 50-mile Frosty Bottom

Beth Bragg
John Lackey leads a group of Frosty 50 riders on the hill up from Point Woronzof Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Christie Haupert and Kinsey Apperson follow a biker up the hill to cross over Northern Lights Boulevard during the Frosty Bottom race Saturday. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
A lone competitor heads into the bridge under Martin Luther King Boulevard Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Jason Lamoreaux (37) leads Tom Peichel (59) to the tunnel under Martin Luther King Boulevard on their return to Kincaid. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
John Lackey leads the 50 pack just as he exits the Tour of Anchorage trail near the Martin Luther King bridge. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Bikers begin their race just after 9AM near Point Woronzof Saturday. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Bikers begin their race just after 9AM near Point Woronzof Saturday. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Bikers begin their race just after 9AM near Point Woronzof Saturday. Carey Grumelot (93) and James Stull (70) lead the pack up the hill from Point Woronzof Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Janice Koval (233) and Michele Hansen (226) take in the hill up to the Northern Lights bridge near Goose Lake during the Frosty 25, Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Rodney Ramirez charges up the hill to the Northern Lights bridge near Goose Lake Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Lori Sivitz crests the hill to the Northern Lights bridge near Goose Lake during the Frosty 25, Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Frosty 50 riders Andy Duenow (20) and Jens Beck head back to Kincaid passing outgoing racers on the Northern Lights bridge, Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup
Bill Fleming takes in the trail back to Kincaid Park near Goose Lake, Saturday morning. The Frosty Bottom race had moderate temperatures, but icy conditions along much of the trail, January 5, 2013.
Anne Raup

In preparation for Saturday's Frosty Bottom 50-mile race from one side of town and back again, Jim Anderson hauled out his mountain bike from the garage, spent a few hours cleaning it, and put on new studded tires.

He'd been riding a new fat-tire bike for the last few weeks, but when recent warm temperatures and strong winds turned snow to ice, Anderson figured the skinny-tired mountain bike would fare better on slick trails.

"I thought that was the smart move," he said.

And it was. Until it wasn't.

For about 47 miles, Anderson made good time on his mountain bike. Then, right around Point Woronzof on his way to Kincaid Park, conditions turned sugary and rutty. What had been a fairly firm trail at the start of the day had gotten churned and chewed up -- in large part because nearly 250 bikers, runners and skiers traveled that part of the Coastal Trail after starting at Kincaid Park.

To his astonishment, Anderson discovered there was simply too much snow to ride a skinny-tire bike on. He had to walk most of the final three miles.

"This is the lowest snow year (in years), and I end up having to push my bike through the snow? How fricking cruel is Anchorage?" said Anderson, 45.

Pretty cruel. Anderson said he covered the first 47 miles -- from Kincaid to the turnaround near Hilltop back to Point Woronzof -- in 2 hours, 50 minutes. It took him another 50 minutes to travel the remaining three miles to Kincaid.

"I'd ride 10 feet, and fall over. Ride 20 feet, and fall over. Ride 50 feet, and fall over," he said. "I did a primal scream for about 10 minutes and then I realized it was not gonna get better, so I got off and walked."

So did almost every racer who chose skinny-tired mountain bikes over fat-tired snow bikes for Saturday's race. Most, like Anderson, rued their choice of transportation,

Maybe no one had more regrets than John Lackey, the 2010 Frosty Bottom champion and the winner of last winter's Susitna 100 wilderness race. Lackey was leading by a healthy margin late in the race until he hit the sugary snow and came to a near standstill.

"I chose to ride the regular mountain bike and it was a great choice until the final three miles, when it was a horrible choice," Lackey said at the finish line. "I walked halfway back from Point Woronzof to here."

And as he did, five riders aboard fat-tire snow bikes passed him.

One of them, Jamey Stull, claimed victory. Stull finished in 2 hours, 57 minutes, 23 seconds to edge Will Ross, who posted a time of 2:58:16 and was the only other racer to break the three-hour mark.

