Goodness Gracious, What’s Happening During the Event

Well this is it!

Participants will be arriving at The Forks from all over starting at 3:00pm. The forecast looks insanely balmy— which could prove a very interesting challenge as those out on the trail balance soft snow, muddy patches and trying to find the right balance while trying to stay both dry and warm. We’ll be kicking off our live event coverage later today, but here are a few final pieces of information we’d like you to know about.

Hospitality House Donations



We’ll be accepting donations for Hospitality House at the Actif Epica sign-in desk (in The Forks Market Food Hall) starting at 3:00pm, and again at our finish line starting at 1pm on Saturday. Tax deductible receipts will be available for donations of $20 or more. If you prefer to donate online, please do so at Canada Helps.

Updated Spectator’s Guide

Thinking of heading out on the trail to try and spy on some of the action? Download our updated Spectator’s guide, full of interesting facts, great viewing spots and points of interest along the way.

Spectators and supporters are encouraged to follow the race by visiting checkpoints and watching along the route. As the race is self-supported, no assistance is to be provided to anyone taking part (time penalties or disqualification will result).

That said, if a participant requires assistance for safety/emergency reasons (frostbite, hypothermia, exhaustion) your help would be appreciated by the race organizers. As a spectator, please strive to be self-sufficient, too, as race volunteers are focused on ensuring the safety of racers and do not have the ability to assist others. Dress warm, bring food/ water along for the day (or visit some of the great local businesses along the route) and have fun out there!

Download the printable guide here

or download the on-screen guide here.

Green Action CentreGreen Action Centre Jack Frost Challenge || Bougeons en Hiver

Green Action Centre’s annual “get outside and travel on your own steam” event is wrapping up. They’ll be with us at the finish line, congratulating participants of the week-long challenge as well as Actif Epica participants. If you haven’t done so already (and think you’ve racked up enough KMs throughout the week, you can still sign-up).

Niverville Family Snow Day: Noon to 3:00pm

A great way to see the action along the trail! The Niverville Family Snow Day is at our mid-point checkpoint and is timed perfectly to catch some of the excitement. Come out, join the fun and play in the snow as cyclists and runners from Actif Epica race on in. The outdoor snow activities will be taking place at the Niverville Arena, from 12:00-3:00 PM. Families will participate in skating, snow shoeing, snowman building, tobogganing, snow painting and possibly quinzee building.

Hey there, Frosty Face

Or maybe there’ll be more ruddy faces. But like Actif Epica, Frosty Face Winnipeg wants to show the world that around here, we know how to get outside and have fun, no matter what the weather. They’ll be on hand to snap some pictures of our finishers, Jack Frost Challenge participants, and just about anyone else who’s around having a good time outside at our finish. Keep your eyes open, and share your own pictures on Instagram, with the tag #FrostyFaceWpg.

So there’s plenty around to do and have fun with while you follow the adventure!

More to come!

Please Consider a Donation for Human Resilience

Actif Epica is a fun event that “celebrates human resilience” in part, by having people make a substantial trek across the prairies to Winnipeg. We also encourage people to participate along the route by getting out and having fun or by joining in Green Action Centre’s Jack Frost Challenge.

This year, we’ve added a route for Cyclists that begins in Emerson— a whole 200km stretch, the first part right along the Canada-US border, and in the process earned ourselves the distinction of being the only Canadian event that serves as a qualifier for the ITI invitational.

As organizers, we had no idea that we’d be witnessing an entirely different display of human resilience right along our newly extended route. People who’ve survived things most of us can’t imagine and who are making a similar journey as our “tough” cyclists. But they’re doing it for survival. Out of pure resilience. We’ve all been a little sobered by these folks crossing the prairies out of desperation and uncertainty in conditions that are challenging for athletes who have trained to do so. Some have lost fingers. Needless to say, they wouldn’t pass our gear check.

As a form of acknowledgement, and as a way of honouring our slogan, we’re encouraging donations to Hospitality House. A non-profit organization based out of Winnipeg, that believes it is our responsibility to make sure that all refugees arriving to Canada have adequate living conditions and equal opportunities to flourish. They are one of several organizations who have been assisting and housing the refugees arriving through Emerson and are completely donation-based. You can learn more about their work and mandate at their website.

