Clad in bathing suits, swimming trunks and, for one woman, a protective layer of bubble wrap, Snowshoe guests and locals sprint into the 42 degree water as a part of the resort's annual Polar Plunge. Photo courtesy of David Moore.
Clad in bathing suits, swimming trunks and, for one woman, a protective layer of bubble wrap, Snowshoe guests and locals sprint into the 42 degree water as a part of the resort’s annual Polar Plunge. Photo courtesy of David Moore.

Cailey Moore
Staff Writer

The beginning of a new year is a time of change. Goals are set and resolutions are made with the hope of bettering one’s mind, body and soul, and for those at the top of Snowshoe Mountain, the Resolution 5K Run was a perfect start.

Advertised as two resolutions in one, the January 2 run encouraged participants to be more active and to give back to Snowshoe’s community by donating a suggested minimum of $5 to the Snowshoe Foundation.

A relatively last minute event, the 5K drew several adults and children with one participant, Trevor Albert, of Virginia, joining the race right at the start.

According to Youth Programs Manager Sean Leyh, the Resolution 5K’s course – described as rocky and tough at times, but great amongst the runners – began next to Shavers Center and led runners along Powerpuff Trail – one of Snowshoe’s back country trails – to Shaver’s Lake Road. Following the road down to the lake, the runners finished next to the beach.

“We needed something else for people to do,” Competitive Event Supervisor Andy Nall said. “We [Leyh and Nall] came up with this about two weeks ago. It was very short notice, but we’re actually looking to do this same course again in May. Same thing for the Snowshoe Foundation, but more publicized, more put to it, and hopefully with a bigger turnout.”

Of the men, Albert came in first with a time of 30:48, Robert Mang, of Washington, D.C. came in second with a time of 35:45, and local Sam Gibson came in third with a time of 45:42.

Cora Hedrick, of Marlinton, came in first in the women’s division with a time of 37:03, followed by Matti Johnston, of Morgantown, in second with a time 42:02. Adrienne Goff, also of Morgantown, rounded out the top three with a time of 47:46.

Christian Deiss, of Scott Depot, placed first in the boys’ division – and came in third overall – with a time of 36:53, while Alan Gibson took second with a time of 58:10.

Of the girls, Ashley Beasley, of Hurricane, came in first with a time of 42:55.

First through third place each received a medal and an assortment of other prizes – ranging from goggles, hats and gloves to coozies and T-shirts.

Immediately following the Resolution Run, guests, homeowners and runners geared up – or stripped down – in anticipation of the day’s second event – the Polar Plunge.

Polar Plunges are held each winter, with participants diving into cold lakes, oceans, and rivers to raise money for charity.

Lining the beach at Shaver’s Lake, participants – dressed in everything from traditional bathing suits to bubble wrap – sprinted into the 42 degree lake, where they ran, walked or swam to the end of the lake’s dock and back.

All proceeds from the Resolution 5K and the Polar Plunge were donated to the Snowshoe Foundation.

Established in 2003, the Snowshoe Foundation has since dedicated itself financially to the support of communities within Pocahontas, Randolph and Webster counties.

Organizations concentrating on the arts, culture, education, environment, health, human services and recreation, receive support from the Snowshoe Foundation in the form of cash grants. Funding from each grant may be used toward capital assets – such as construction, equipment and supplies – as well as programs. However, the grant cannot be used to pay salaries.

In addition to grants, the Snowshoe Foundation supports communities and those interested in pursuing higher education by awarding Snowshoe Foundation Higher Education Scholarships each year. Undergraduate scholarships of up to $3,000 are awarded based on merit, individual accomplishments and evidence of leadership and may be used toward books, housing and tuition.

October is the deadline for grant applications, while scholarship applications need to be in by March.

A lack of snow didn’t shut down the mountain, and to help pass the time during December’s stretch of warm weather, Snowshoe Mountain celebrated the “Dog Days of December” from December 21 through January 3. During this time, guests were invited to take part in guided hikes and bike tours cross county, take a ride down the zipline and utilize the Raven Golf Course and its practice facility for golf and disc golf.