BY BILL PHILLIPS
Liz Bennett took part in her first Prince George Iceman was she was just eight years old.
Now she’s helping organize the annual event which will be holding its 31st running in February.
“I love it, it’s so unique to Prince George,” says Bennett, who is handling social media and sponsorships for the event. “In the world there isn’t another event that’s a multi-sport event in the winter.”
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.
Like most events, it needs sponsors and the Brink Group of Companies has stepped up, committing $3,000 to become a platinum sponsor.
“It’s huge,” Bennett says of the sponsorship. “Getting to sponsors to come in at a large dollar amount allows the event to occur. We need that budget.”
That sentiment is echoed by Iceman treasurer Jane Newman. She says the Iceman has changed over the past five years or so in that five schools have become involved and there are more youth teams.
They pay less in fees for the event which takes about $25,000 to host.
“It’s so nice to see the young people involved,” says Neman. “It’s a good thing, but it means the sponsorship is really important to help us subsidize the school and youth program.”
In addition, the Iceman gives back to the groups whose facilities it uses. It donates to the Caledonia Ski Club, the ski patrol, to the Prince George Barracudas, the Ice Oval Society and St. John’s Ambulance.
For Brink, donating to the Iceman was fit for his company.
“It’s another form of fitness,” says Brink, who is a competitive bodybuilder. “The group that they have here is unique. The Iceman has been, for quite a number of years, been a major event and we thought we should sponsor that.”
The 31st annual Prince George Iceman is set to go on Sunday, February 11. If you register, as a team or solo, before January 12, 2018, there is an early bird rate.
You can register online here.