You can submit donations through Canada Helps here.

This morning, we issued the following joint media release. Please consider supporting their work and help us “Celebrate Human Resilience” by spreading the word.


February 14, 2017



Winnipeg / Emerson, MB – Actif Epica, Manitoba’s most gruelling ultra endurance event, has added a new course extension for 2017 that starts in Emerson, MB – which has become the focal point of a recent influx of asylum seekers crossing the border into Canada.

Consistent with Actif Epica’s motto: ‘Celebrate Human Resilience’, race organizers are asking participants and the public to make donations to Hospitality House Refugee Ministry, one of a number of local front-line organizations directly helping asylum seekers and refugees as they start new lives here.

According to race organizer David Pensato, “given our race’s new connection with the community of Emerson and to show solidarity – in a small way – to those coming across the border under extreme conditions, we felt it was important to offer our support”.

“A human tragedy is unfolding on the very doorstep of Canada. These people are desperate. We’ve got to help”, said Tom Denton, spokesperson for Hospitality House.

This year’s race takes place on February 18, 2017. Actif Epica has earned several distinctions, including being named as one of Canada’s 10 Big Rides (Canadian Cycling Magazine, 2013), a Manitoba Tourism Award for Event of the Year (2014), a qualifier in Alaska’s internationally-renowned Iditarod Trail Invitational, and one of Canada’s ultimate adventures (Impact Magazine, 2016).

Hospitality House Refugee Ministry is a non-profit organization, and has for many years been Winnipeg’s leading sponsor of refugees. Thousands have been sponsored from appalling refugee circumstances, into new hope and productive lives in Canada. Hospitality House’s ability to sponsor new refugees is reliant on donations.

Donations can be made online at:

David Pensato, Co-Organizer

Actif Epica

Tom Denton, Executive Director

Hospitality House Refugee Ministry

Exciting Pre-Race Meeting Venue! (and a few other updates)

Pre Race Awesome.

We are really excited about our new sign-in and pre-race meeting venue— The Forks Market Food Hall.

Our long-time Finish Line Sponsor, The Forks, has graciously invited us into their beautifully renovated Food Hall for our sign-in, gear-check and pre-race meeting. In addition to being stunning, The Food Hall lets us diversify participant’s food options on the Friday evening. With nearly 20 different delicious food vendors, Actif Epica will be providing racers with a gift card to purchase what they like. Oh, and we should mention The Common— located in the Food Hall, The Common offers a great variety of local craft beer and a discerning selection of wines. You could use your gift card there, too. We recommend ordering your food earlier rather than later to make sure you have time before the Pre-Race meeting at 7:15— the lines can get long when it’s nice out (and the entire city is working up an appetite while out skating the river trail).

Green Action Centre Jack Frost Challenge || Bougeons en Hiver!

The annual challenge from our friends at Green Action Centre stretches all the way back to our first Actif Epica. One of the main reasons we created Actif Epica was to encourage people to get outside and celebrate human powered activity in the Manitoba context, no matter what the weather. Green Action Centre loved the concept and developed the Jack Frost Challenge || Bougeons en Hiver to show that even if you aren’t especially inclined to travel 130km (our original distance) on your own steam in a single day, anyone can do it with friends over the course of a week. If you live in Manitoba, we highly recommend signing up! They’ll also be joining us at the Finish Line on the 18th to celebrate human resilience!

Frosty Face Winnipeg.

Also in the spirit of celebrating the crisp, clean climate of a prairie winter, Frosty Face Winnipeg is a new project that we’re proud to be partnering with. A photo project celebrating Winnipeg as a winter city, Frosty Face invites you to show your love of the cold by sharing pics of your own Frosty Face on Facebook and Instagram with the tag #FrostyFaceWpg.

Important Race Bible and Technical Manual Updates.

Racers: Some important details have been adjusted and posted to the 2017 Race Bible and Technical Manual. We highly recommend you go through it carefully. In particular, we’ve made some changes to the start times and to the shuttle— but there are other new details also. A list of updates can be found here, but please review the whole document. You are responsible for knowing its contents.