Race Bible

Note: This is the 2021 Race Bible and will be updated for 2022. It’s been left up to give you a good idea of what we’ll expect from you in 2022 because most of the rules will remain the same. Start times, course details, etc may change extensively however.  

If you have any questions or concerns email us at: actifepica@gmail.com

All information in the Race Bible is subject to change at any time. Race Directors will make every reasonable attempt to notify registrants about changes, but participants are responsible for understanding the contents of this document.

Reasonable accommodation for any aspects of the Race Bible can be requested by contacting us in advance of the event. Please contact us sooner than later.

Registration Deadline

Online entry form and waiver, along with entry fee, must be received by 11:59PM CST, February 1, 2021. Registration fees are non-refundable.

Gear Check Time and Location

The mandatory gear check will be VIRTUAL for 2021, to reduce face to face interactions during COVID.  Anytime ON OR PRIOR TO SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2021 you can send us photos of all of your gear. You can send us photos with multiple items in one shot if you wish but please clearly note for us with an accompanying description what we’re looking at in the pics if it’s not obvious. We’ll send you confirmation that we’ve received and approved your gear, and will try our best to process your pics as they are received. You can email the pics to ActifEpica@gmail.com

Pre-Race Meeting

The pre-race meeting will also be virtual this year. We’ll post on our site a video that will bring you through what would ordinarily be contained in our face to face pre-race meeting, including last minute course and logistics updates, so it’s very important that you watch the video before race weekend. We’ll also email you a link to the video, hopefully a day or two in advance of race weekend.

Race Start Times

Short Bike: Saturday, 12 pm (noon)

Short Run: Saturday, 10 am

Mid-Distance Bike: Saturday, 8 am

Mid-Distance Run: Friday, 10 pm

Long Distance Bike: Friday, midnight

About the Race

Actif Epica is a self supported ultra endurance event in extreme trail and weather conditions. It promotes health benefits associated with outdoor activity in icy temperatures, windswept trails, big skies and huge landscapes, and Celebrates Human Resilience.

There are a number of CheckPoints, most but not all of which are staffed with volunteers, along the route that allow participants to take shelter if necessary (they also act as a means for us to keep track of participants as they progress through the race), but there are long stretches of unsupported road and trail where participants need to be able to take care of themselves. Food is usually provided at some Check Points, but this can’t be relied upon. Participants must be able to make it through the race without assistance, even if they may be able to enjoy some ‘bonus’ food along the way.

The Course

General Description

The race route can be found in the Racer and Spectator Course Guide. Short distance (approx 60km) cyclists and runners are treated to a mostly urban course that still has a rural feel as they traverse two of Winnipeg’s major waterways (the Red River and the Seine), and ride a portion of the Red River Floodway near their race midpoint on a mostly looped route that starts and ends at The Forks.

Mid-distance (approx 110km) cyclists and runners use all of the Short distance course but also travel further south to Niverville, following a portion of the Crow Wing Trail.

Long distance (200km) cyclists do all of the Mid-distance route PLUS a stint along the La Salle River.

Our goal is to offer a safe race course that remains relatively close to civilization (and relatively close to our race HQ at The Forks and within reach of our medic team and volunteer rovers) while featuring quiet trails and paths that allow participants to enjoy the pristine winter conditions that Winnipeg and Manitoba offer intrepid souls.

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.

Weather Expectations

Typical winter weather in this part of Manitoba is frigid with subzero air temperatures that can dip to -30° Celsius (-22° F); however, windchill can result in effective temperatures of -50° C (-58° F) or colder. Weather conditions are likely to vary considerably during the race. Past races have seen weather conditions range anywhere from an effective windchill of -40° C in one year to an early thaw (near 0 C or 32 F) in another year.

Be ready for anything. Proper winter survival gear is critical. Checkpoints offer shelter and water (in most cases) but racers must plan to be self-sufficient between these checkpoints and be prepared in case of mechanical or physical breakdown.

Official Maps, GPS Info, and Cue Sheets:

Below are links to final maps for all distances.

Links to be added by January 2021

GPX, FIT, TCX, etc files are downloadable from the links above.

Automatically generated cue sheets are available through the GPS links above BUT the ones we hand out at the pr-race meeting, which are also posted below, are modified slightly to provide clearer detail and include cues for things like off-road and river sections that aren’t otherwise covered).

