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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Runners begin the fourth annual Frozen Toes 15K trail run Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at Kessler Mountain Regional Park in Fayetteville. The race is organized by the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department and kicks off the Fayetteville Race Series.

The 2021 Frozen Toes 5K/15K trail run at Kessler Mountain Regional Park in Fayetteville will give runners the option of participating in the in-person Frozen Toes Race beginning at 9 a.m. Jan. 23 or the Frozen Toes DIY Challenge Jan. 24-31. Organizers say the challenge option "entails completing the 5K or 15K on the marked course at Kessler Mountain any time during the week of the challenge."

The in-person race will be limited to 200 runners with staggered start times of groups of 15 to help maintain social distancing. "The virtual challenge is a great option that we want to see more people sign up for, " says Tiffany Hoover, Fayetteville Parks and Recreation assistant recreation superintendent.

The single-track trails of Mount Kessler are technical in most areas, "but the views are worth every step of the course" and participants are encouraged to "take a break from the pavement and give trail-running a try." Technical trails include "rocky, rooty sections and steep climbs," says Hoover.

Both options include a participant goody bag, featuring the "infamous Frozen Toes Socks" -- instead of a typical race t-shirt -- and the finisher medal.

The race will include overall and age group awards, but the challenge will not feature awards. Both options will require runners to be self-sufficient (meaning no on course water stations).

Updated maps for 2021 will be posted Jan. 8.

Next up, Hoover says the annual Square to Square bike ride event is set for May 1 and will also include in-person and virtual options.

-- CARIN SCHOPPMEYER

[email protected]

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Frozen Toes 5K/15K Run and Challenge

Who: Kessler Mountain Regional Park

What: Trail race or DIY challenge

When: Race at 9 a.m. Jan. 23; Challenge Jan. 24-31

Where: The park in Fayeteville

Registration: $30

Information: (479) 444-3471 or [email protected]

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