Race Bible

PLEASE NOTE: Below is LAST YEAR’s (2018’s) Race Bible.  Although we anticipate 2019’s to be similar it won’t be published until sometime closer to the New Year, so the info below is simply to give you a sense of what’s to come.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to email us anytime at actifepica@gmail.com

2018 Actif Epica Race Bible

NOTE: Online entry form and waiver, along with entry fee, must be received by midnight CST, February 9, 2018. Entry fees are non-refundable.

IMPORTANT UPDATES Posted February 10, 2018.

Please note that the race bible as presented is considered a final draft and certain aspects may be subject to change. Race directors will make every reasonable attempt to notify registrants about changes, but participants are responsible for understanding the contents of the final document.

The shuttle schedule has been updated for all events. Please check and ensure you are aware of shuttle departure times and locations if you registered for a shuttle.

Gear check, the pre-race meeting and finish line locations have all been updated. We are in the main building of The Forks again but this year our pre-race meeting and gear check is in the South Aisle (near the South West entrance). The finish is at the same location as last year.

GPX files and cue sheets from the 2018 edition of the event can be found in the MAPS SECTION further down.


The Race

Actif Epica is a challenging self-supported ultra-endurance event in potentially extreme trail and weather conditions. Our goal is to promote communities in southeastern Manitoba and health benefits associated with outdoor activity in winter. You will experience true winter conditions across the sparkling southeastern Manitoba prairie on the historic Crow Wing Trail. Depending on distance chosen, the race starts in Emerson (200km), Ridgeville (162km), St. Malo (125km) or Niverville (54km) and finishes in downtown Winnipeg. Icy temperatures, windswept trails, big skies and huge landscapes await participants. Variable weather and trail conditions add to the mix, presenting a unique experience.

The Event

The ultramarathon is the centrepiece of a larger one-day winter experience called Actif Epica. Actif Epica is a celebration of human resilience, featuring numerous outdoor active events taking place along the race route.

The Crow Wing Trail

The historic Crow Wing Trail first opened in 1844 and stretched from Upper Fort Garry to St. Paul Minnesota. Trader Peter Garrioch and his friends, fearing the Sioux Indians on the west side of the Red River, decided to open a trail on its east side where there was a good supply of wood and water. This new trail quickly became popular as a main trading route. From Fort Garry it followed the eastern side of the Red River through what are now known as the communities of St. Adolphe, Niverville, Otterburne, St. Pierre-Jolys, St. Malo, Ridgeville and Emerson. The Crow Wing Trail Association was formed in 1999 to build the section of Trans Canada Trail from Winnipeg to Emerson. This regional trail association consists of representatives from the rural municipalities of Ritchot, Niverville, De Salaberry, Franklin, Emerson and Roseau River First Nation.

Acknowledgement: Organization of Actif Epica is a group effort, and we are especially thankful for race founders, Ian Hall and David Pensato. This race was inspired by the Arrowhead 135. Thank you to Pierre and Cheryl Oster, Dave and Mary Pramann and others whose experiences and approaches have made planning a safe, fun winter race easier. See www.arrowheadultra.com for more information.


NOTE: racers are responsible for their own navigation. Although some trail sections and roads have signs, the course is not marked. Repeat: racers are responsible for their own navigation. To complete this race, you must know how to use a GPS and/or a compass. (detailed cue sheets and GPS tracks will be provided)

The 2019 Actif Epica race course begins in Emerson (200km- bike only), Ridgeville (162km- run only), St. Malo (125km- bike/run) or Niverville (54km bike/run) and continues north to the Red River Floodway near St. Adolphe, Manitoba along the Crow Wing Trail. This section of the race course follows a wide trail, including dirt and gravel roads with occasional short sections of paved road near checkpoints , all with a common theme of being primarily across wide-open stretches of prairie.

Beyond the Floodway, racers will follow streets, trails and (weather dependent) the Red River to the finish in downtown Winnipeg. This final section of the course is urban but will still require navigational awareness.

You can expect the trail surface to be a mix of ice, snow, pavement and frozen gravel/dirt. Snowy sections may or may not be packed by snowmobiles/cars. Drifts can exceed 1 metre (3.3 feet) in depth.

To reiterate the first point, racers are responsible for their own navigation (detailed cue sheets and GPS tracks will be provided). This means you must have a compass/distance measuring device or a GPS with you and know how to use it (see required gear below).

Weather Expectations

Typical winter weather in this part of Manitoba is frigid with subzero air temperatures, even dipping to -30° Celsius (-22° F) ; however, windchill can result in effective temperatures of -50° (-58° F) or colder. Be ready for anything as an early thaw is always possible. Proper winter survival gear is critical. Checkpoints offer shelter and water but racers must plan to be self-sufficient between these checkpoints and be prepared in case of mechanical or physical breakdown.

