*Updated October 13th with new Assiniboine Park Start / Finish location
*Updated October 18th with finalized Run Course and distances
Race participants should use the official Cue Sheets and GPS Maps posted in the Race Bible to navigate, NOT the maps and info in this Guide. There are often reasons beyond our control to make last minute changes to the Cue Sheets and GPS, and we’ll let all participants know before the race if we’ve made changes, but we may not have the last minute opportunity to make changes to this Guide.
The full course maps below are rough draft screen grabs. They’re not meant to be used for navigation or as a final copy. Edits are likely before we publish the final, official GPS’d map and related cue sheets, but these maps should give you a general idea of the routes even if some of the specifics change a bit before race weekend. Similarly, the course description below is meant to give everyone a general idea of what to expect, not detailed turn by turn directions.
Approximately 95% of the planned route is on officially designated or dedicated City bike/run/multi-use routes, with around 85% on dedicated (ie. no cars allowed) routes. The remaining approximately 5% is on relatively quiet roads that help connect the dots. There are a fair number of paved paths but there are also gravel and dirt/grass sections and weather permitting a couple of long stretches on frozen rivers. Of course in the winter any of this can be snowed or iced over so the terrain can be highly variable. Expect less chance of drifting snow than in previous race editions and a greater chance of plowed or hard packed areas. We anticipate the race pace will be faster than most previous years whether you’re trying to reach the podium or just out there to get it done at your own comfortable speed. There’s the potential for lots of icy bits especially on well travelled routes, but then again there may end up being more crunchy snow than ice; a feature of this event is that you never really know so plan for anything and everything. There is however very little elevation change. High winds can easily make up for that though.
We will have a heated CheckPoint at the Start/Finish, located at the Duck Pond Shelter in the Assiniboine Park close to the main Park Pavillon and near the footbridge that leads to Portage Ave. We’ll have at least one other Checkpoint near the course midpoint but we haven’t finalized precisely where yet. Aside from the Duck Pond Shelter other CheckPoints will not likely be sheltered or heated. Note however that both the cyclists and the runners will pass through the Duck Pond Shelter part way through each lap as well as at the end of every lap.
CheckPoints will function a bit differently this year compared to years past. Instead of volunteers waiting for you and checking off your name and race number as you pass by you’ll be responsible for using your smartphone to scan a QR code at CheckPoints, which will then automatically send a timing update to Race Headquarters. Obviously it’s therefore imperative that you have a smartphone with cellular coverage that has enough power at each CheckPoint to take a QR scan and forward the related info to us.
Due to the pandemic and related restrictions that lots of venues have imposed, or have been imposed on them, most are unwilling or unable to help by hosting us indoors this year so we can’t count on many indoor spaces being available to us during the race. You can’t count on taking shelter indoors anywhere along the route.
We will be highlighting on a map to be posted here in the weeks to come a number of 24 hours businesses (e.g. 7-Eleven, Tim Horton’s, etc) that are on or close to the race course that in an emergency we hope you’ll be able to take shelter in but we have no relationships with these places and you can’t count on using them. We will however only ever be a phone call away at HQ, we’ll have volunteer rovers out on course that can be dispatched to you, and we’ll have a medic ready and waiting throughout the event.
BIKE COURSE: (1, 2, or 3 laps, approx 70.6 kms per lap):
RUN COURSE: (1, 2, or 3 1/2 laps, approx 44.6 km’s per lap, approx 100 miles for 3 1/2 laps):
Section 1: 9.8 km
We start and finish the race at the Assiniboine Park Duck Pond Shelter, an iconic Winnipeg site in the shadow of the Park Pavilion. The whole park is modelled after New York’s Central Park and shares the same designer. Our route leaves the park and heads east, bringing us along Wellington Crescent, one of the grandest and most affluent streets in the city, where we can run along or ride beside a gorgeous gravel path down a large, tree lined centre boulevard for a long stretch. We eventually leave Wellington Crescent and hop onto another unique Winnipeg feature, the official winter river trail on the Assiniboine River starting at the Hugo Docks until we reach The Forks historic market.
SECTION 2: 8.8 km (run), 6.7 km (bike)
From near The Forks area participants continue on the official public winter trail, transitioning from the Assiniboine River to the Red River and heading south. If the trail is closed due to poor conditions we’ll use the official bike and run trails right along the west side of the river. The river trail length varies year to year (in ‘good’ years it’s the longest frozen river trail in the world!) but often ends near the Manitoba Canoe and Kayak Centre approximately half way through Section 2, where the route will then hop onto the Churchill Greenway.
The Churchill Greenway is a gorgeous stretch of riverside trail and path. It’s paved, gravel, and dirt depending on how much we use after getting off the river, and it leads us all the way to Jubilee Ave and the Elm Park bridge by the local favourite Bridge Drive-In (BDI) ice cream shop. Cyclists cross the iconic bridge to complete Section 2. Runners briefly go their separate way here by carrying on down Jubilee and taking a ‘short cut’ that skips Sections 3 and 4, reconnecting with the cyclists at the start of Section 5 at the Beaumont Transit Station.
SECTION 3: 16.5 km (bike only)
Section 3 starts on the treelined Kingston Crescent before quickly veering off and sending us through a tunnel that connects with a pathway along Dunkirk Drive.
We’re not on Dunkirk for long before we cut through a quiet residential area that helps us avoid some confusing busy street crossings before we connect with a paved path on the north side of Fermor Ave.
We take Fermor until we hit Lagimodiere Blvd, and then travel down another path beside ‘Lag’ and along trails through a small natural tall grass prairie area in Sage Creek.
Finally in this section we end up in the Island Lakes and Royalwood communities before arriving beside the Seine River.
SECTION 4: 11.6 km (bike only)
Section 4 starts with a short stretch on a path alongside the Seine River (or if we’re really lucky and conditions permit we can ride right on the frozen Seine) until we hit the Bishop Grandin Greenway.
We leave the Bishop Grandin Greenway when we reach the SW Transitway, and we follow the Transitway north. We’ll continue along the Transitway all the way to Beaumont Station, which concludes this section of the course.
SECTION 5: 9.8 km
Section 5 is where the runners reconnect with the cyclists starting at the Beumont Transit Station, and then head along the Sterling Lyon Greenway and through the Assiniboine Forest and Park. This section starts out fairly urban but ends up feeling decidedly rural as we enjoy a treelined canopy on gravel paths.
The section concludes as we reach the Assiniboine Park Duck Pond Shelter where we started, but we’re not done our first lap yet. Instead we pass through the Shelter as a CheckPoint and then carry on west of here to leave the park for the second time.
SECTION 6: 16.2 km
Section 6 starts by leaving the Assiniboine Park and heading down a quiet residential road that runs west alongside the south of the Assiniboine river. After a couple of bridge crossings we end up in the sleepy Woodhaven community, then follow Sturgeon Creek past Grant’s Old Mill and all the way up to Saskatchewan Ave (don’t worry, it’s not as far is it sounds :)). A mix of paved path, grassy riverbanks, and gravel eventually leads to a long stretch of paved greenway traveling past a natural and historic Living Prairie and then our airport and finally a couple of old residential streets that bring you back to the Assiniboine Park Duck Pond Shelter where you may be finished! Or, you carry on to your 2nd or 3rd loop.
The longest distance cyclists do 3 laps of their course plus ’half’ a lap (sections 1, 2, and 5, which gets you back to the Duck Pond Shelter one last time and is actually more than half the distance of a full lap) to get to approximately 100 miles.