There were over 100 runners who took part in this year’s Midnight Sun Fun Run activities on June 22, where 18 of the participants tried out the event’s latest addition: a sprint triathlon.
Steve Krug, the recreation programmer with the Town of Inuvik and Midnight Sun Fun Run organizer, said that a growing community interest over a triathlon helped spark the implementation of the event.
“It was definitely a learning experience for myself. I totally appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while we worked through some of the logistics of it,” said Krug. “The support too. The participants were really gracious.”
Those who participated in the sprint triathlon swam 750 metres at the Midnight Sun Complex’s pool before heading outside and embarking on a 20 kilometre bike ride and a 5 kilometre run.
Triathlon participant Bogdan Stanciu ran in the 10 kilometre event last year, and said that he wanted to try out this year’s triathlon because he liked the idea of it.
“A triathlon is something that I always wanted to do. I was never in good shape to do one, but it doesn’t matter here because it’s just for fun,” said Stanciu.
It took him around two hours to complete the entire event, with the swim being the most challenging component for him.
“It was definitely an exercise in mental fortitude. I’m glad I did it, because now I don’t have to do it again,” he said.
He described the final 5 kilometre run as “a bit of a nightmare.”
“I was exhausted. I was suffering, but I knew that it would be over soon,” he said.
For next year’s sprint triathlon, Krug said that there might be a chance that the event will happen on a seperate date.
“Probably a day before the summer solstice or on it, depending on the calendar,” said Krug. “The family 5 kilometre, 10 kilometre and half marathon will happen the next day.”
Like most years, he said that the 5 kilometre run was the biggest draw, followed by the 10 kilometre run and the half marathon.
“The 5 kilometre run is a lot of family and non-competitive participants entering…10 kilometre is more fitness oriented, or they’re looking to challenge themselves more,” said Krug. “The half marathon is one of the more challenging events. It’s 21 and a half kilometres, so it’s pretty hardcore.”
Everyone who participated in a race was rewarded with a participatory medal upon their completion.
“The word ‘fun’ in the Midnight Sun Fun Run is to remove the competitive aspect. The fun is right in the title to let people know that it’s just for fun,” said Krug. “So if you’re a mom with a baby, or you’re a senior or someone with a disability – it’s inclusive for anyone that can participate.”
He added that seeing individuals from all walks of life join in on the fun is one of his favourite parts about the event.
“Whether they’re competing against themselves or some friendly competition between friends, or even just the non-competing people who participate – just to be out and in a community event is really quite rewarding. It’s really nice to see,” he said.