Maps and Cue Sheets

Cue Sheets

(Latest Update: Feb 04, 2018, 20:47 CST)

Actif Epica 120-1 – Cue sheets for the 125km classic route

Actif Epica 160-1 – Cue sheets for the 162km long distance running route

Actif Epica 200-3 – Cue sheets for the 200km long distance cycling route

GPX Tracks Files

Please download GPX files from the following link for the 2018 editions


1: Sign-in and Mandatory Gear Check

Sign-in and gear check starts at 16:00 at The Forks main building in the South Aisle near the South West entrance and must be complete by 18:00. We request that you check-in as early as possible to make sure we can complete everyone’s sign-in and gear check before 18:00 to start the pre-race meeting as early as possible.

If you do not arrive before gear check on Friday, you will not be allowed to race without special permission from the race directors. You will need to bring all mandatory gear to this check.

Upon completing the gear-check, cyclists using the shuttle will load their bikes (with gear attached) into the transport trailer for storage in a secure indoor facility and delivery to your starting location on Saturday morning. NOTE: No bikes will be loaded on Saturday morning for transportation.

2: Pre-race Meeting

Racers must attend the pre-race meeting on Friday, February 15th. The Pre-Race Meeting will begin at 18:00 and will last 30 minutes.

3: Start Times

Start times vary by distance, as follows. Athlete’s vehicles may be left at any starting point, but please note that there are no outlets for plugging in block heaters at any of the start points. Alternately, shuttle and bike transport are available€” details are below.

54km: Saturday, February 16th at 12:30 for runners, 14:00 for cyclists at Niverville Arena

125km: Saturday, February 16th at 6:30 for runners, 7:30 for cyclists at St. Malo Arena (10 Chouinard Street).

162km: Friday, February 15th at 22:00 at Ridgeville Co-op Community Club (43 Main Street).

200km: Saturday, February 16th at 7:00 a.m. for cyclists at Emerson Co-op Community Centre (101 Church Street).

4: Shuttle & bike transport

All bikes must be loaded on the trailer Friday immediately following gear check. They will be securely stored overnight and transported to the respective start locations and be available for racers upon arrival at their starting location with time to do any final preparation/loading/etc. on race morning before their event begins.

Shuttle Bus pick-up and drop-off schedule

February 15, 2019 19:15 shuttle arrives at The Forks (North West entrance of the main building) to pick up runners for the 162km event. Shuttle departs at 19:30 for Ridgeville, arriving at 21:00. Race starts at 22:00.

February 16, 2019 04:30 shuttle arrives at The Forks (parking lot across from the Human Rights Museum) to pick up runners and cyclists for the classic 125km and the 200km events. Shuttle departs at 04:45 for St. Malo, arriving at 05:45 to unload our classic distance participants for their respective start times 06:30 for runners and 07:30 for cyclists. The shuttle will continue to Emerson, arriving at 06:15 for the long distance bike event, starting at 07:00.

Start Times:

162k Run 22:00, Friday (Ridgeville)

125k Run 06:30 Saturday (St Malo)

200k Bike€” 05:00 Saturday (Emerson)

125k Bike 07:30 Saturday (St Malo)

5: Race finish and cut-off times:

Finish is at The Forks in the North West corner of the main building (same place as last year) and it will be signed. Pending approval, time cutoffs are:


St. Pierre cyclists must leave by 20:00 Saturday

Niverville – must leave by 01:00 Sunday

must finish by 11:00 Sunday (28 hours)


St. Pierre runners must leave by 15:00 Saturday

Niverville must leave by 22:00 Saturday

must finish by 11:00 Sunday (37 hours)


Niverville – must leave by 19:00 Saturday

must finish by 07:30 Sunday (24 hours bike/25 hours run)

Please don’€™t drive home sleepy; ask us for help if you need it. Race results to be posted online following cutoff. Awards for all finishers will be presented at finish line.

6: Outside Support will Disqualify You.

You may receive some limited support from officials, and racers are permitted to help each other out (riding in small groups or pairs for company and drafting each other is OK), but no external support is permitted. This means no support crews of any kind, no pacing and no rides/tows accepted from motorized transport except in emergencies as approved by race officials. Ultimately, this race is about you, the prairie and your inner dogged spirit! Finishing is an accomplishment. If you take a ride, you are disqualified.

Participants are encouraged to help each other. The buddy system is good way to do the race especially in the dark and cold. We encourage spectators, but assistance is not allowed at any time don’t have a team (e.g. friends, family) meeting you at each and every road crossing (though by all means, encourage them to visit official checkpoints, take part in the broader event and visit points of interest identified along the route).

7: No littering/no caching of supplies.

Note: you can purchase supplies from businesses along the route if desired. Leave no trace.

8: Mandatory Check-ins

You must check in at ALL checkpoints, this includes Ridgeville (for 200km cyclists), Senkiw (for 162km runners and 200km cyclists), St. Malo (for 162km runners and 200km cyclists), St. Pierre-Jolys (all), Crystal Spring (all), Niverville (all), St. Adolphe (all), St. Norbert (all). Some food will be provided at the Niverville checkpoint. Others will have water, and maybe more (don’€™t rely on it).