Short Course Cue Sheets

Mid-Distance Cue Sheets

Long Course Cue Sheets

You’ll be asked to ride or run at a leisurely (non-race) pace, all sticking together as a group (but socially distanced please!), as you leave the start line through to after you cross Main Street (approx 1km), after which time the race is on! Please be mindful of other members of the public on paths and roads. This obviously isn’t a ‘closed’ course.

CheckPoint locations guide is posted to our Spectator Guide.


Spectators are encourage to visit points along the route to cheer on competitors, a safe social distance from the competitors and other spectators and the general public, but sadly this year we can’t allow you into the CheckPoints themselves. Check out our Spectator Guide for a full route description to determine where you can spectator from a safe distance.

Spectators may not provide assistance to participants at any point during the event.

Race Rules

Failure to follow any of the rules is grounds for disqualification. Accommodations or modifications of the Race Rules may be made at any time and for any reason at the sole discretion of the Race Directors.

Modes of propulsion
Only human-powered modes of propulsion may be used. Any use of or support from motorized transportation (see No external support) will result in a disqualification.

Participants must be 18 or older and demonstrate their ability to safely complete the Race in order to register. This could include participation in other winter ultra-events (e.g. Arrowhead, Tuscobia, Iditarod).

If this is their first winter event, details of any winter/survival/camping experience should be provided. New participants are encouraged to contact us at actifepica@gmail.com before registering.

Race Directors have the sole discretion to determine who is eligible to participate in the race.

, waiver, and gear check are mandatory
Participants who do not sign-in, complete the waiver, and undergo the gear check will not be allowed to compete in the race. All mandatory gear must be confirmed with us via our virtual gear check this year.

Pre-race meeting is mandatory
Participants must watch our virtual pre-race meeting video. Note that last minute changes are often included in this meeting due to things like unforeseen last minute construction along the race route, changing weather conditions, and much more.

Participants are responsible for their own navigation
Although some trail sections and roads have signs, the course is not marked. Participants must carry with them a GPS and/or a compass (see mandatory gear requirements), and know how to use them in order to navigate the course. Detailed cue sheets will be provided at gear check. GPS tracks will be posted on this site before the race.

Start times
Participants must depart their starting point on time or they will be marked as DNS (Did Not Start) and they will not be allowed to compete in the race.

Race finish and cut-off times
Cut Off Times for all racers are approx a half hour after the last racer is projected to pass through each CheckPoint.

The cut off times are primarily there to make sure you have enough pace to make it through the course safely. Our hope is that every racer reaches the next CheckPoint before its cut off. In past races, excluding racers who have chosen to DNF, we’ve seldom had a racer arrive at a CheckPoint after the cut off.

No external support
No support crews, and no pacing or rides/tows accepted from motorized transport. Spectators may not provide assistance at any time (on course or at checkpoints) or accompany participants along the course (except at checkpoints).

Participants are permitted to help each other. This includes riding in small groups, (the buddy system is good way to do the race – especially in the dark and cold), drafting, or providing assistance (e.g. helping to change a flat tire). However, please do everything you can to practice safe social distancing.

Ordinary we also allow racers to share water and food during the event if necessary. That’s a sketchier proposition in these weird COVID times but like with most things we think a balanced, pragmatic approach is best. So, if for instance a fellow racer is in need of food and you can give them some pre-packaged, unopened food that seems pragmatic. If you have a sealed water bottle to give them if they’re in need of a drink that seems pragmatic. If they are in desperate need of water and can’t wait even until volunteers or medics arrive to help and all you have is unsealed water you’ve already partially used yourself it would seem pragmatic to share your water if the alternative is the development of a serious medical condition without hydration; otherwise sharing partially used food or water is obviously discouraged. Hopefully (and in all likelihood) these aren’t the decisions you’ll need to make during the race. More than anything this emphasizes the need for all participants to prepare to be self-sufficient.

Race Directors may provide a time credit to a participant who provides assistance to another.

Participants may accept limited or emergency support from officials if offered or provided.

