Fort St John was host for the 2007 Northern BC Winter Games. Over 1100 athletes gathered from communities across the north, and twenty sports were featured. Tumbler Ridge was represented by five athletes in road racing, who all did their community proud and delivered some outstanding performances.
All five have been training for this event throughout the long winter. Conditions were challenging, with temperatures of minus 20 degrees, and a slippery snow surface in the cross-country sections.
There is a crop of excellent young female runners in Tumbler Ridge. Three of them entered the 2 km race in the Girls 10-13 category, and all ran strongly. Carina Helm claimed the gold medal in 9-22, Crystal Fry got silver in 9-59, and Natalie Sharman was just edged out of the medals into 4th position in 10-29.
In the 2 km event for boys aged 10-13 Tyler Schlief reiterated his mastery by grabbing gold in 9-04. And in the Masters 10 km event, in a brutally tense final lap Charles Helm managed to kick into second place for the silver medal in a time of 45-06.
Coinciding with the Games a Level 2 course in training young runners in distance running was held at the Northern Lights College in Fort St John. Linda Helm and Sandra Schlief were able to attend it, and they will be able to use these skills to good effect in the track and field coaching program this summer.
The community of Fort St John and the organizers of the road race did a great job, and the volunteers were superb, making for an exciting and fulfilling weekend.