PG Iceman looking for volunteers




bill@pgdailynews.ca

Not everyone wants to compete in the gruelling winter competition that is the Prince George Iceman.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in the annual race that tests the mettle of about 400 local athletes.

You can volunteer to help with the 31st annual running of the Iceman February 11.

“We usually have more than 100 volunteers because we have more than 400 participants,” says Holly Christian, who is one of the volunteer coordinators. “We really have a variety of jobs that volunteers can participate in.”

For those not familiar with the Prince George Iceman, it involves an eight-kilometre cross-country ski at the Otway Nordic Centre, followed by a 10-kilometre run to the Prince George Ice Oval where a five-kilometre skate is in order, followed by another five-kilometre run and then an 800-metre swim at the Prince George Aquatic Centre.

Hearty competitors do the course solo, but most will be part of a team and will compete in only one or more legs of the journey. Last year Cam McNamara finished the gruelling course with a time of one hour, 55 minutes and 13 seconds.

Christian says volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs prior to and during the race. Crowd control volunteers will be needed at the Otway Nordic Ski Centre, the Prince George Ice Oval and at the Aquatic Centre. Route guides will be needed along the run routes along Foothills and through town.

“We do try to keep our participants safe by having people along the route to guide them where to go,” she says, adding there are two railway crossing and people are usually stationed there as well.

There are water stations along the route and volunteers are needed to man those stations.

And, of course, there are first aid stations so volunteers with Level 1 first aid certification are very welcome.

The night before the race, February 10, is when the registration occurs at the Civic Centre for the participants and the volunteers, so people are needed for that as well.

In addition, after the event there is an awards banquet and lunch at the Civic Centre, so help is needed there as well.

“Most of the jobs will be outside because it is an outdoor event,” she says. “So we want people who can be outside in the cold weather and who can be on their feet.”

Organizers will try to get volunteers into jobs they want to do do.

“If people are volunteering, we hope that people are open to any position because we can’t always put them in the position that they would desire to go to,” she says. “But we will do our best to find a good fit for them. The volunteers really are the backbone of an event like this.”

Most of the volunteer positions will start around 10 a.m. when the race starts on February 11. The banquet starts around 2 p.m. High-vis vests will be supplied for volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer you can leave a comment on the Prince George iceman Facebook page or e-mail Christian at hollye.christian@gmail.com

You can also check out their website at: www.pgiceman.ca