February 2015, an air temperature of -22F and -40F wind chill was a tough way to start the day. The curtain closed on Act 1 of Actif Epica at the St. Pierre-Jolys checkpoint. 16 miles on my bike with significant frostbite. Continuing would mean worsening frostbite, as I had no extra protection for my face. I chose to stop the performance.
Act 2 took place 02.13.16. I set out on foot for this performance of 120km. The weather was moderate at -17F. My attitude was good and my friend Ryan was along to ride his fatbike in the 162km distance. Realizing that my newly purchased GPS device was somewhere between my present location and 3 miles back caused a backtrack over 2 miles. Trying to make up time on a minimum maintainance, ice covered field road found me slamming into the stage. Sore, tired, and emotionally battered, I made it to the Niverville checkpoint (38 miles). I had less than 5 minutes to get back on stage or the curtain would close. I choose to let it drop and perform another year.
This Saturday, I take the stage for Act 3 of Actif. I’m once again on foot. This year instead of 120km, I’m going for the newly added 160km (100 mile) option. Temperatures this year are predicted to be in the mid 30’sF for the day and upper 20’sF for Saturday night’s low. Those going this distance are given 35 hours (6AM Sat-5PM Sun) to get to The Forks in downtown Winnipeg. All the necessary gear and grub will be stored in my backpack. This event provides me 6 checkpoints for hydration refills and some extra calories. If this year is like the previous two, the volunteers at the various checkpoints will provide a vast array of options. Ha, with the balmy temperatures maybe popsicles will even be provided?
If you are interested in following my progress in real time, this link will bring you to my SPOT tracker share page. It’s set to send a signal every 30 minutes. I’ll have it activated around 6AM on Saturday. Actif 2017
Here are links to articles from the Winnipeg newspapers that describe this year’s event, as well as relate it to present day situations: Endurance Race Helping ‘Real Human Resilience’ and Ultra Marathon Crosses Paths
I share these articles because I believe all human beings are on journeys, both communal and singular. Sometimes these are journeys of leisure while at other times the journeys are for survival. My journey is no better or worse than that of another. However, I hope that as human beings we don’t use fear and distrust to negate or minimize the journey of others. I have nothing of tangible significance in my existence other than relationships that provide depth and meaning to my daily life. I aspire to provide others with hope, guidance, accompaniment, humor, and encouragement as they navigate their way through life. I have gained much from other travelers. My desire is for that to continue in unique and meaningful interactions.