TRAVERSE CITY — Running isn’t usually one of those things you term a “slippery slope.”
Except for Saturday.
Rapid City’s Kyle Kiel and Traverse City’s Julie Comfort were able to overcome treacherous weather conditions to win the annual Frozen Foot five-mile road race through the base of the Old Mission Peninsula.
“There’s that big hill up by Timber Ridge, and coming down was a little harder than going up,” Comfort said. “And there were a couple turns where I had to slow down and get my grip before I could go (around). But it was a good day and a lot of people were out, so it was fun.”
Kiel took advantage of a chance turn of events to notch the victory.
Erik Peterson led most of the event, but took wrong turns on two occasions, the second of which cost him the race. Even Kiel, a 32-year-old former Kalkaska standout, said Peterson should have won.
“I was yelling at him a lot that he was going to wrong way,” Kiel said. “He was at least 15 seconds ahead of me. By the time he was able to turn around and go the right way, I was right up to him. The second time, I pretty much passed him by the time he was able to turn around and get back on the right track.”
Kiel won in 29:21.4, just over eight seconds ahead of Peterson.
Manton’s Thomas King was third, Traverse City’s Jacob Secor took fourth and Allendale’s Joel Medina fifth.
“There aren’t any other races this time of year besides snowshoe races,” Kiel said. “Last year, the weather was perfect. It was 60 degrees. It was amazing. This year, the ice was very difficult and tricky. There were a couple people that fell, and I almost fell. On those corners where it’s ice and you’re cruising, you have to pretty much stop to turn.”