A friend of mine who lives in Atlanta asks me these questions every winter (especially when we're getting blitzed with snow, ice, and/or subzero temperatures): "How do you people live like that? And, why do you live like that?"

I usually reply that we Midwesterners are a hardy folk, not bothered in the slightest by Mother Nature's annual temper-tantrums, impervious to even the worst she can throw at us. Granted, only half of that statement is true, but what does he know?

Whatever your reason for staying in the Rockford area (or the Midwest in general) and enduring our winters, at least we can say that there's always something going on that involves taking on the elements for some outdoor fun.

One elements-battling event that I was unaware of is the Abominable Snow Race at the Grand Geneva Ski Resort.

Our friend Michael Koolidge (host of the Michael Koolidge Show) joined us on the WROK Morning Show this morning, and during our conversation, he mentioned that he and his wife were heading up to Lake Geneva tomorrow to take part in the Abominable Snow Race. We quickly looked up info on the event, and it looks to be really cool.

Here's what goes on (according to the Abominable Snow Race website):

THE ABOMINABLE SNOW RACE IS THE MID-WEST'S PREMIER WINTER OBSTACLE RACE. NO SKIS, NO DOGS, NO SLEDS. THIS RACE IS JUST YOU, 3-5 MILES OF SNOWY COURSE, 20+ OBSTACLES, AND THE ABOMINABLE WEATHER.  BUT KNOW THAT YOUR REWARD IS GREAT... AFTER YOU DOMINATE THE COURSE, HEAD INTO THE YETI'S LODGE AND GRAB A CRAFT BREW, CHILL BY THE FIRE PIT, CHOW DOWN ON TASTY EATS, CHEER ON YOUR FELLOW RACER'S, ENJOY LIVE MUSIC, DANCE WITH NEW FRIENDS, TAKE PICS WITH YETI, AND SCORE GREAT DEALS WITH ON-SITE SPONSORS.

You know, of course, when something is written entirely upper-case, it's gotta be fun! Michael Koolidge, having participated in the Abominable Snow Race in previous years, told us that while being really fun, it's also really, really tough:

So, in getting back to my friend's question on why we stay here in the Midwest and tolerate the winters that we tolerate, it's because of great "brave the elements for some fun" events like this one. That, and the fact that no one has offered any of us a job in the sunbelt.

Good luck Michael Koolidge, we're all counting on you.