Juniors Frances Wiese and Emma Peters brave last week’s sub-zero tem­per­a­tures. Christian Yiu | Col­legian

Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics Charles Steele went for a six and a half mile run last Wednesday in minus 13 degree weather, saying it “wasn’t even close to the coldest weather I’ve run in and I didn’t find it par­tic­u­larly chal­lenging.”

Despite warnings from the college admin­is­tration about last week’s cold weather, several stu­dents and faculty members, including Steele, were not deterred from outdoor recre­ation and exercise.

Steele said he’s training for a 100-mile run in Sep­tember. Nor­mally he runs only five miles on Wednesdays, but the can­cel­lation last Wednesday allowed him to run longer. The tem­per­ature was not a problem at all, he said.

“To me, these were not very dif­ficult con­di­tions,” Steele said in an email. “I have done several 20 mile runs in tem­per­a­tures around minus 20 degrees … I’ve developed various tech­niques and strategies for running in subzero, and it’s pos­sible to do this com­fortably.”

Calling the idea of wind­chill “hokum pushed by the media for drama’s sake,” Steele said he was sur­prised at how fearful people were over subzero tem­per­a­tures.

“I think too many people allow them­selves to be whipped into fear over weather. The news media needs drama to sell, and so tries por­traying every­thing as an exis­tential threat,” Steele said. “Pfft. Some of my most beau­tiful expe­ri­ences of the natural world have been in subzero tem­per­a­tures.”

Steele said his coldest run was in minus 29 degrees Fahrenheit, and he actually prefers running in the cold.

“Extreme cold brings extreme beauty, and I’d miss it if I stayed home whim­pering,” Steele said. “So I embrace it.”

Several cross-country ath­letes trained last week as well. Senior Allysen Eads described last week as “crazy,” saying they wore mul­tiple layers — two layers of leg­gings, three sweat­shirts, and two pairs of gloves.

“We braved the cold and our eyelids froze shut and my team­mates and I would peri­od­i­cally exhale on each others’ eyes to unfreeze them,” Eads said. “At the end, our eye­lashes were frosty and our eye­brows looked gray.”

At least one student expe­ri­enced the dan­gerous effects of the cold. Freshman Soren Moody went to the hos­pital last Tuesday morning after getting frostbite on his feet. Moody said he and some other stu­dents had been playing “Thatcherball” Monday night, in which points are based on the amount of clothing a player is not wearing.

“I just decided, ‘Hey, it would be a good idea to take off my boots and go barefoot,’” Moody said. “I’m faster, I’m more agile, great all around.”

Moody said he didn’t feel any­thing, and what made him go inside was not his frozen feet but the sight of his hands getting frostbite and turning dif­ferent colors. He noticed the state of his feet only when he was trying to warm them by the fire in Grewcock Student Union. By morning, his feet were still in pain, so he asked his roommate, freshman Jon-Luke Hawk, to drive him to the hos­pital.

Hawk said once he got a call from Moody, he imme­di­ately got his car out of the snow and drove Moody to the emer­gency room.

“I was happy to help him,” Hawk said in an email. “I mean, what are friends for if not to look out for each other?”

After waiting 30 minutes, a nurse came in for a quick look.

“The nurse pro­ceeded to explain that frostbite and burns are cat­e­go­rized in much the same way, three levels of danger. Soren was lucky enough to only have the first level, called, ‘frostnip,’” Hawk said.

Moody said he would not do it over again if he could.

“I was lucky, stupid, and frost­bitten,” Moody said. “I think the other team won. So it wasn’t even worth it.”