It’s true, the previous two editions of Actif Epica were much milder than we anticipated. That’s not to say they weren’t challenges—they were. But this year, we had some real conditions to contend with.
As Amy Oberbroeckling put it when she arrived at The Forks “I had no idea what to expect, and it turned out to be a bit of everything.”
With stretches of kilometres on end of pushing through shin to thigh deep snow and a vicious north headwind that started at around noon and only picked up from there, the rate of attrition this year was much greater than the last two—but in truth, to be expected.
No one enters a race like this without being well prepared, and truly being well prepared means knowing when you’ve had enough.
Race director Ian Hall, (who’s done his fair share of challenging rides) says that “while bowing out seldom feels good at the time, it always feels right in hindsight when you realize what could’ve happened if you pushed yourself too far.”
And in the end, people do this to face a challenge and to have fun, and plenty of “DNF”s stick around with smiles on their faces to watch their fellow racers finish up.
And almost all of them come back with what they learned from the experience to finish what they started.