Jacqui Benson dislikes the spotlight but it didn't stop her from shining during the 26th annual Prince George Iceman.
After four previous solo attempts at the Iceman - a ski, 10-kilometre run, skate, five-km run and a swim - Benson captured her first women's overall title Sunday edging out longtime race partner Shar Balogh (formerly Jackson). Benson finished the course in one hour, 57 minutes and 53 seconds (1:57.53) while Balogh was right behind in 1:58.30.
The 30-year-old first-time Iceman champion showed her quickness by dashing out the door of the Prince George Civic Centre after the Iceman banquet wrapped up before anyone could catch her to congratulate her on the achievement.
Balogh also prefers running to talking but was a bit slower than Benson on the weekend and was unable to dodge the well-wishers.
"It was a great race," said Balogh. "It was a lot of fun and both of us did our best."
Third place in the women's open category went to Emma Balazs (2:10.38) while 2012 Iceman overall winner Anita O'Brien (2:15.37) was sixth in the women's open and seventh overall. Balazs was fourth overall.
In 2012 Benson and Balogh teamed up to complete the Iceman course as a duo in the relay.
Carolyn Bax won the women's masters division in 2:05.57 and was third in the women's overall standings.
There were 59 soloists in 2013 who completed the eight km ski, 12-lap skate, 800 metre swim and two running events from the Otway Nordic Ski Centre down Foothills Blvd., to the Ice Oval and through the Pinewood subdivision before ending at the Aquatic Centre.
There were also 82 relay teams taking part in the 26th Iceman, including Special Olympic athletes, several teams from Harwin elementary school - Harwin Frozen Warriors - and the only thing more creative than some of the team names (The Newly-Wed & The Nearly-Deads) where the various costumes competitors wore from Super heroes to tutus to whips these were only a few of the apparatus that could be viewed around the course.
Mike Smith, two-time men's overall Iceman winner in 2012 and 2013, said part of the fun about the Iceman is the characters around Prince George that get up on a Sunday morning every February to take part.
"It is a really cool sort of group that does the race," said Smith. "It is nice that you don't have to be super competitive. You can really take it at your own pace and have a good time with it. It's a fantastic community event. It brings lots of people together and there's a lot of really nice social connections that are made."