“It was us and an ocean of ice.”

Three people have completed an ice road marathon in the Northwest Territories, raising funds for nutrition programs in northern communities.

Steve Thomas, Megan Rodel and Marc Lincoln completed the marathon along 42 kilometres of the ice road leading to the Gahcho Kué diamond mine.

“We were very fortunate. It was a bright, sunny, albeit cold day and we had the wind at our backs, with beautiful, pristine land around us,” said Thomas.

The chief financial officer of diamond mining giant De Beers Canada, Thomas was completing his second ice road marathon in a month, having previously taken on a similar run in northern Ontario.

“This was the second-loneliest marathon ever,” joked Thomas, who ran his first ice road marathon alone. “I was very pleased to have Megan and Marc in support.”

Asked where his sudden passion for long-distance ice-road running had come from, he replied: “I had a big birthday recently. Maybe I can put some of it down to a mid-life crisis.”

Thomas and Snap Lake mine employee Rodel ran the 42-kilometre route; Lincoln, who also works at Snap Lake, completed it by bike.

Marathon runners

Left-right: Steve Thomas, Marc Lincoln and Megan Rodel at the start of the ice road.

“We had a little snow on the ground so the traction wasn’t that bad, and we had a support vehicle driving ahead of us to make tracks,” said Rodel of her first ice road marathon.

What did she learn from her debut in these conditions?

“Basically, a change of clothes is positive,” she laughed. “We changed our clothes at about 25 kilometres. It’s nice to get out of the wet clothes and into something dry, you almost immediately feel better.

“A change of clothes at the end was also really, really great.

“It’s more in your mind than anything else. Keeping your mind focused on your surroundings, why you’re doing it, and putting one foot in front of the other.”

As of Tuesday, the trio’s marathon exploits had raised $14,749 for the Food First Foundation in the NWT.

The foundation runs nutrition programs in northern communities, where the cost and availability of food can be prohibitive.

“It’s obviously a very big concern for us,” Thomas told Moose FM.

“The notion that any child goes to school hungry is obviously something we don’t like the thought of, and we’ll do whatever we can to help.”