What is it really like?

Cyclist Paul Krahn has a great essay (photos by Kyle Thomas) in the latest issue of gorgeous bike packing magazine Bunyan Velo describing his first go at the challenge.

And we’re happy to see him back after last year’s punishing conditions. That damn wind.

You might have other questions though, and so we’re pleased to launch a section of the website dedicated to getting you the answers you’re looking for.

Feel free to ask about anything related to the event. You can even comment on other people’s questions or answers. Our crack team of ultra endurance specialists are standing by.

Slight Deadline Extension, Race Bible Update, and More

Ok Ok, you have until Monday.

We’ve had a few people contact us to say they need the weekend to make a decision, so we’re keeping registration open until Monday, February 2nd at noon (CST). But that’s it! Register now. In case you missed it, we’ve posted a small version of our upcoming spectator’s guide earlier today. It should also be helpful for people thinking about the relay to plan on who will take which section.

Race Bible Update

The Race Bible is now more or less final, and the page has been updated to reflect that. Most importantly, there have been no changes to the route. If there are any adjustments from this point forward, we will contact registrants directly to let them know as well as update the Race Bible.


More nice people saying nice things

We’re always honoured when people say nice things about our little event. The Huffington Post recently listed us as one of 11 world-class adventure races in their Travel Section, and racer Greg McNeill has a feature in the February/March Readers Digest Our Canada Feature. Check them out!

Yeti Like See Bike!

Quick Route Guide

We’ve got a more complete spectators guide coming out shortly, but in the mean-time, here’s a quick guide to each section of Actif Epica:

Secteur 1, St Malo to St Pierre

  • 25km, beautiful park vistas, followed by some wild trail sections
  • Optimal viewing sites at St. Malo park gate or looking south from PR205 at Perrault Road (don’t drive down this road – typically very soft snow)
  • Watch to see who is in the lead! Runners start one hour before the cyclists – who will make it to St. Pierre first?
  • Prime activity from 7am to 10:30am

Secteur 2, St Pierre to Crystal Spring

  • 17km, a scenic road section along the Rat River, ending with a few tough miles north of Otterburne
  • Optimal viewing spot at Rat River Bridge (River Oak Road)
  • Watch the racers come through Otterburne – past the giant grain elevator and the tiny post office
  • Prime activity from 9 am to 11am

Secteur 3, Crystal Spring to Niverville

  • 20km, huge prairie skies and wide open spaces beautiful park vistas, followed by rough trail and …
  • A great viewing spot at Fontaine Road (watch for deep snow close to end of the road)
  • A neat feature on this part of the course is on Alarie Road, just north of PR305 – the road has a zigzag in a place where French and English land surveying traditions meet. This is unique in the region. Depending on driving conditions, it may be possible to drive through these zigzags, or you can watch from PR305 as racers weave their way north and east from
  • Prime activity from 10:30am to 4pm

Secteur 4, Niverville to St Adolphe

  • 12km, a short section, but one of the most exposed to the wind, and finishing with a trail section leading to the checkpoint in St Adolphe
  • A great place to watch is to visit the checkpoint in St. Adolphe and then walk through the park on the course
  • In the park, check out the historic ferry which crossed the Red River before the bridge north of town was built. There are also a number of restaurants in St Adolphe if lunch is calling you
  • Prime activity from noon to 3 pm (cyclists) and then 6-11pm (runners)

Secteur 5, St Adolphe to University of Manitoba

  • 29km, probably the toughest leg of the race – with prairie winds, the crossing of the massive Red River Floodway, and then a tough slog through deep snow in Maple Grove Park
  • Optimal viewing site at the corner of Chrypko Road and Two Mile Road (north side of the Floodway)
  • If you’re up for a walk, you can hike up the Floodway hill from the viewing spot and see the true enormity of this flood control structure. Check in at the University of Manitoba checkpoint and visit race sponsor Daily Bread Café for some warm soup or some hot coffee.
  • Prime activity from 2pm to 7pm (cyclists) and then 9pm to 1am (runners)

Secteur 6, University of Manitoba to The Forks

  • 15km, a mix of trails and quiet streets, finishing on the Red River Mutual trail (on the Red River)
  • Optimal viewing sites at the Forks Market Atrium finish line, or head down to the Red River ice to check out Rendezvous on Ice, grab a bite, have a drink and watch the racers come in
  • Watch the special medal presentations at the finish line, and see all The Forks has to offer
  • Prime activity from 3pm to 9pm (cyclists) and then 10:30pm to 2:30am (runners)