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Frostbite 55 returns with new distance and record turnout

In past years, you’ve probably heard of the Frostbite 50.

This year, organizers decided to add an extra five kilometres to the course just to make things interesting.

The Frostbite 55, hosted by the Yellowknife Multisport Club, took place this past Saturday with a refreshed course and a record 112 participants.

“The is an annual event where we try and encourage people in Yellowknife to challenge themselves, get themselves out on the area surrounding Yellowknife and explore some of the lesser-known trails,” said Ben Linaker, one of the event’s organizers. We’ve revitalized it, encouraging veterans and newcomers alike to sign up and embrace the challenge.”

Racers began at the ski club with the course taking them along the club’s trails, then following ungroomed snowmobile trails to Yellowknife Bay, Walsh Lake, Hay Lake, Duck Lake, around Dettah, back across Yellowknife Bay and back to the finish line at the ski club.

Mike Argue was first solo male across the finish line in a time of four hours and one minute, while Shauna Morgan was the first solo female finisher in five hours and 33 minutes. The first team to finish was Like Mother, Like Daughter in five hours and 58 minutes

The Frostbite 55 is not without its challenges — Linaker mentioned that in previous years, racers have faced winds of up to 50 km/h and temperatures as low as -30 C. However, this year’s forecast featured near-perfect conditions for the event with a high of -9 C at the start time of 9 a.m..

Mike Lee, president of the multisport club, said the the event, which has been running for over a decade, is a staple of the annual schedule and has been instrumental in bringing the community together, especially after last year’s evacuation due to wildfire.

“Historically it was the Frostbite 40, then to Frostbite 50, and now it’s the Frostbite 55,” he said.

Lee said that the collaboration with the ski club has been pivotal, with the club donating the use of their chalet and helping to cross-promote events.

First-time participant Stacia Kean, who was part of the Javarunners team, said she couldn’t wait for the race to start..

“I’m so excited. I woke up early. It’s such a good vibe and community of people out here cheering everyone on,” Kean said.

Part of the Javarunners group, Kean and her teammates were set to snowshoe and run for the race. Despite it being her debut, Keane was optimistic about the challenge that faced her.

“I think my expectation is there’s going to be some difficult parts, but I think it’s going to be really rewarding,” she added, highlighting the community spirit that makes the event so special.

About the Author: Kaicheng Xin

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