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!

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.


Taking it even further— all the way to Alaska

Some people (they know who they are) have said that while they love Actif Epica, and while they participate year after year after year, that they think it’s just plain not long enough. So we decided to give them exactly what they wanted. The 2017 Edition of Actif Epica will see extended options of 200 km for cyclists and 162 km for runners. Don’t worry— the classic 120 km race will still be around for the rest of us.

We are very pleased to announce today that Actif Epica has been accepted into the fold of the legendary Iditarod Trail Invitational as an event qualifier. Cyclists and runners who complete the longer stretches will now qualify to enter Iditarod! That will make us the first (and only) event in Canada to serve as a qualifier for the big one and only one of 7 globally. So get your gear together, plan your training, and get ready to register on October 1st.

In the mean time, we would love to hear from you if you’d like to help us out. We’re looking for volunteers to help us organize everything starting in August.

Here’s a media release we’re sending out this afternoon:


Local Winter Ultramarathon Becomes Sole Canadian Qualifying Event for
Legendary Iditarod Trail Invitational

Actif Epica, Manitoba’s most gruelling ultra endurance event has garnered exclusive status as the only event in Canada to serve as a qualifier for the internationally-renowned Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska, becoming one of only 7 events globally to do so.

Spanning the Crow Wing Trail, Actif Epica is adding options for its 6th annual February event that will see contestants travel by bike to Winnipeg from as far as Emerson— a distance of 200km. Actif Epica will take place on February 18th, 2017 and includes options of 120km, beginning in St Malo for Cyclists or Runners, with newly added extended options for cyclists beginning in Emerson (200km) and for runners beginning in Ridgeville (162km).

ITI Race Director, Kathi Merchant welcomed Actif Epica as a qualifier, saying it offers “a great event that is challenging and rewarding to athletes and where they are allowed to learn about themselves, winter travel and the area in Manitoba.”  Actif Epica Co-organizers, Ian Hall and David Pensato are excited to bring the race to a new level. “The Iditarod is really the Big One,” said Hall “everyone who competes in these kinds of ultra-endurance winter events dreams about getting in, so for us to be a qualifier really gives Actif Epica a big boost.”

Dubbed “A Celebration of Human Resilience,” Actif Epica has drawn participants from as far as California, Colorado and even Brazil. “The combination of epic adventure with a unique cultural and geographic experience has earned us a reputation as one of the main events to check out in adventure racing and ultra-endurance communities,” enthused Pensato. Previous editions have seen up to 80 registrants a number that’s expected to increase with the race’s new status.

The Crow Wing Trail provides a unique set of experiences to participants, traversing the Red River through south-eastern Manitoba through to The Forks. Crow Wing Trail Association President, Murielle Bugera is pleased with the attention, saying “Our communities are excited to welcome athletes from around the world. It can be difficult for us to imagine everyone who might benefit from a 193-km continuous trail, and here we have a perfect example!”

The race 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) and one of Canada’s ultimate adventures (Impact Magazine, 2016). Registration for the 2017 edition opens October 1.


Media Contact:

David Pensato