Frosty and friends run a marathon

Frosty Runs a Marathon

Competitors line up for the Frosty Marathon. Illustration by Christopher Cudworth.

Here in Chillytown, USA, there’s an annual tradition that some of you might like your snowpeople to join. It’s called the Frosty Marathon and every year dozens of snowpeople turn out to run the race held on December 24.

It always turns out better if there’s a White Christmas, of course. But if snow doesn’t fall in Chillytown (and there’s worries about that to discuss later) the snowpeople still come from miles away to run 26.2 miles.

Perfect conditions

See, marathoners know there’s no better way to spend a chilly day than covering more than 20 miles in freezing conditions and high winds. It keeps the core temperature down, you know. Fortunately over the years the Frosty Marathon has lost very few competitors to hypothermia. Being made of snow can really help matters in that department.

Heat is the real enemy for runners in the Frosty Marathon. When temps get near to thirty degrees, race organizers have been known to set up windchill machines at the water stops. That’s where snowpeople stop to ice up, of course.

Risks of racing weight

A family of snowman competitors does calisthenics before the start of the race.

A family of snowman competitors does calisthenics before the start of the race.

Some snow runners have been known to intentionally carve off a little excess weight before the big race. Of course there are risks to that strategy when you’re a snowperson. Given that your body structure is designed around one big ball of snow at the bottom, one middle-sized ball of snow in the middle and a smaller sized ball of snow for your head, there’s a certain efficiency to maintaining that structure when you’re a snowperson.

So it happened that when one of the competitors decided to increase speed by cutting off both sides of their lower snowball, the enhanced structure resulted in a full face plant when the integrity of the lower snowball gave out and crumpled into pieces.

Shovel crews were called to the scene and the competitor was allowed to continue, albeit about 18 inches shorter by the time snow medics had done their work. It cost the runner quite a bit of time.

Racing categories

Competitors can get a little excited before the competition.

Competitors can get a little excited before the competition.

As there really aren’t any age groups among snowpeople because year to year all of them melt come spring, racing categories are instead structured around types of snow and general accoutrements.

Wet Snow: Snowpeople built early in the season tend to be formed of wetter snow, and are therefore heavier.

Icey Snow: Snowpeople from variable climates are known to thaw and freeze, resulting in a stiffer, icier structure to their snow bodies.

Thumpity Thump Thump Snow: Snow that falls in cartoons like big fat white drops of ice cream makes really great snowpeople.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Snow: Even bigger than Thumpity Snow, and makes musical little noises when it hits the ground.

Snowsnake Drifters: These dry-formed snowpeople are known at times to blow apart during really windy conditions, or leave a snowsnake behind them as they race along.

Yup, he's everywhere.

Yup, he’s everywhere.

Frozen Snowpeople: This new category of snowpeople is extremely flexible in their makeup and may in fact result in an entirely new category of snow racers due to the fact that they do not seem to care if their ups are up and their downs are down.

Race organizers face many challenges meeting the needs of all these different kinds of snowpeople. As temperatures rise or fall each year, it can be hard to anticipate the needs of Icey Snowpeople versus the Snowsnake Drifters. Ideally, race organizers like it best when temps start out a just below zero degrees fahrenheit. That way everyone is on an even playing field and fewer snow runners are likely to fall apart or melt.

How they do it

However the heat generated simply by running 26.2 miles is sometimes enough to cause internal temperature changes and force some runners to pull out of the race.

This snowperson built in a remote location does stand the chance of being neglected.

This snowperson built in a remote location does stand the chance of being neglected. That can harm their ability to move.

Many questions have been asked by those unfamiliar with snowperson races as to how the snowpeople actually move across the ground. Scientists have now studied the phenomenon and have ascertained several factors that contribute to snowperson speed and mobility.

It was once thought that an old silk hat was the driving force behind Active Snowman Animation (ASA). It has since been discovered that the energy generated from children or adults who form snowman is directly transferred to snowpeople. That is, love is both the energy and the animation of these competitors.

Helping the needy

Support the Frosty Marathon with your contributions and help this hot mess snowperson get back on the right track.

Support the Frosty Marathon with your contributions and help this hot mess snowperson get back on the right track.

You can see the difference in snowpeople who get neglected or are left neglected in the yard. They tend to melt, slump and even disintegrate into the ground. Some turn to rampant snowperson sex as a compensatory response to this lack of love. They turn into hot snowperson messes with smeared facial coloring and scarves that barely cover their snowy bosoms. These types of snowpeople generally require counseling before safely returning to snow society.

Some even become evil snowpeople who lurk in silence waiting for hapless other snowpersons to wander by. The outcome of these events is seldom happy.

Which is why it is important for you to never neglect your snowperson once it is built. It is a far happier thing to encourage them to go thumpity-thumping around the neighborhood making children happy rather than impaling hapless winter walkers with their sharpened stick arms.

It is far, far better to invite them to participate in a positive event like the Frosty Marathon. That’s a healthier, happier way to celebrate the season. In fact the Frosty Marathon is a fund raiser to assist Neglected Snowpeople across the country.

Party on

There's a great snowpeople party after the race.

There’s a great snowpeople postrace party.

When it’s all said and done there’s a great snowman party following the event. All the food and drink is cold if not completely frozen. But snowpeople don’t mind things like that. There’s nothing like a full glass of ice to chill off an overheated snowperson after completing 26.2 miles. Snowpeople have even been known to sweat, which gives them a healthy, shiny sheen. They’re a little harder to hug that way, but give it a try. Everyone appreciates a bit of encouragement after a physical challenge like a marathon.

In fact the Frosty Marathon has been such a success over the years that organizers are considering a Frosty Triathlon in which competitors skate, ski and run over the frozen landscape.

Let’s all embrace the idea that love can drive the competitive instincts of so many happy snowpeople marathoners. That’s the spirit this season, and global warming be damned.

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About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @gofast and blogs at werunandride.com, therightkindofpride.com and at 3CCreativemarketing.com. Online portfolio: http://www.behance.net/christophercudworth
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