Checkpoint amenities
Some checkpoints are at heated indoor locations with water and washrooms. Others may just be points where we can note you’ve passed by and are still accounted for. Fraser Road is an uninsulated shed with a portable toilet but no water access. Look at our Racer and Spectator Course Guide for a description of each checkpoint. Food and drink provided at checkpoints from race officials is not considered external support and is permitted. Unfortunately due to COVID protocols we will not be providing hot food at the Niverville checkpoint as we have in past, but we will provide grab-and-go food (think Halloween size chocolate bars and similar items) there and at the Fraser Road checkpoint, and possibly other locations, but do not rely on substantial food being available at any other checkpoint.

No littering or caching of supplies
Littering or caching of supplies along the route are not permitted and will result in a disqualification. Leave no trace. You may purchase supplies from businesses along the route, wearing a mask when you’re in any indoor public space and adhering to any of their other health requirements.

Mandatory checkpoints
Participants must check in and out of each checkpoint. Each missed checkpoint will result in a 30 minute time penalty.

Stay on Course
Participants must complete the race using the route provided. If the participant leaves the race course for any reason (including getting lost), they must re-enter where they left or they may either be disqualified or assessed a time penalty at the discretion of the Race Directors.

Participants may shelter at checkpoints as long as the checkpoint is open; however, participants who do not leave a checkpoint by the posted cutoff time will be withdrawn from the race.

If you need to take shelter between checkpoints, please do so in a safe location off-trail, but visible from the trail so that race officials know where you are/can find you.

Obey all traffic laws
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 all traffic rules and signals. Anyone caught disobeying traffic laws will be disqualified and asked to leave the course.

Authority of Race Directors, race officials, checkpoint directors, and medics
Participants must obey the direction of Race Directors, Checkpoint Volunteers, Rovers, and Medics at all times. They may delay or pull racers from the course at any point at their discretion.

Race Directors may assign participants a GPS tracking device at any point during the race. This device becomes part of your gear and must be carried to and returned at the finish line.

Failure to obey the direction of Race Directors, Checkpoint Volunteers, Rovers, or Medics is grounds for disqualification and may affect your eligibility to participate in future events.

Dropping out
In the event that a participant decides to drop out of the race they must notify Race Directors, CheckPoint Volunteers, or Rovers immediately (contact numbers will be provided at the pre-race meeting).

Weather-related race delay or cancellation
In case of extreme weather conditions, the Race Directors may delay, cancel or modify the race. 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, canceling or modifying the race.

Mandatory gear must be carried at all times
Participants must carry the required gear (see list below) at all times while on the course. Additional gear may be carried (e.g. snowshoes), however, participants must finish with all the gear they started with.

Participants 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 race (including at the start/finish). Compensation for lost time during a random gear check will be made. Any gear-check failures or arrival at finish line without mandatory gear are subject to disqualification or time penalties at the sole discretion of Race Directors.

Front and rear blinking lights must be active and worn while the participant is on the race course (they can be turned off at checkpoints). See Clothing and Gear for front and rear light requirements.

The participant’s main light is required for navigation in the dark. Must meet the requirements for their race as outlined in the Clothing and Gear section.

Dimmed or failed lights are grounds for disqualification.


(If chart doesn’t load well on your device click here to go directly to GoogleSheets)


Drop Bags

A drop bag can be left at the finish line just prior to the race start. It must be clearly labeled with your name on the outside of the bag (a piece of tape with your name on it will work).

Drop bags are not generally not permitted at checkpoints. Accommodations can be made for dietary or medical reasons. Please contact us at least a week before the race begins to make arrangements.


Registration and payment deadline
Participants must register and pay by the posted deadline in order to race in the event. Registrations without payment are not considered complete. Entry into the race after the deadline is at the sole discretion of the Race Directors.

Early bird pricing
Participants must register and pay by the posted early bird deadline in order to qualify for the early bird rate. Early bird registrations without payment are not considered complete and subject to regular pricing.

Non-refundable and not deferrable
Registration fees are non-refundable and not deferrable to subsequent years. However, registrants who do not demonstrate the necessary experience to safely participate in the race at the time of registration will have their registration cancelled and fees refunded. Registration fees cannot be refunded if the race is cancelled, delayed, or rescheduled due to hazardous weather.

If you have registered for the race, but are unable to participate in the race due to an emergency that causes financial hardship, please contact us for for accommodation.

Complimentary Registrations
Complimentary registrations are only valid for the race(s) that they are issued for (i.e., a complimentary registration to Actif Epica for 2020 is not valid in 2021)