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At the Frosty Bottom bike race, the winner gets an edge from armpits and toe-warmers

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: 6 days ago
  • Published 6 days ago

Frosty Bottom race leaders travel past Westchester Lagoon in the 43-mile race Saturday. (Loren Holmes / ADN)


The finish-line buzz at Saturday’s Frosty Bottom consisted of some of the usual conversation you hear from bikers when they finish a race. There was talk of killer hills, mechanical complications and legs flooded with lactic acid.

But an exchange between winner Jason Lamoreaux and third-place David Arteaga can only happen after a long race on a winter day when the temperature never reached double figures.

Arteaga, talking about the rubber tube hanging near his neck and connected to a hydration pack worn on his back, under his clothes: “I had no water the last 30 miles. My tube froze.”

Lamoreaux: “Run it under your armpit. When you run it over your shoulder like that there’s no body heat there.”

Arteaga, rubbing his armpit: “I tried that one day and it was pinching me.”

Lamoreaux: “I tape toe warmers around the tube too.”

Add chattering teeth to the offbeat chatter, and you have the Frosty Bottom in a nutshell.

David Arteaga shows his frozen hydration tube after racing 43 miles in temperatures that hovered around zero degrees. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

The 13th annual race across Anchorage started Saturday morning at Kincaid Park, where the temperature was 5 degrees (minus-11 with the wind chill).

A field of 168 bikers completed the race, with 107 going 25 miles to Goose Lake and back and another 61 going 43 miles from Kincaid to Goose Lake to Far North Bicentennial Park and then back to Kincaid.

Lamoreaux, a fixture in Alaska’s bike community, won his first Frosty Bottom title with a mad sprint up the half-mile-long hill leading from the Coastal Trail to the finish line.

“I’ve been second a few times, and third and fourth, so it feels good,” said Lamoreaux, 40, who rode across the finish line with hands raised above his head. “I’ve been in a couple of sprint finishes, but always on the wrong end of them.”

Not this time. Lamoreaux made the trip in 2 hours, 48 minutes, 40 seconds. Eric Flanders was 26 seconds behind in second place, and Arteaga was 36 seconds behind in third place.

Jason Lamoreaux celebrates his first Frosty Bottom victory. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Thirty-one-year-old Megan Chelf was the women’s winner in 3:13:21, which made her 16th overall. Tazlina Mannix was second among women in 3:16:49 and Laura Fox was third in 3:33:02.

In the 25-mile race, victories went to 35-year-old Brent Lowen (1:43:55) and 60-year-old Sheryl Loan (1:56:39). Loan, who was more than three minutes ahead of women’s runnerup Katie Bell, placed 13th overall.

The top four men raced in a pack until Lamoreaux attacked the final hill to see if he could pull away from the crowd.

“That hill is legendary. That’s where this race is won,” Flanders said.

Flanders said Lamoreaux managed to open a sizable gap quickly, but he tried following all the same.

“You never know when a big attack like that is going to continue, so I kept pushing.”

But Lamoreaux didn’t fade, and he mixed in a little mind game for insurance. “I stood up on my bike a couple times just to make it look like I was pushing harder,” he said.

Lamoreaux finished with ice caked on the wheels of his fat-tire bike and on his pants. He said he encountered two patches of overflow, and on the second one the front of his bike sank three or four inches through the slush and got stuck. He had to get off his bike to drag it out of the flooded area.

Lamoreaux turned down his wife’s offer of a hot drink at the finish line, saying he was plenty warm.

Chism Henry, left, and Randy Romenesko sport frosty beards after completing the 25-miles race. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Sixty-year-old Randy Romenesko looked plenty cold when he finished the 25-mile race. His beard and mustache were made thick by ice and frost, but he professed not to be cold.

“I lived in Nome from 1982 to 2013,” said Romenesko, who placed 38th in the 1996 Iditarod. “This is easy. There’s no wind. I’m hot.”

Saturday was Romenesko’s first bike race in 20 years – he said he decided to enter on Wednesday – and he was impressed by the turnout, the camaraderie and some of the speed on display.

“I’m just amazed at how fast some of these people are,” he said. “Those people really rock and roll.”

A string of bikers travels past Fish Creek. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Ruben Alvarez, 52, felt the cold more than Romenesko did in the 25-mile race, maybe because he moved to Anchorage from Colombia and not Nome.

