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

Posted in Blog, Featured.


  1. How do I register, the website says registration to begin October 1st. I cannot find a registration app for the 2017 race.

  2. Hi Chadd. I’m sorry for the delay. We had some technical challenges and the organizing team had a busier September than anticipated. Registration will be up tomorrow, and we’ll announce with a blog post and throughout our social media channels.

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