By Marianne Curtis
Organizers of this year’s Actif Epica outdoor winter race are thrilled with the success of the inaugural event. The one day winter adventure took place on February 18 and consisted of a 130 kilometre bike challenge which kicked off in St. Malo and ended in St. Boniface.
As expected, Actif Epica brought together participants of all backgrounds, ages and activity levels who participated, gathered to support the participants or just came out to enjoy the wintery weather, stated organizer David Pensalo.
“It was an awesome event – hundreds turned out watch the race or to take part in co-Actif events, including shinny and a community walk along the beautiful Seine River,” stated Pensalo. “The race would not have been possible with the participants and volunteers – their enthusiasm, initiative and general awesomeness added so much to the day.”
Thirty-two individuals signed up for the race including three runners and 29 cyclists who took on either a 130 km bike ride or 80km run.
The first group of four cyclists crossed the finish line at the Festival du Voyageur in St. Boniface after completing the 130km ride in 6 hours and ten minutes. In a three way tie, the last group crossed the line in just under 14 hours. Only two of the three runners finished the race and it took them 13 hours and 58 minutes to go the distance of 80kms.
Pensalo added a special thank you to the host communities that that opened their doors to the group including the St. Malo and Festival des Amis, St. Pierre Museum, Providence College, Niverville Arena and St. Adolphe Bible Fellowship Centre. The finish line was in St. Boniface at the Festival due Voyageaur.
Part of the race took place along the historic Crow Wing Trail. On behalf of the Crow Wing Trail Association Murielle Bugera says that her organization was very pleased to be part of this event.
“The Crow Wing Trail Association is proud to have been a part of this epic event,” stated Bugera. “What a great way to experience our history. One can only imagine the hardships our pioneers faced on the cold Manitoba prairie. It was a pleasure to have everyone biking and running through our warm rural communities.”
Thirty-two brave individuals burst from the starting line in St. Malo in a test of endurance in the first ever Actif Epica cycling challenge.
Spotting in St. Pierre, the elusive Manitoba Yeta, or Maniyeti made several appearances along the trail to encourage rides and runners along the way.