“This is the coldest I have ever been biking,” he said. He said the most challenging part of the race came at Westchester Lagoon on his way back to Kincaid, where he stopped to change shoes, going from a heavier, warmer pair to a lighter, less insulated pair as part of his strategy to pick up speed on the return trip.

“It was hard, because I was getting cramps,” said Alvarez, a BP worker who came to Alaska eight years ago.

From left, Kaitlin Mattos, Gloria Menzel and Bonnie Wanat pause at the finish line of the 25-mile race. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

When Kaitlin Mattos finished the 25-mile race, her eyelashes were painted with frost, giving her the look of an ice queen from a fairy tale.

Mattos did the race with Gloria Menzel and Bonnie Wanat, all members of the Alaska Dirt Divas mountain biking club. They are used to biking year-round, so they came prepared.

“I wore my skirt because my behind always gets cold,” Menzel said.

Wanat, who managed to keep her eyeglasses from fogging up or frosting over during the race, said the tops of her legs were cold but she was otherwise comfortable during her race, which lasted a little longer than 2.5 hours.

Mattos packed her pogies – giant gloves that attach to handlebars – with extra gloves, hand warmers and food.

“My toes are frozen,” she said, and so was something else -- something you might expect to feel the chill at a winter bike race called the Frosty Bottom.

“My bottom’s pretty frosty,” she said.

Ryan Thrasher leads a group of bikers up a hill at the Alaska Native Medical Campus. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

43 miles

Women

1. Megan Chelf 3:13:21; 2. Tazlina Mannix 3:16:49; 3. Laura Fox 3:33:02; 4. Amber Stull 3:35:33; 5. Kinsey Loan 3:38:24; 6. Rose Garner 3:57:17; 7. Briana Sullivan 3:57:28; 8. Hillary Willrett 5:05:46; 9. Colleen Kersgard 6:08:15

Men

1. Jason Lamoreaux 2:48:40; 2. Eric Flanders 2:49:06; 3. David Arteaga 2:49:16; 4. Will Ross 2:49:35; 5. Josh Chelf 2:52:14; 6. James Stull 2:54:02; 7. Oliver Sternicki 2:54:05; 8. Nathaniel Bannish 2:56:28; 9. David Berg 2:56:54; 10. Nicolas Baudin 2:56:57; 11. Casey Fagerquist 3:00:47; 12. Clinton Hodges Iii 3:00:48; 13. Mark Hamm 3:04:23; 14. Tyle Owens 3:05:30; 15. Andy Duenow 3:06:17; 16. Adam Looney 3:14:07; 17. Patrick Terhune 3:17:02; 18. Patrick Sullivan 3:17:59; 19. Ryan Thrasher 3:18:41; 20. Ryan Schubert 3:24:57; 21. Tom Peichel 3:26:18; 22. Chris Wrobel 3:26:20; 23. Bernhard Stechauner 3:26:53; 24. Eric Teixmen 3:27:07; 25. John Tappel 3:27:11; 26. Chet Fehrmann 3:31:59; 27. David Cadogan 3:35:39; 28. Brad Manderfeld 3:36:23; 29. Owen Ala 3:36:24; 30. Matthew Tabinor 3:40:51; 31. Donovan Camp 3:42:30; 32. Josh Varney 3:43:52; 33. Jacob Farber 3:51:13; 34. Andrew Brabson 3:51:50; 35. Jim Mcdonough 4:01:44; 36. Oscar Lage 4:17:22; 37. Jonathan Bell 4:18:50; 38. Nathan Kincaid 4:33:51; 39. Taylor Feece 4:56:18; 40. Brett Linden 5:05:46; 41. Andy Underwood 5:09:14; 42. Andrew Dennis 5:14:48; 43. Niles Woods 5:24:08; 44. John Messick 5:26:05; 45. Jason Kutsurelis 6:08:15

Race leaders travel past Westchester Lagoon. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

