Posters are up

Posters are now up in your local bike and running shops, and we hope to stick a few up on local cycling and running routes as early as this weekend. Keep training, race weekend feels like it’s still a ways off but time has a way of speeding up!

Run Course, Slow Pace Times Posted

RUN COURSE: The Run Course is now posted. We’re thrilled with how the Run Course has worked out; runners simply do sections 1, 2, 5, and 6 of the Bike Course to get approx 45kms of running per lap. Two laps gets them approx 90kms, and 3 1/2 laps gets them approx 100 miles.

There’s a very brief, very straight forward shortcut between the end of section 2 and the beginning of section 5 that the runners take to skip sections 3 and 4. In their final “half’ lap they do sections 1, 2, and 5 as normal but stop before doing section 6 (section 5 and 6 both end at the Duck Pond Start/Finish).

Run Course

SLOW PACE TIMES: We’ve also added our “Slow Pace” times to the Race Bible These are projections of the slowest paces for each distance and discipline of the event based on previous years’ actual slowest paces on similar sections of course. They’ll be used to help calculate cut off times at CheckPoints throughout the race. Because we haven’t finalized CheckPoint locations yet we haven’t calculated the actual cut off times yet either but we hope that the ”Slow Pace” projections will help you determine what pace you need to maintain to make it through the event.

We project the slow pace and set these cut off times primarily to keep the event safe for everyone. Maintaining a pace at or above the slowest projections helps let us know that you’re doing okay out there and are capable of finishing the event safely. We reserve the right to remove from the event anyone who isn’t meeting cut off times but we try our very best not to have to do that. We want you to achieve your goal. For you and for us that’s what all this work is for and it’s the reward that makes this all worth while, but we want to keep you from harm and make sure that you can keep a decent, steady rate of progress throughout the event.

We Have Heat!

We’ve been waiting for confirmation on this and we now have it…our new Start/Finish location at the Duck Pond Shelter in the Assiniboine Park will be heated for the duration of our event. The garage-style doors you see in the pic above will be closed. The shelter has multiple washrooms, a small room that can used for changing, and even a couple of water stations. Added bonus: All of the goose poo you see on the paving stone should be gone in February 🙂

Although we’ll have another CheckPoint or two along the course this Duck Pond Shelter is the only spot that we can count on for heated shelter (or shelter of any kind for that matter). However, because both the bike and the run course pass through the Duck Pond Shelter twice per lap (part way through a full lap and also at the end of the lap), you do get at least one intermediate opportunity to briefly make use of a heated shelter every lap.

Registration is open, new Start/Finish

We officially opened registration a couple of days ago and have already signed up our first couple of racers for 2022! We’re looking forward to seeing more entries roll in soon.

We’re also super stoked to report that we have a new Start / Finish location for 2022.

We were surprised to be informed recently that The Forks site we had been in talks with to use again in 2022 was suddenly unavailable to us, but after a bit of scrambling The Assiniboine Park Duck Pond Shelter, near the Assiniboine Park’s main pavilion, has become our new Start / Finish location. The park Conservancy has graciously agreed to keep the shelter open for us overnight so we’ll have access to their washrooms (including a room that can be used for changing).

Assiniboine Park Duck Pond

This is a park that many of us local riders and runners use frequently, and it was already beside our approved race route. There will be skaters on the adjacent ice pond, as well as walkers, tobogganers, and more making use of the area as we set out from, pass through, and finish at the location ourselves. The park is a real local treasure and a perfect setting for our event. We’re thrilled to be able to make use of it.

We’ve modified our Course Guide to reflect these changes, though for our cyclists the route itself barely changes at all; it’s mostly that the start/finish is relocated. We’ve also taken the opportunity to use the new location as a CheckPoint that we actually pass through in the middle of the course (because the course was already set to pass through the Assiniboine Park twice), so if you are doing 1 lap (70km) you’ll start and finish the race at the Duck Pond AND you’ll pass through the Duck Pond part way through the race as well. If you’re cycling for 2 or 3 laps you’ll pass through the Duck Pond 3 or 5 times respectively, in addition to the start and finish.

We’re working on modifying the run course and hope to have it posted soon. It will almost entirely use the cycling route already outlined in the Course Guide and pictured above but will use less of it, likely with a very short unique section that cuts the cycling route shorter to obtain our desired lengths.

Stay tuned for more info!

Route approved, full Course Guide posted, Registration still coming very soon, we swear :)

2022 Course

Great news!..the City has approved our route for 2022. It may still see minor changes as we monitor for things like road construction and other stuff as we approach race weekend but what you see above is more less what you’ll get.

If you’ve been following this blog note a change in the south east part of the course from what we posted as a tentative route a few weeks ago. We decided on a route that takes us further east along the Fermor Greenway and into Sage Creek because it avoids having to use a less desirable route along Dakota that had a number of street crossings.

We’ve ridden the route a few times now, by ourselves and with a few friends to get their viewpoint too, and we’re really happy with what we’ve come up with this year.

We hope that it is virtually Covid proof. Moving things completely into the city helps if we need to be less supported due to restrictions if, for instance, new laws prohibit us from operating manned CheckPoints. Participants will be much closer to Race Headquarters and there will be a number of 24 hour shops (e.g. 7-Eleven, Tim Horton’s) close to the route should people need to find emergency shelter until we can get to them. Conditions will likely be less severe (e.g. fewer huge snow drifts to impede progress) and volunteer rovers will be more easily dispatched to keep an eye on slower moving racers. Cellular service should be good throughout the route. Overall participants should be less vulnerable on the new route than in previous years if we need to move to a less supported format.

With all of that said, our plan is to run the event essentially as we have in past with manned CheckPoints that participants pass through as they make progress. We’re targeting The Forks and a 2nd location around the half-way point of the route to act as CheckPoints, which when including the Start and Finish of the race (also at The Forks) would amount to 3, 5, or 7 stops depending on whether you plan to do 1, 2 or 3 laps. The distance and time spent between the CheckPoints is similar to what it has been in previous years.

We’re waiting hopefully just a couple more days to open registration. We’re basically ready to go but want to nail down a couple of final details mostly around contingency plans in case we have to move to a virtual event, and we want to be able to share all of that info with you before we take your money. We meet tomorrow to hopefully make those final decisions and have what we’re calling a ”semi-virtual” option if Covid restrictions really increase, though we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to run the event at full strength using plan A.

In the mean time the full Course Guide has now been posted. We may enhance it with a bit more info in the weeks to come but the full general description of the course is now posted.

We’ll be back in touch soon!