Lackey, who finished sixth in 3:08:31, led by three minutes at Westchester Lagoon, about nine miles from Kincaid, and was ahead by even more at Point Woronzof.

"I could see guys behind me, it looked like four or five minutes back," he said. "I thought I had them."

He was feeling great, he said, and then he hit the soft snow. Stull, Ross and third-place Carey Grumelot (3:00:04) passed him near the sewage treatment plant and put a big gap on him.

"He was walking," Stull said. "We said, 'He's done.' ''

The final stretch wasn't easy even for fat-tire bikers. Though fat tires float atop snow better than skinny ones, there was no escaping deep ruts that pock-marked the final stretch of trail. Some measured a foot deep, Stull and Ross said, and there was no way to ride out of them.

"Once your front wheel got into one of those ruts, you had to get off," Stull said.

And yet conditions were about as good as could be expected for a 50-mile race through Anchorage in early January. Racers didn't have to contend with the sub-zero temperatures that made life miserable last month, nor did they have to battle the chinook winds that battered trails and vanquished snow more recently.

Few racers opted to ski because of poor snow cover, but fears that ice would turn the trail treacherous were never realized, even though it was plenty icy in some spots.

The women's 50-mile victory went to Darcy Davis, who planned to spend Saturday at Alyeska watching her son race in the Coca-Cola Holiday Classic alpine series. She changed her mind Friday night while on the phone with friend Vas Mangold, who made an offer Davis couldn't refuse.

"(She) had a fat-tire bike she talked me into using," Davis said.

Davis' time of 3:30:21 was 30 minutes faster than her time a year ago, when she placed second aboard a fat-tire bike with no studs. The bike she borrowed from Mangold had studs.

Sheryl Loan won the women's 25-mile bike race in 1:45:58 but paid for her victory with a broken rib.

"I just went around a corner and fell really hard," she said

Luke Kiskaddon topped the men's 25-mile bike in 1:38:52.

In the 50-mile run, Sam Tilly was the top man (5:44:06) and Laura McDonough was the top woman (7:31:07). In the 25-mile run, Matias Saari topped the men (2:35:37) and Kinsey Apperson paced the women (3:14:06).

No one opted to ski 50 miles and only three skied 25 miles. David Apperson led the way in 2:33:48, followed by Tara McMurray (4:30:21) and Tim Middleton (4:42:59).

As for Anderson, he finished a frustrated 20th. As he approached the finish line on foot, he gave his mountain bike a big push and it traveled the final few yards, riderless, before crashing to the ground.

"You're gonna see this on craigslist," he said.

 

Reach Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or 257-4335.

 

Frosty Bottom

Sponsored by Chain Reaction Cycles

Women's 50-mile bike

1) Darcy Davis 3:30:21; 2) Amber Bethe 3:53:42; 3) Laurel Brady 3:59:57; 4) Kara Oney 4:07:40; 5) Rebecca McKee 4:16:17; 6) Debbie Wrigley 4:22:23; 7) Amber Stull 4:26:25; 8) Stacey Nieder 4:36:36; 9) Julie Garcia 5:27:13; 10) Marcia Howell 6:12:10;