25 miles

Women

1. Sheryl Loan 1:56:39; 2. Katie Bell 1:59:58; 3. Lisa Drumm 2:10:04; 4. Amber Bethe 2:13:07; 5. Bri Lowen 2:14:28; 6. Emily Bendelewski-Henry 2:16:41; 7. Meredyth Richards 2:29:25; 8. Jenny Kimball 2:34:32; 9. Kaitlin Mattos 2:35:41; 10. Bonnie Wanat 2:36:03; 11. Gloria Menzel 2:36:07; 12. Kristie Fore 2:40:15; 13. Katrina Mejia 2:44:20; 14. Audrey Taylor 2:45:54; 15. Lisa Wiley 2:46:58; 16. Janus Reyes 2:47:12; 17. Lorena Knapp 2:51:26; 18. Lauren Grippo 2:54:47; 19. Stacy Dayley 2:56:12; 20. Andrea Toth 3:02:30; 21. Hope Mcgratty 3:09:01; 22. Cathleen Kelly 3:18:36; 23. Beth Baker 3:23:53; 24. Sanjana Greenhill 3:26:58; 25. Sidney Billingslea 3:30:35; 26. Carmen Eder 3:30:45; 27. Kristin Taylor 3:33:01; 28. Melissa Bunch 3:42:30; 29. Shannon Oliver 4:04:06; 30. Terry Slaven 4:05:20; 31. Cindy Miller 4:13:20; 32. Jane Adkins 4:15:00; 33. Mary Kemppel 4:59:16

Men

1. Brent Lowen 1:43:55; 2. John Amore 1:44:12; 3. Tony Hardwick 1:45:05; 4. Bryan Hudson 1:46:47; 5. Jacque Drumm 1:47:51; 6. Mike Crawford 1:49:35; 7. Zac Cole 1:50:00; 8. David Henke 1:51:53; 9. David Slyker 1:52:48; 10. Mike Estes 1:54:47; 11. Shawn Gannon 1:54:55; 12. Bart Filipowicz 1:56:27; 13. Adam Babcock 1:56:46; 14. Chris Jetter 2:01:11; 15. Dan Wolf 2:04:03; 16. Scott Digert 2:05:42; 17. David Gamez 2:08:43; 18. Jeremiah Eldridge 2:10:30; 19. Brian Baus 2:10:57; 20. James Fredrick 2:13:02; 21. Morgan Stanton 2:13:19; 22. Ron Cook 2:14:19; 23. Lee Warnick 2:16:10; 24. Steve Mckeever 2:16:18; 25. Garrett Swygman 2:18:32; 26. Patrick Fitzgerald 2:19:42; 27. Scot Henry 2:20:14; 28. William Johnson 2:21:00; 29. Ruben Alvarez 2:23:09; 30. Peter Mejia 2:23:58; 31. Mark Geuss 2:26:23; 32. Chism Henry 2:26:23; 33. Randy Romenesko 2:28:00; 34. Dan Eck 2:29:10; 35. Jason Iverson 2:32:58; 36. M. Scott Moon 2:33:23; 37. John Angst 2:34:22; 38. Martin Meenaghan 2:35:22; 39. Howard Levine 2:37:42; 40. Timothy Kelly 2:38:27; 41. Chris Dykstal 2:39:18; 42. Tom Corbin 2:39:43; 43. Michael Davis 2:42:50; 44. Dave Twyman 2:42:59; 45. Ryan Toohey 2:43:19; 46. Paul Cartier 2:45:31; 47. Joe Reser 2:47:23; 48. Joseph Kach 2:48:14; 49. Chris Reynolds 2:48:15; 50. Steve Lambert 2:55:15; 51. Cody O’Neal 2:55:28; 52. Frank Yarbrough 2:56:16; 53. Elijah Gutierrez 2:59:40; 54. Eric Adams 3:00:47; 55. Charlie Collins 3:01:06; 56. Bob Mcneil 3:01:10; 57. Jon Schultz 3:17:12; 58. David Conway 3:18:04; 59. Neil Loader 3:18:22; 60. Bob Halpin 3:23:04; 61. Mike Eder 3:30:45; 62. Roger Kemppel 3:32:26; 63. Jeffrey Kelly 3:35:26; 64. Adam Weber 3:40:11; 65. Stephen Schell 3:40:13; 66. Clayton Harrison 3:42:26; 67. Jason Johnson 3:42:30; 68. Gary Janes 3:47:52; 69. Charles Utermohle 4:55:16

From left, Owen Ala, Laura Fox and Brad Manderfeld cross Tudor Road. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

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