UPDATE: Feb 13th, 2020: Cue Sheets are now posted further below. Also note that the 54km route GPS files have changed slightly due to some last minute sidewalk construction, so if you’ve downloaded those files prior to 6:15am Thursday, Feb 13th you’ll want to discard what you’ve downloaded and load the updated version now.
UPDATE: Feb 11th, 2020, v2: Final GPS routes have changed. We’ve run into some last minute Manitoba Hydro construction directly across our floodway crossing path and have made a slight change to our course to avoid the construction. Updates are now posted.
NOTE THAT SOME CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO GEAR REQUIREMENTS TO EASE YOUR BURDEN A BIT THIS YEAR (BECAUSE THE COURSE IS NOT QUITE AS REMOTE AS IN RECENT YEARS)
If you have any questions or concerns email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Online entry form and waiver, along with entry fee, must be received by 11:59PM CST, February 3, 2020. Registration fees are non-refundable.
Gear Check Time and Location
The mandatory gear check takes place on Friday, February 14, 2020 at the Start Line (under the CN Stage at The Forks) before the mandatory pre-race meeting, from 3pm to 6pm.
The mandatory pre-race meeting takes place Friday, February 14, 2020 from 6:15pm to 6:45pm-ish in room 201 in the Forks main building (or find us under the CN Stage at the Forks by 6:00pm and we’ll walk you over to the main building meeting).
Race Start Times
Start times are posted in the Registration Page
About 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. Icy temperatures, windswept trails, big skies and huge landscapes await participants. Variable weather and trail conditions add to the mix, presenting a unique experience.
Actif Epica is run by dedicated volunteers on a non-profit basis and supported by generous sponsors.
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 http://www.arrowheadultra.com for more information.
The 2020 Actif Epica race course begins in Winnipeg and heads south along the Crow Wing Trail with various turn around points for different race distances. Turn around points are listed on the Registration Page and a fuller description of the course and CheckPoints is posted on our Spectator Guide.
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.
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. Note that beyond obvious differences in length there are slight variations in the route for each distance (e.g. the 56km racers don’t go down Kingston Row, everyone else does) so be sure to click on the link that corresponds with the distance you’re doing. Also note that the distances vary slightly from our previously mentioned targets (e.g. the 200km route is closer to 205km), owing to small last minute changes as a result of changing conditions. Last minute construction may change the distances slightly yet again.
*Make sure you have the latest GPS files. All routes have had updates due to construction (115km, 160km, and 205km updated Feb 11, 56km updated Feb 13)*
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).
You’ll be asked to ride or run at a leisurely (non-race) pace, all sticking together as a group, 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 official checkpoints, take part in the broader event and visit points of interest identified along the route. Check out our Spectator Guide for details.
Spectators may not provide assistance to participants at any point during the event.
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 email@example.com before registering.
Race Directors have the sole discretion to determine who is eligible to participate in the race.
Sign-in, 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 brought to the gear check. Participants are encouraged to arrive early.
Pre-race meeting is mandatory
Participants who miss the pre-race meeting will not be allowed to compete in the race.
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.
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 a half hour after the last racer is projected to pass through each CheckPoint on the race flow chart here (ie. The racer is pulled if they don’t arrive at a CheckPoint BEFORE this time). Alternatively, here’s a chart of the cut off times.
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, sharing food/water, or providing assistance (e.g. helping to change a flat tire). 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.
Except for Fraser Road all checkpoints are at heated indoor locations with water and washrooms. Fraser Road is an uninsulated shed with a portable toilet but no water access. Food and drink provided at checkpoints from race officials is not considered external support and is permitted. Hot food will be provided at the Niverville checkpoint and grab-and-go food will be available 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.
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.
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.
MANDATORY AND RECOMMENDED GEAR CHART:
(If chart doesn’t load well on your device click here to go directly to GoogleSheets)
A drop bag can be left at the finish line. It must be dropped off at gear check. 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.
Shuttle, and other ancillary fees are also non-refundable.
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 are only valid for the race(s) that they are issued for (i.e., a complimentary registration to Actif Epica for 2019 is not valid in 2020)