ONEONTA — More than 189 participants braved temperatures near 20 degrees Tuesday at the Oneonta Family YMCA’s annual Frost Bite 5K. Adolescents, families and individual runners bundled up in cold-resistant fabrics, with the exception of one, who wore fur.
Pongo, a Dalmatian, ran the race with Bill Boyle, his owner, and 9-year-old Cody Feil. Boyle, of Oneonta, said Pongo is not used to running on a leash, but did a great job and ignored passing distractions, such as barking dogs, like a seasoned pro. The cold temperatures didn’t bother the group, according to Boyle, 38.
“It feels good when you’re running,” he said.
Feil said he did not do as well as he wished, but started out “right up front.”
Oneonta Family YMCA Executive Director Frank Russo said the Frost Bite 5K is a yearly fundraiser that benefits the YMCA scholarship fund and offsets program costs. No figures were available Tuesday. He said the Frost Bite is a great tradition because it is family-friendly.
“We see everyone from little kids to seniors,” Russo said. “The race is a community favorite with participants from young to old. The ‘Y’ is for building a strong community.”
Six members of the Davidson family participated in this year’s race. Mark, 44; Bryan, 41; Kyle, 15; Andrew, 12; Benjamin, 10; and Francisco Zapata, the family’s exchange student from Mexico.
Zapata, an 11th-grader who has been in Oneonta since October, said he plays soccer in Mexico, but had never participated in a race.
“It was very cold,” Zapata said.
Benjamin, 10, called it, “the toughest race I’ve done.”
Dorothy Davidson said the West Oneonta family has participated in other races together.
“They did a Turkey Trot in Florida once and had to carry a turkey between them,” Davidson said.
After crossing the finish line, the Davidsons gathered with the other runners in the YMCA gym for oranges, bagels, energy bars and water. Medals were given for first, second and third place.