BY CAIT MACPHAIL
On day five, that particular Tuesday in mid-February must have felt like tropical relief - at least in temperature.
The players who were approaching the halfway point of the event said the rain falling around them didn't do any favours for the playing conditions. The ice softens, the skates drag through the fresh layer of water that won't freeze, the knees start to work overtime - overtime being the operative word, as these skaters have to work in shifts according to the guidelines set out by the Guinness Book of World Records.
In the first four days of the marathon fundraiser, temperatures on Dr. Brent Saik's property just east of Edmonton had not risen above -15 degrees Celsius, and in the dead of night that number had fallen, at points, to a bone-chilling 40 degrees below zero with wind chill.
But the frigid cold is something that can be combatted when you know what to expect and how to prepare. With several of the skaters participating for the fourth, fifth or even sixth time, their wily vet status has them ready for anything the Albertan winter might throw their way. The experienced skaters are quick to send their list of must-haves when a player signs up for the first time.
Despite what the sudden temperature twist did for conditions that particular day, the group of 40 players welcomed a balmy two degrees Celsius as they attempted, for the sixth time, to break the record for the World's Longest Hockey Game - all in support of cancer research.
The pace the teams skate is slow and labored. It has to be.
But that pace does not emulate the urgency the group feels for the cause. It will take over 10 days, and over 250 hours, this go-around to break the official Guinness World Record, but it's a blink in time to people who have witnessed countless family members and friends suffer through months and even years of chemo treatments, radiation therapy, pain, recovery and more.
It's an inspired group of humans, doing inspiring work. READ MORE