Five reasons to sign up for the Brainsport Brainfreeze

Registration is open for the 12th annual Brainsport Brainfreeze, which takes place snow or shine on March 1. This event, which features five-kilometre, 10-kilometre and half marathon races, is the main fundraiser for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies cross-country team.

Here are five reasons you should sign up:

1. The event is a huge boost for the Huskies

The Brainfreeze has capacity for 400 runners and, if it sells out, could bring in more than $10,000 for the Huskies cross country team.

Runners at the 2019 Brainsport Brainfreeze. Photos by Louis Christ

Race Director Taryn Heidecker says the race is so important because the Huskie cross country team struggles to fundraise like some of the more spectator-friendly university sports that charge people to watch games. Money raised from the Brainfreeze goes toward scholarships, team travel, training camps and program development.

The cost of registration for each distance is $75, which includes an ArroWhere vest.

2. There are lots of photo opportunities with special guests

Howler the Huskie mascot is expected to be at the event and available for photos before and after the race, which should start and finish beside Jake, the giant inflatable Huskie. Speedy Huskies athletes in treat-themed costumes — including a popsicle — will also be running in the event.

3. The racers are very friendly

Heidecker has volunteered with the Brainfreeze for several years and the thing he loves most about the event is the atmosphere.

“I really enjoy being out on the course on race day because, no matter the weather, there is always a large proportion of the participants who are happy to wave back and thank us for being there,” he says. “I think that says something about the road racing culture in Saskatoon, but also the camaraderie around this event (possibly due to the weather).”

4. Even if it snows, the race crew will try to make sure the route is clear

The Brainfreeze has never been cancelled or rescheduled due to weather. Some years the weather is perfect, but last year the windchill was -33C when the race started and, in previous years, race volunteers have had to deal with dumps of snow on race day.

“This event always seems to throw an environmental element of some kind at our participants,” Heidecker said. “I’m not sure how many people that ends up scaring away, but I think that any road racer who has done the Brainfreeze will tell you it’s all part of the fun of our event.”

Heidecker remembers a year when what seemed to be a foot of snow fell the day before the race. Volunteers went out with shovels the morning of the event to clear paths.

“The racecourse crew has been quite proactive at limiting hazards along the course, and every year we review our list of places along the course which will likely require some salt and sand,” Heidecker said.

All race distances start and end at Brainsport.

5. The post-race goodies are going to be delicious

Race volunteers will be baking all the post-race snacks. The race committee wants to thank Saskatoon Co-op for in-kind donations that will allow volunteers to whip up a wide variety of tasty treats.

For more information and to register go online.