Three years of ICE Donkey Causes Ice Age(s)
Race Report by John Ford
Well to say that our participants are "timeless" is an understatement. Within the last three years we have seen racers participate in The Ice Donkey Winter Adventure ranging in age from 6 to 60 plus. This year was no exception with the young and the young at heart showing what Winnipeger's know... We laugh in the face of winter!
On February 12, 2012 our frosty friend, the ICE Donkey came out of hibernation yet again, not to look for a shadow but to race to the finish like all the fine competitors that braved a perfect winter day.
The Forks started to stir early and registration went smoothly with racers and volunteers alike bustling about in preparation for the days event.
With a layer of "breath-fog" in the chilly morning air Race Directors John & Rick gave last minute directions to the group of racers suited up in gortex & fleece. As they mounted their trustee "steads" commonly referred to as ice-bikes, it was all systems go when the words "ICE DONKEY 2012 IS UNDERWAY" blarred from the megaphone. The icy-peleton followed bike marshal Craig out hoots and hollers were heard from the excited racers as they left the start location.
Familiar and some new faces were barely recognizable under balaclavas and face warmers en route down the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail. As their journey continued on the ICE down the Red River to a hike-a-bike back on the pavement, some racers remembered race directors caution of "Slippery sections under bridges"... Others did not and went for a slide. As racers began to arrive cheered on by the happy smiling volunteers at TA1 to snowshoe, the race was on, to find the check-point punches. All cleared the snowshoe section flawlessly and raced back to the TA. Then it was back on the bike and back to the Forks for the newly added running section.
The run took participants down Winnipeg's great river pathway along the Assiniboine River, past landmarks such as the Legislative grounds, and followed trail paths into the gorgeous "Gates" community. At the turnaround runners were again cheered on by excited volunteers who's smiling faces warmed even the chilliest runner as they returned back to the next transition at The Forks.
What would a winter event be without skating on the world famous Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail?? Well racers "strapped on the blades and glided the length of the river trail and back to the finish area. As the first racers arrived, Rick and John were again blown away by not only how fast but the amazing spirit of every competitor as they crossed the finish line smiling from ear to ear!
The top finishers of the day were:
Men: 1. Alain Foidart 1:45 2. Rhett Turner 1:50 3. Michael Alperyn 2:01
Women: 1. Pam May 2:12:42 2. Amy Coates 2:15:37 3. Kinsley Wojnarski 2:40
Team: 1. Ice Honkeys 2:03 2. Cracked Oars 2:05 3. Hugh Jass Cicles 2:08
At the post race party and prizing the crowd gathered and recounted their favorite moments of the day and cheered on all the volunteers and top racers. Awesome prizes from Reliant Safety Solutions, City Park Runners, HOT 103, Wilderness Supply, Swamp Donkey and Recycle Everywhere. Check out all our great ICE Donkey Sponsors! The final racers (and the youngest!) racers arrived to a loud cheer by everyone in attendance to cap off an amazing event.
All racers, volunteers and supporters at the ICE Donkey were also the first to know about the "Dirty little secret" from Swamp Donkey organizers... Coming August 18th, 2012 the newest and biggest event is coming... The Dirty Donkey Mud Run! Imagine over 1000 of your friends covered in mud!!! What could be better than that?
Again thanks to all our great volunteers who faithfully come out and make these events possible. Without your enthusiasm and dedication we would just have a bunch of crazy racers running around not knowing where to go! Also thanks again to Kelly Morton Photography who did a great job capturing the spirit of the racers on their journey to "Do the Donkey"!! Check out all the amazing shots ICE Donkey Winter Adventure 2012 HERE
Check out the video slideshow of The 2012 ICE Donkey Winter Adventure on YouTube.
Also the "action cam" You Tube Video of Team Schnorchel-Schlauch Schinkenbrot's of the Ice Donkey Winter Adventure. They captured the trills... (and spills!) of this years race. The shots over the Esplanade Riel are incredible! Thanks for sharing! Video Credits: Tara Kenny