Boisterous Crowds Cheer on Iceman Competitors
Prince George, B.C. – No matter what level of competition you participate at there is not much that compares to having someone cheer you on.
And that support was something that really stood out at every venue included in this year’s 30th Annual Prince George Iceman. There was a huge crowd on hand for the opening freestyle ski event at the Otway Nordic Centre. And supporters lined various spots of the two km run courses, hollering out the names of their athletes and shouting words of encouragement.
The same was true at the Outdoor Ice Oval where competitors donned their blades for a 5 km (adults) and 3 km (Juniors) skate that was even tougher than it may sound. If you were skating north on the oval it was clear sailing but once you rounded that western bend to head south, there it was (photo below), a blast of wind that was clocked at 40 km/h gusting to 60 km/h blowing straight into the athletes’ faces and forcing greater exertion to make the next bend.
But the cheers from the crowd egged the skaters on, as they did when the final leg of the Iceman, the 800 metre (adults) and 400 m (Juniors) swim, presented itself at the Aquatic Centre.
A total of 511 athletes competed in the Iceman. The were 48 solo competitors (21 female, 27 male), 70 Adult teams and 33 Junior teams including 19 school teams.
The oldest competitor was 75-year-old Mike Warr and the oldest soloist was 60-year-old Scott Forrest. At 18-years-old Mathew Ebert was the youngest soloist and, as far as the youngest competitor goes, the age was 10-years and there were a whole bunch of them.
For the first time in four years the weather co-operated enough that all of the events of the 30th Prince George Iceman competition could take place.
And one other valuable bit of information: there were over 100 volunteers who devoted their time and energy to make the event run.