BY BILL PHILLIPS
If you’re in your 60s, or even if you’re pushing 70, and thinking the Prince George Iceman is a young person’s event, Surjit Minhas has some news for you.
“I encourage all people, especially those who are my age, I’m going to be 70 … all those guys who are above 60, just come out and get involved,” he says. “It’s healthy for you and it’s good for the community.”
On February 10, Minhas will be competing in his second Prince George Iceman. His first was just last year. He will be competing as part of a five-person team and Minhas will be running the five-kilometre leg of the event, which 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.
Minhas works out five days a week at the Northern Sport Centre, so the five-kilometre run will be in his wheelhouse. He did the 600 Lap Challenge this year as well, completing the requisite number of laps around the track at the Northern Sport Centre in eight days.
“That’s about 150 kilometres,” he says.
It was through a friend, who is also well known for his fitness, and his desire to help the community, that Minhas decided to compete.
“I always like to get involved in community events,” he says. “One of my friends, Scott McWalter, is always involved and he inspired me to get involved in this. We hope to inspire other people to get out in the winter time and get healthy.”
Running outdoors at this time of year does present some challenges and Minhas had some trepidation the first time out.
“I wondered how I was going to do because I never run outside (in the winter),” he says. “It was a little bit scary at first, but once you get going it isn’t too bad.”
In addition to having some fun, and being healthy, the event is also a way to give back.
“Giving back to the community is the whole purpose for the event,” he says. “Lots of families get involved. It’s very exciting. I enjoy it.”
The 32nd annual Prince George Iceman is set to go February 10. If you’re looking to compete in the event, or volunteer, the best way to get involved is through their website: