Okay, admittedly we’re trying to make this slightly inconvenient pandemic sound as exciting as we can, but we do kinda think these masks are cool.
For the last few years Actif Epica volunteers and participants have received custom toques on race weekend. This year we’ve decided to go with the times and are giving everyone involved with the event these custom masks. They’re a fully sublimated design, double layered, with adjustable ear straps, machine washable and reusable, from Champ-sys, a Canadian company we’ve personally used for other custom cycling gear.
A part of our race weekend protocol will be to wear a mask whenever indoors (even if the official provincial government restrictions are lifted by then), and although we won’t insist that you wear the one we give you we thought it would nice to provide one for you.
As an added touch we’re ordering our first lot of 50 masks right now, hoping they arrive in the next 2 to 3 weeks, and we want to try to get them to the 1st registrants as soon as we can, seeing as you can use them right away. We hope to have registration open soon, and we look forward to getting the first of the masks out as soon as they’re received.
Now that it’s the beginning of October we’re going to start some regular, weekly posts. We’ll copy what we can to our Facebook and Twitter accounts but remember that the greatest amount of detail can always be found on our main site at actifepi.ca.
We’re hopefully just days away from getting a lot of new info up on the site but the biggest thing to announce today is a new tentative race route!…and by tentative we mean there may be a few tweaks but what you see below is more or less how it will end up.
The biggest change is more of a looped route within Winnipeg compared with the out and back route we had last year. This year we’ll start from the Forks along the same route as last year for the first bit but then diverge and take the Seine River south to exit the city.
The shortest distance (approx 60km this year for cyclists and runners) will bring participants through the Fraser Road CheckPoint (a shack just north of the Floodway) at the midpoint, after which they continue on the race loop and connect with the same course used last year that takes them through the U of M and eventually along the Red River, returning to the Forks.
The mid-distance (110km or so) cyclists and runners head south after reaching the Fraser Road CheckPoint the same way the short distance athletes travelled then continuing south to Niverville before turning around and retracing their steps / pedal strokes north until they hit the floodway, then connecting with last year’s course north through the U of M and along the Red River to the Forks Finish Line.
The longest distance (200km) cyclists will follow the mid-distance course down to Niverville and back north to the Floodway but at St Norbert will head west along the La Salle River and do an out and back along the river to add the extra distance before reconnecting with last year’s route north after passing back through St Norbert, also finishing at The Forks.
We’re excited about offering both the Seine River (for every participant) and the La Salle River (for the longest distance cyclists) as additional features to this year’s race. Both rivers are huge highlights for local athletes and demonstrate some of the great winter routes we have in and near Winnipeg.
Please note that there will almost certainly be minor tweaks to this route as we finish scouting, firm up details with CheckPoint facilities, etc, so if you copy the image below or bookmark the route URL below know they are meant to give you a decent idea of this year’s route BUT THEY ARE NOT THE FINAL ROUTE AND NOT MEANT TO BE USED FOR RACE NAVIGATION OR SPECTATING.
We plan to post to this blog every week or so to keep you updated on our race weekend plans. We imagine some posts will be more interesting than others (some weeks it’s all about insurance and permit paperwork, other weeks it’s about ordered swag and race route pics) but keep checking in to learn more.
One of the things we’ll share soon is our new Covid protocol, because it’s the fashionable thing to do. Okay, maybe also because it will help keep you safe. We’re excited to be able to provide this event in the midst of a pandemic and are of course aided by the fact that it’s a pretty socially distanced event by its very nature. But, precautions still need to be taken that will alter the feel of the race a bit. Rest assured it will still provide the same, if not more, sense of accomplishment.
Lastly, stay tuned for registration news. We’re hoping we’re not more than a week or so out from opening up registration for everyone. And with just a bit of luck we’ll be ready then to also announce a small bit of incentive to sign up early.
We’re collating volunteer info packs so we must be getting close to race weekend!
The very final preparations are being made. After a surprising but not that hard to handle last minute course change due to some Manitoba Hydro construction on the floodway we’re back on track with getting the final info together for volunteers, racers, and medics, and the local media has been asking for sounds bites these last few days; a sure sign that things are about to kick off.
Good luck with final preparations to all competitors! We look forward to seeing racers at the start line and volunteers out on course and at our CheckPoints and finish line very soon.
We’ve been fairly quiet (okay very quiet) with our blog posts, but that’s because we’ve been working hard on all the little details that hopefully make for a great race. Oh, and we occasionally get on our bikes or go for a run too 🙂
Final course recons are now finished, and many, many details have been checked off the to-do list. We have volunteers covering all CheckPoints and Roving duties, the Checkpoint facilities are all ready to receive us, racer bib numbers and toques for racers and volunteers have arrived, lots of info including our final race routes for all disciplines are now posted, we’re compiling all of the racer data now that registration has closed so we can print out start and course check sheets along with other volunteer instructions, our timing system is up and running, and on an on.
We’ve also settled on using Twitter as our Race Weekend platform to report on the race in real time (in addition to our live online Leaderboard and Results sheets), and have embedded the Twitter feed on this site, though you can also use your own app to follow along and even to mention us in your tweets so we can retweet updates and comments directly for you.
Overall things are coming along very well this year and we’re really getting excited. Just over a week to go folks!
General December Update:
Well it’s the beginning of December so we figured it was time for an update. Planning is going well (dare we say the smoothest ever?).
Most of our volunteer duties and CheckPoint assignments are covered. We need just a few more people stationed at the Finish Line at various times and we need a few more on-course rovers, but we’re confident that we can fill those spots too. If you know of anyone who would still like to help let them know to contact us at ActifEpica@gmail.com
Insurance has been obtained, permits are in process, the medics have been hired, and CheckPoint venues are all secured for 2020 too. Yay!
The Specator’s Guide went live a week or two ago, and although we may add a bit more info as time permits we hope that the Guide can already help with a general understanding of the race and course layout. The Race Bible is almost completely updated for 2020, including a listing of gear check and pre-race meeting times and locations.
Continued recon of the course will be happening this coming weekend as we nail down the very specific course directions between CheckPoints with the hope of adding some frozen Rat River sections for the long distance racers; GPS course info and related cue sheets are almost all that is left to post on this site, but the unseasonably warm weather has delayed checking out the feasibility of some terrain for now.
Posters will be going up around town this week, sponsors are being spoken with now so we have draw prizes to award people, a new toque design is being worked on (everyone gets one free for entering or volunteering), medals are being made for all finishers, and on and on!
We’re just over 10 weeks from race weekend as this is typed so now it’s time for the participants to put in some training! (well, and register now if you haven’t already, to take advantage of early bird savings). We’re getting stoked and we hope you are too!