After days of mild temperatures, blustery weather dropped a layer of snow on Ottawa yesterday morning, making the Winterman races live up to their name.
But Ottawa-area residents — and winter runners in general — are a tough bunch, and were unfazed by the cold.
“It was great weather for it,” enthused Carp resident Carol Malcolm, who ran the 5K. “I had a blast.”
In its second year, Canada’s only winter marathon — and a Boston Qualifier to boot — is already a huge success, said race director Lawrence Conway, with Ottawa-based Search and Rescue Global 1.
This year’s event brought in over 1,000 people for the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, 3K and relay events, despite landing on the same weekend as the Gatineau Loppet.
The race is the primary fundraiser for Search and Rescue Global 1, which has about 100 members serving eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
The completely self-funded team provides search and rescue services to local police authorities.
“Our members have advanced outdoor skills and (police) can send us into the woods to look for a missing person,” he said.
There have only been two occasions when the group, which was founded in 1996, has not found their subject.
And while the group, which deploys up to a dozen times a year, sees lots of happy conclusions, there are sad cases as well. “The hardest cases are when the person goes missing and you never find anything,” Conway said.