Frigid temperatures don’t deter Brainfreeze competitors

When Bob Myers registered for the Brainsport Brainfreeze on the first day that registration opened, he never imagined how cold it would be on race day.

Bob Myers at the Brainsport Brainfreeze. Photo: Louis Christ.

Myers, 42, is from North Carolina, where it doesn’t get much below 0C in the winter.

He, his wife and another couple travelled to Saskatchewan in early March in an effort to see the northern lights. They planned to fly into Saskatoon, then travel north to Sturgeon Lake. Their time in the Bridge City coincided with the Brainsport Brainfreeze on March 3 and one of Myers travelling companions, an avid runner, signed up and encouraged Myers and his wife to do the same.

When the race started, there was a windchill of -33C.

“Being from North Carolina that was the coldest temperature I had ever personally experienced,” Myers said.

He wore almost every stitch of clothing he had packed for the trip.

“By the time I got back to the store I was way overdressed and sweating quite profusely,” said Myers, who ran the five-kilometre race.

“I felt really, in a lot of ways, that it was easier to run in that than it is sometimes in summer in North Carolina … Once I got going it was fine. Different, but fine.”

Following the race, Myers warmed up, drove north and saw the northern lights on a brilliantly clear night.

Myers was one of 301 people who registered to race this year’s Brainsport Brainfreeze, which is the only fundraiser for the University of Saskatchewan’s cross-country team.

It’s not yet clear how much money the event raised for the team.

Brainsport Brainfreeze by the numbers

247: Racers who braved frigid temperatures to compete in the five-kilometre, 10-kilometre or half-marathon

120: Racers in the 10-kilometre event, the most popular distance

-19C: Temperature on race morning

34 kilometres per hour: Wind speed on race morning

-33C: Windchill on race morning

1:24:45: How long it took Danny Halpin to win the men’s half marathon

1:32:42: How long it took Katie Bennett to win the women’s half marathon