Despite whipping winds and the occasional snow squall, 400 determined runners started the Hypothermic Half Marathon at Fort Calgary on February 9.
The Running Room Hypothermic Half Marathon is held annually in cities across Canada, and here in Calgary, race organizers sure got the ‘hypothermic’ part right. Race day marked a definite return to winter after a week of tracksuit-friendly Chinooks, but that didn't faze the brightly clad runners, many of whom compete every year in the charitable fundraiser. “We ran into a bit of a blizzard on the way out and then the wind picked up and the temperature dropped on the way back,” said one justifiably triumphant finisher. It was pretty cold.” “But we had the wind at our backs, so that was fine,” declared another, simultaneously sweating and shivering.
At the bright orange start/finish gate beside the big buffalo statue in Fort Calgary, volunteers braved blustery conditions for the duration of both the Early Bird morning and the Sleepy Head afternoon runs. “We lost one of our tents in the wind!” one volunteer gleefully reported. With welcoming smiles and rosy cheeks, they cheered on finishers, clocked official times, snapped victory photos and draped medals around chilly-sweaty necks.
As participants headed inside Fort Calgary to warm up and refuel with a hearty post-race brunch, a jovial Fort Calgary volunteer opened the door wide for each and every runner. “So you don't have to stop running!” she quipped.
The charitable proceeds from this year’s sold out Calgary races benefit our neighbours at Fort Calgary. Everybody wins this one!