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 that’s the case, but last minute changes may not be updated to the guide below.
Approximately 95% of the planned route is on officially designated or dedicated City bike/run/multi-use routes, with around 80% on dedicated (ie. no cars allowed) routes. The remaining approximately 5% is on relatively quiet roads that help connect the dots. Much of the route is paved paths but there are also gravel and dirt/grass sections and weather permitting a couple of long stretches on frozen rivers. 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 and possible ice. We anticipate but can’t guarantee that the participant pace will be faster than most previous years but be prepared for anything. There is very little elevation change. High winds can easily make up for that though.
CHECKPOINTS: We will have a heated CheckPoint with washrooms 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. Racers are however not allowed to linger in the hearted area due to facility rules related to Covid. Other CheckPoints will not be sheltered or heated or have washrooms. 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, which will then automatically send a timing update to Race Headquarters. 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.
You can’t count on taking shelter indoors along the course but highlighted on the map below with an “i” are a handful of 7-Eleven’s, Tim Horton’s (most but not all are 24 hours), and a Superstore that are on or close to the race course that you may use to buy food/drink. We have no relationships with these places and you can’t count on them though. These locations are also noted on our GPS maps in the Race Bible and on the associated cue sheets. Regardless of their availability we will only 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 64.4 kms per lap):
RUN COURSE: (1, 2, or 3 1/2 laps, approx 42.4 km’s per lap, approx 100 miles for 3 1/2 laps):
Section 1: 9.8 km
CHECKPOINT FOR CYCLISTS AND RUNNERS: At the start of the event all participants will use their smartphones to scan a QR code near the Start/Finish area to let our timing system know they’re present and ready to start!
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 our 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 (but will likely be snow covered), and it leads us south and west all the way to Jubilee Ave and the Elm Park bridge by the local favourite Bridge Drive-In (BDI) ice cream shop.
CHECKPOINT FOR CYCLISTS AND RUNNERS: The first unsupported CheckPoint will be located near the Bridge Drive-In ice cream shop just before the cyclists cross the bridge and the runners carry on west down Jubilee and take a ’short cut’ to shorten their loop. All racers will use their smarktphones to scan a QR code which will send progress info back to HQ so we can make sure you’re safe and accounted for.
After passing through the CheckPoint cyclists cross the iconic bridge heading south. Runners briefly go their separate way here by carrying on west 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: 14.4 km (bike only)
Section 3 starts heading east on the treelined Kingston Crescent before quickly veering south and sending us through a tunnel that connects with a pathway along Dunkirk Drive, still going south.
We’re not on Dunkirk for long before we cut through a quiet residential area that takes us east and north and 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 and head east until we hit Lagimodiere Blvd, and then travel south down another path beside ‘Lag’ until we connect with Bishop Grandin which also has a nice greenway and we follow that west for a while.
Eventually this section ends when we arrive at another CheckPoint, approx halfway along our Bishop Grandin Greenway stretch.
CHECKPOINT FOR CYCLISTS: At approx the midway point of our Bishop Grandin Greenway stretch we’ll set up a second unsupported CheckPoint for cyclists (runners don’t pass through this area). Just as at the 1st CheckPoint they’ll find a prominently posted QR code to scan with their smartphone before carrying on.
SECTION 4: 9.8 km (bike only)
Section 4 starts by continuing west down the Bishop Grandin Greenway and eventually reaches the SW Transitway, where 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 west along the Sterling Lyon Greenway and north 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, likely covered in snow.
The section concludes as we reach the Assiniboine Park Duck Pond Shelter where we started, but we’re not done our first lap yet.
CHECKPOINT FOR CYCLISTS AND RUNNERS: At this point the Duck Pond Shelter acts as a supported CheckPoint (there are washrooms and a heated shelter manned by volunteers) that all racers pass through where once again they use their smartphones to scan a QR code displayed near the course before carrying on.
Instead of ending the first full lap of the course at this time 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: 13.9 km
Section 6 starts by leaving the Assiniboine Park and heading west down Vialoux Drive, a quiet residential road that runs 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 north and west past Grant’s Old Mill and all the way up to a connecting greenway which brings you east past a natural and historic Living Prairie before you turn south, east, and then south again down a couple of 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.
CHECKPOINT FOR CYCLISTS AND RUNNERS / FINISH: If you’ve signed up for 1 lap (64km’s for cyclists or 42km’s for runners) you’re done, or if you’ve signed up for more distance you start your 2nd of 2 or 3 laps, but either way you first use your smartphone to scan yourself through the CheckPoint using a QR code near the Start/Finish area to either let us know that you’re done or that you’re carrying on.
Note that the longest distance runners 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. Due to some last minute route modifications because of heavy snow conditions the 100 mile runners will ALSO need to make up another 5km or so at the end of the race (ie. 3 and a ’half’ laps only gets you to about 95km). We have an easy out-and-back solution for this that uses the existing route, and we’ll share it with you before race start.