By Dan Guttenplan
---- — SALISBURY — Local runners who are be finding it difficult to run on sidewalks and trails since the recent blizzard will have an outlet Saturday.
The third annual Frosty Knuckle 5K is still scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m., at the Carousel Lounge in Salisbury Beach. The Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department has been instrumental in clearing the snow from the 5K course, which runs along the road for the first half and beach for the second half.
Race director Julian Thompson of Heat Event Management believes the third annual race should draw about 250 runners.
“The beaches are plowed, so we shouldn’t have any problems,” Thompson said. “The town plowed through the snowbanks along the course, so it’s easy to get down to the beach. It will take place during extreme low tide. By the time people get on the beach, it will be at its lowest point.”
The race will start and finish at the Carousel Lounge for the first time. Thompson said the venue changed this year in order to accommodate the growing field.
“We had too small of a place last year,” Thompson said. “We’ll feel more comfortable this way. People can hang around after the race.”
Amesbury’s Jen Smolinski will race this year after serving as a volunteer the last two. She didn’t run two years ago because she was pregnant, and last year, she had a newborn.
“I’ve always wanted to run it, but I never had the chance,” Smolinski said. “It’s a good race. People with all different abilities do it, and the kids can do a fun run. My kids (ages 5, 3 and 21 months) always come with me and do the fun runs for the ribbons.”
Unlike the New Year’s Day Hangover Classic on Salisbury Beach, runners of the Frosty Knuckle 5K do not traditionally take the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean following the race.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that,” Smolinski said. “At the end, you come up the sand and go up a hill. The finish line is by Joe’s Playland. I can’t see someone turning around and going back down the hill to jump in the water.”