UPDATE Mar. 7:
Team Force of Fire was one of the five Vanderhoof groups placed top four within their division in the 29th Annual Prince George Iceman on Feb. 14.
First in the junior girls relay division, the team is composed of (from left) Nicole McBride (skate), Madisyn MacKinlay (swim), Bridget Borek (run), Alexis Seely (run), as well as (missing from picture) Kyla Vanwerkhoven (ski) and Alyssa Koenig (run).
Team Scrats came fourth out of 27 teams in the junior mixed category, and is consisted of all grade 5 students (aged 10/11) , except Cody who is 12 and in Grade 6: Ailis McCleary (run) Niki MacKinlay (swim) Ryan Walker(run), Liam Tone (ski) Hayden Zacharias (skate) and Cody Vanwerkhoven (run).
Skiing, swimming, or running — skating was cancelled due to warm weather — four Vanderhoof teams placed top three within their division in the 29th Annual Prince George Iceman on Feb. 14.
Team Ice Cream — comprised of (left to right) Charlie Borek, Hans Erasmus, Morgon Bennison, Matthew Ebert, and Sara McBride — won gold out of 50 teams in the relay open mixed division and sixth in the entire event, out of 115 teams.
Team Icecraft — with Logan Sewell, Connor Ebert, Kieran Hanson, Zach Whitecotton, (missing in photo) Elliot Tone, and Jack Hanson — placed second in the junior boys really division and was fifth overall.
Team Force of Fire placed first in the junior girls relay division and team Jet Lagged placed third in the relay open women division.
It’s the first time for team Ice Cream to compete together, though Hans Erasmus coaches his teammates in cross-country skiing and biathlon, said Erasmus, who skied in the event.
“It was warm out…the trails were great, nice, hard packed, fast,” he said. “Great team environment, great team building.”
It was his second Iceman race, though he last participated in the event in 2000.
“The kids asked if I would ski, and I say yes,” Erasmus said. “I got to compete with them and that was really cool.
For Sarah McBride, who participated in two Iceman races in the past, it’s the first time that the athlete raced in the event as a swimmer.
“I enjoyed the whole team part,” McBride said. “I like the atmosphere of doing an individual sport but doing it as a team, cheering each other on.”
For Zach Whitecotton in team Icecraft, who participated in the event last year with some of same team members, the conditions were icy and hectic, with more attention in ice reading, he said.
“Our team pulled together really good this year,” Whitecotton said. “Everyone did their hardest.”
Also placing second in the division last year, he learned to recover faster when he was pushed off track by other competitors during a mass start.
“Tried to get out in front as soon as you can, so you don’t need to worry about that many people,” he said.
Speed skating coach Vince Terstappen was the sole solo participant from Vanderhoof this year, and it was the first race of his Iceman career as well.
It was a goal set last fall for exercising during the winter season, including a training calendar that “stares from the fridge,” he said.
“I really like multi-sport events,” said Terstappen, who participated in triathlons in the past. “Physical activity is easier when there’s an end result in mind.”
With skating, his forte, cancelled this year, Terstappen will compete in Iceman again, he said. In preparation, he learned to cross-country ski this season.
“I felt very well supported by the community when they heard that I’ll be participating,” he said. “People who lend me equipment and cheering me on, encouraging in training. I think it’s uniquely a really Vanderhoof thing.”