Perfect conditions for spiel

JIM BENDER, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

Organizers for the fifth annual Ironman Outdoor Bonspiel were working up a cold sweat over the warm weather in recent days.

The ideal conditions for such a test of endurance, you see, is a deep freeze, the colder the better.

But the ice is ready and the fun-filled charity fundraiser slides away today on the Assiniboine River at The Forks at 5 p.m.

"The last two years, we got quite panicky because last year was pretty warm, too," said Eric Dawson, host committee chair. "But there's going to be perfect conditions this year."

STILL SPACE

This year's spiel, which will raise some serious coin for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, has drawn 28 teams that will play through Sunday. About $3,000 was raised for the charity last year and a total of about $10,000 since its inception. There is still space for four more teams (call 831-88816 or website: www.ironmancurling.com).

"It's kind of a unique event," Dawson said. "And it's one of the most fun events I have ever participated in.

"When you get out on the ice, it's a whole new ball game. You can get some of those snake draws that sneak in and around guards. It's pretty amazing."

Both Manitoba legend Connie Laliberte and former world junior champion David Hamblin have thrown rocks on a surface that takes you back to the game's Scottish roots.

The finals in all events go Sunday at 11:40 a.m., giving everyone ample time to get home in time for the Super Bowl, Dawson said.


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