9: Short-cutting will Disqualify You.

If you leave the race course for any reason (including getting lost), you must re-enter where you left.

10: This is an Open Course with Motor Vehicles on Some Sections.

Snow machines and motor vehicles have absolute right of way. You must pull to the right side of the trail and let them pass. Stop at all intersections and obey traffic rules.

11: Racers may use snowshoes, but if used you must carry them and all starting gear to the finish with you.

12: Race Directors and Checkpoint Directors may delay or pull racers from the course for safety reasons at any point at their discretion.

13: Dropping Out

In the event that you decide to drop out of the race at any point, please notify race directors or volunteers at a checkpoint immediately (contact numbers will be provided at the pre-race meeting).

14: Weather Related Race Delay or Cancellation

In case of extreme weather conditions and if the race director(s) feel it is unsafe for participants to continue, the event may be delayed or called off. As a general guideline, a sustained effective windchill in excess of -40°C and/or visibility of less than 200m will be grounds for delaying or canceling the event.

15: Mandatory Gear Must be Carried at All Times

Racers must carry the required gear (see list below) at all times while on the course and must finish with at least 2000 calories of food (except 54km participants who are not subject to this requirement), carried from the start. Racers may assist each other, however each participant must have their own mandatory gear at all times. Race Directors reserve the right to check a participant’™s gear at any time during the event (including at the start/finish). Compensation for lost time during a random gear check will be made; any gear-check failures are subject to disqualification or time penalties at the discretion of Race Directors.

PART 4: Gear and Supplies

Mandatory Gear From Race Start to Race Finish:

The following gear is required from start to finish on the course. Each racer is responsible for ensuring compliance while on the course.

Relay teams may share mandatory gear, handing off at checkpoints. Team leaders are required to go through the necessary gear-check at the pre-race meeting and all remaining team members must sign a waiver indicating that they understand all required gear must be carried by them while on the course or risk team disqualification.

Cyclists: A cycling helmet to be worn at all times when you are on the race course.

In addition to your race-day clothing, you are required to carry an extra windproof, insulated jacket (not a soft shell). This is your emergency shelter, so it should be sufficient to keep you warm/out of the wind for a few hours at least. Options to fulfill gear requirement are:

An insulated jacket with hood (if hood is thin/stowaway, you will also require an extra toque)

A heavy fleece or equivalent with toque and a hooded, wind-proof shell over top.

An insulated jacket, no hood, with (extra) windproof toque and scarf

Windproof (nylon or Gore-Tex) pants

Insulated water container(s), total volume minimum 2 litres

Headlamp or flashlight. Suggested minimum of ~100 lumen good for 12 hours at -30C.

For 162km runners and 200km cyclists, a spare set of batteries and/or a spare light is mandatory (a dim/failed light = disqualification)

For 54km cyclists and runners, a headlamp must be good for 5 hours at -30C and must also have a spare battery

Flashing white LED light on front of body/bike. Light must have a minimum of three flashing LEDs (or one super bright LED; i.e. no turtle lights). Keep on at all times. (may require carrying extra batteries, dim/failed lights = disqualification)

Flashing red LED light on back of body/bike. Light must have a minimum of three flashing LEDs (or one super bright LED; i.e. no turtle lights). Keep on at all times (may require carrying extra batteries, dim/failed lights = disqualification)

At least 60 square centimetres of reflective material on front and back of you during the race. Can be on your pack, but not on a bike.

Whistle on string around neck to call for help, because your mouth is too numb to yell.

For 200km bike, 162km run and 125km bike/run, you must carry 2000 calories of food with you from the start. These must be edible calories (e.g. not something unpalatable or inedible in cold weather… be prepared to eat it).

You must carry (and have the knowledge of how to use the option of your choice) either

a compass and cycle computer/pedometer or

a GPS with extra set of batteries (lithium recommended)

Course cue sheets (will be provided)

Cold weather emergency shelter (e.g. SOL bivy) in case you need to survive long enough for a rescue (For 162km runners/200km cyclists only).

Recommended Gear:

Cold weather sleeping bag (suggested -20C rated)

Bivy sack or small tent

Extreme conditions mittens, head gear and outerwear

Ski goggles

Spare undershirt/socks

Over-boots, gaiters

Duct tape, Vaseline, sunglasses, lip balm, moleskin, ibuprofen, etc.

Reflective vest

Cell phone

Suggested 5,000-7,000 calories of cold-weather edible food

Sense of humour (most important)

Drop Bags:

One finish line bag including a small change of clothes for post race is allowed. Drop bags due, Friday, February 16 at the pre-race meeting. Otherwise, make your own arrangements to deliver them. Drop bags must be clearly labeled with racer’€™s name and race number and secured shut. You can share drop bags with another racer to limit waste.