Men's 50-mile bike

1) James Stull 2:57:23; 2) Will Ross 2:58:16; 3) Carey Grumelot 3:00:04; 4) Jason Lamoreaux 3:03:58; 5) Tom Peichel 3:04:57; 6) John Lackey 3:08:31; 7) Jens Beck 3:09:28; 8) Bill Fleming 3:14:06; 9) Andy Duenow 3:14:54; 10) Nicolas Baudin 3:19:25; 11) Fred West 3:19:46; 12) Joe Pollock 3:25:04; 13) Jeff Dusenbury 3:26:13; 14) Doug Schutte 3:26:16; 15) Peter Van Tuyn 3:31:50; 16) Brendan McKee 3:31:56; 17) Mike Vania 3:32:38; 18) Jamie Haines 3:38:17; 19) Paul Pierce 3:38:35; 20) Jim Anderson 3:40:09; 21) Darin Marin 3:40:45; 22) Kevin Murphy 3:40:57; 23) Stewart Osgood 3:42:05; 24) Chad Hoehne 3:42:47; 25) Zachary Huff 3:46:30; 26) Justin Libby 3:48:38; 27) Patrick Wolfe 3:50:42; 28) Chuck Mangold 3:53:17; 29) Trevor Jones 3:56:39; 30) Nathan Van Der Most 4:03:37; 31) Ethan Whitlock 4:05:31; 32) David Berg 4:06:54; 33) Brian Hartman 4:08:40; 34) Bruce Ross 4:11:41; 35) Daniel Vetsch 4:12:34; 36) Greg McDuffie 4:16:36; 37) Ben Spiess 4:17:01; 38) Cody Lee 4:18:28; 39) Mark Stewart 4:19:47; 40) Michael Braun 4:20:41; 41) Terrence Kelly 4:27:28; 42) Chris Dock 4:30:28; 43) Shawn Nield 4:35:18; 44) David Cadogan 4:38:09; 45) Jacques Boutet 4:38:28; 46) Timothy Thomas 4:44:44; 47) Tony Allen 4:45:02; 48) Brant Grifka 4:47:31; 49) Mick Bakker 4:51:30; 50) Jeff Jessen 4:52:29; 51) Matthew Mannhardt 4:59:12; 52) Seth Murphy 4:59:23; 53) Erik Myers 5:00:15; 54) Mark Mew 5:20:22; 55) Warren Libby 5:20:29; 56) Superal Mitchell 5:28:10; 57) Mike Price 5:48:58; 58) Bob McNeil 6:20:03; 59) John Lane 7:11:46.

Women's 50-mile run

1) Laura McDonough 7:31:07; 2) Shawn McTaggart 9:27:01.

Men's 50-mile run

1) Sam Tilly 5:44:06; 2) Thomas Burton 6:35:41; 3) Laron Thomas 6:42:47; 4) Tony Covarrubias 9:27:01.

Women's 25-mile bike

1) Sheryl Loan 1:45:58; 2) Dorothy Calkins 1:48:54; 3) Shelly James 1:51:05; 4) Shannon Titzel 1:54:31; 5) Sheryl Fleming 1:59:33; 6) Janus Reyes 2:08:27; 7) Sarah Layton 2:09:41; 8) Carey Ballard 2:11:37; 9) Jeannette Duenow 2:12:58 ; 10) Laura Kruger 2:14:560; 11) Kelly Janukajtis 2:16:51; 12) Eileen Floyd 2:24:49; 13) Vastyl Mangold 2:26:58; 14) Aicha Hull 2:36:53; 15) Marah Gotcsik 2:42:29; 16) Stacy Scott 2:44:36; 17) Anna Fischer 2:49:49; 18) Mikki Stazel 2:54:18; 19) Kim Bool 2:54:41; 20) Lara Mabry 2:55:39; 21) Shelly Schwenn 3:06:06; 22) Sally Rothwell 3:09:26; 23) Lori Gonzalez 3:11:03; 24) Michele Hansen 3:17:37; 25) Janice Koval 3:17:38; 26) Lori Sivitz 3:19:12; 27) Stephanie Birdsall 3:29:00; 28) Cathy Coon 3:29:05; 29) Dj Moberly 3:46:40.

