Some people competing have had apprehensions about completing Actif Epica, so the race directors decided to have a new relay alternative.
Camille Partin and Mallory Richard are two such people.
Last Sunday, one of Epica’s race directors, Dwayne Sandall, was giving a cold weather running workshop at City Park Runners on Portage Avenue by Assiniboine Park. Camille was in attendance.
“Speaking to events over the weekend, I think the biggest take-home message for me is realizing the enormity of the event,” Camille said. “The takeaway message from our clinic yesterday was emphasizing the importance of gear — staying warm while trying to manage moisture that inevitably builds up through exertion.”
Even what you eat must be critically examined when the temperatures reach -30, -40, or even -50 degrees Celsius.
“These are the kind of unforeseen circumstances all racers will find themselves in, and makes training and preparation for this event all the more critical,” added Camille. “I think the participants of Actif certainly enjoy that challenging aspect of the preparation in addition to the event itself. But of course, I’m only guessing since I am a newbie to this, but I am enjoying the challenge so far,” she said.
“Relay is an experiment this year,” explained Epica’s marketing and communications director, David Pensato. “We’re working with two teams to see if it’s a viable option in future editions. One is a 50/50 two-person split. The other is a one-third, one-third, one-third.”
And finally, who could not forget the volunteers. These local sporting events would not occur if it were not for these people’s community spirits.
“We are incredibly thankful for our volunteers. They really make the race happen. In fact, we couldn’t pull it off without their dedication and great spirit. They’re fantastic people and really give Actif Epica a warm and supportive atmosphere in the bitter cold.” concluded Pensato.
And now we will all wait until the middle of February. Good luck to all!
All photos by Gregory McNeill