Men's 25-mile bike

1) Luke Kiskaddon 1:38:52; 2) Ryan Lawton 1:40:07; 3) Preston Rudderow 1:41:54; 4) Clinton Hodges III 1:43:30; 5) Kevin Heck 1:44:34; 6) Nathan Eastman 1:46:10; 7) Al Levinsohn 1:47:56; 8) Ed Wise 1:49:48; 9) Pat Crabb 1:53:12; 10) Peter Mejia 1:53:22; 11) Will Oviatt 1:56:02; 12) Michael Miller 1:56:28; 13) Scott Digert 1:56:38; 14) Andrew Romerdahl 1:57:40; 15) Greg Pavellas 2:04:18; 16) Marc Romano 2:04:29; 17) Jermiah Bell 2:05:05: 18) Josiah Freeman 2:05:05; 19) Nat Wilson 2:05:56; 20) Peter Maassen 2:07:17; 21) Scott Medlin 2:07:38; 22) Thomas Dosik 2:11:21; 23) Eric Troisi 2:11:30; 24) Andy Underwood 2:12:19; 25) Mike Beiergrohslein 2:12:55; 26) Jeff Campbell 2:13:30; 27) Anthony Stong 2:13:57; 28) Bjarne Holm 2:17:00; 29) Mike Morganson 2:18:15; 30) Robert Price 2:20:33; 31) Jeff Donlan 2:20:56; 32) Sam Marsh 2:21:08; 33) Michael Cipriano 2:21:53; 34) Mike Powell 2:22:03; 35) Tom Corbin 2:22:46; 36) Ben Belfiglio 2:24:35; 37) Jay Butler 2:29:10; 38) Lars Danner 2:31:08; 39) Jeremy Johnson 2:31:44; 40) Tom Newins 2:32:19; 41) Heath Christianson 2:34:16; 42) Tim Woody 2:44:32; 43) Leonard Krajkiewcz 2:50:41; 44) Matthew Tocchini 2:56:01; 45) Michael DeLuise 3:03:10; 46) J.R Patee 3:04:42; 47) Brent Veltkamp 3:06:14; 48) Niles Woods 3:06:49; 49) Frederic Wilson 3:07:20; 50) Dave Summerfeldt 3:08:57; 51) Michel Villon 3:20:42; 52) Rodney Ramirez 3:21:54; 53) Andrew Ratliff 3:26:25; 54) Brody McNeill 3:34:32; 55) Michael Moberly 3:46:39; 56) Jonathan Woodman 3:49:04; 57) Bob Halpin 3:49:15.

Women's 25-mile run

1) Kinsey Apperson 3:14:06; 2) Christie Haupert 3:14:07; 3) Teri Buck 3:23:34; 4) Jessie Westin 3:38:28; 5) Kyle Colburn 3:47:44; 6) Haley Johnston 3:50:11; 7) April Juliussen 3:56:54; 8) Taylor Mitchell 4:09:20; 9) Mannie Boitz 4:11:20; 10) Jennifer Diep 4:11:44; 11) Rebecca Aungst 4:11:51; 12) Keri Hull 4:25:20; 13) Sarah Hurkett 4:57:00; 14) Leslie Boughton 5:50:00; 15) Juliann Applegate 6:18:45; 16) Teena Applegate 6:23:42; 16) Bobbi McNeil 6:23:42.

Men's 25-mile run

1) Matias Saari 2:35:37; 2) Jake Moe 2:36:24; 3) Jim McDonough 2:56:38; 4) Matt Soule 3:14:16; 5) Ray Hafen 3:18:26; 6) Darren Hull 3:19:50; 7) Stephen Peterson 3:23:42; 8) Mike Monterusso 3:28:04; 9) Brian Yablon 3:31:48; 10) Jon Weddleton 3:48:55; 11) Martii Lindeke 3:49:49; 12) Tab Ballantine 3:58:55; 13) Nathan Teater 3:59:54; 14) Hudson Graham 4:11:01; 15) Eric Van Dongen 4:11:45; 16) Rick Farrand 4:12:22; 17) Peter Hjellen 4:14:53; 18) Robert Werner 4:30:09; 19) Jarrid Huckfeldt 4:39:02; 20) Bryan Pfaender 5:42:12.

Women's 25-mile ski

1) Tara McMurray 4:30:21.

Men's 25-mile ski

1) David Apperson 2:33:48; 2) Timothy Middleton 4:42:59.

 

 

 


By BETH BRAGG
bbragg@adn.com