The Jack Frost Challenge is fast approaching! This year, the Jack Frost Challenge is happening February 3-9, 2019 so be sure you have your team ready to go.

There are many reasons to take on the challenge with friends, family, and coworkers, but who better to convince you of that than past participants? We reached out to some of the 2018 challengers who made significant lifestyle changes, embraced winter, and exceeded expectations.

Garner some motivation and inspiration from our past participants to take on the challenge yourself

Why Register?

“A chance to win prizes for an activity I was doing anyways” – Chris

“It was not out of the ordinary to commute ~40 km round trip and recording the distance was just something to do.” – Charles

“I needed a kick in the butt to get off my couch and brave the cold!” – Teresa

“There’s no way we can be happy living in this climate without embracing the unique opportunities we have! The JFC reminds us that we don’t have to sit around waiting for the snow to melt, and we’ll be healthier for it.” – Sean

“My family recognized that we needed help in defeating our arch-enemy, ‘Screen Time’, so we took up the Jack Frost Challenge. Jack Frost has the power to defeat the evil Screen Time and our participation makes Jack Frost stronger and more effective.” – Jaret

“I like (friendly) competition. It’s also a way to spice up your winter when it has a tendency to drag on for many people.” – Heather

How to Incorporate Activity into your Daily Life?

“Weather has never been a barrier for me, it just affects what I wear.  Commuting is just what I do to get to work and it is a good way to balance my very meeting/sitting heavy job” – Chris

I ride year round, so this is just my normal activity. Although, in the summer I spend more time canoeing, so the distance I ride is actually shorter in the summer months. I often ride with a group of friends over the weekend for an additional 80-100km.” – Charles

“I made a number of more active outdoor choices during JFC than the preceding part of winter! I didn’t have a ton of evening time, but I made sure I went to work activities, meetings, and presentations using as active a mode as possible – biking, skating, walking, etc. I walked a LOT (and enjoyed listening to podcasts while I walked).” – Teresa

“Since I already have an active commute, the JFC got me thinking about recreational activities I hadn’t tried before. Most of my kilometres come from biking, for sure, but I also enjoy walking and skating when I can.” – Sean

“I remember JFC being the reason that I would walk places instead of bus…it was a pretty cool challenge to see how many kilometres I could accumulate by the end of the week.” – Bethany

“I planned out each day by setting targets and achieved those by walking home from work, meeting up with friends/ family for evening walks, and capitalizing on the weekend for long skates/ hikes.” – Heather

New Outdoor Winter Activities?

I hadn’t tried winter biking before, but I went to several presentations by bike during JFC! Skating isn’t a new activity for me, but I had never tried it to commute before – I was lucky enough to live along the Red River Mutual Trail – so that was a lot of fun. Definitely, my favourite commute, if a bit less efficient than my usual walk or bus.” – Teresa

“I typically stick to what I like, but I did try snowshoeing one year!” – Heather

Is Cycling a Seasonal Sport?

Weather should not dictate what you enjoy doing. It may affect the route you take, or what you wear, but it should not be a barrier.” – Chris

Cycling is all seasons. The right equipment and the right places open up lots of opportunities. Although winter time needs some extra preparation with regard to clothing and safety equipment.” – Charles

Cycling in winter is totally possible! I learned that I’m not comfortable biking on fresh snow, but that packed snow and ice actually feel really safe. Snowpants and warm mitts (I have lobster gloves for biking) are a MUST for comfort. Taking quieter side roads and taking more time than I would have needed in summer helped too. I have a mountain bike for winter riding, from the WRENCH, which volunteers helped me convert into a single speed with studded tires. It only cost me about $150 and means I don’t have to muck up my good summer bike. I don’t bike in the winter much, but JFC got me to try it and learn that it wasn’t actually as scary or uncomfortable as I thought it would be. I’ve moved since last winter and haven’t tried winter biking from my new home yet, but look forward to trying it again during JFC 2019!” – Teresa

“Shhh, don’t tell, but it’s way less hardcore than winter cyclists get credit for. I remind people that elementary school kids in Finland ride their bikes to school every day in winter, so we can probably manage. Layer up, and just do it. Treat it as an adventure and relish the chance to solve unexpected problems! Then be a mentor for someone else.” – Sean

Try cycling once in an area that you feel safe at a time when there are few cars on the road. See how it feels. If it’s not for you, that’s alright. If you are ready to give it a shot, remember to take it slow. Being a “fair weather” winter biker is also a great option. If it’s snowing or has just snowed, choosing to bus or walk that day is completely reasonable!”

“I would challenge people to see it as more than a recreational activity, but rather, part of a ‘balanced lifestyle‘” – Heather

Jack Frost Challenge Tips?

“I find it is important to use commuting to prepare for work and unwind afterwards so I am ready to move on to the evening’s activities; whether that be with family, friends, or my own activities.” – Chris

Make it part of your normal life routine. Even if you are walking, riding, running, etc…” – Charles

“It’s easier than you think to rack up kilometres fast! Especially if you can work outdoor activity into your daily life. Something as simple as walking to a meeting instead of driving, or getting off your bus earlier and walking the rest of the way, can help. It also helps if you think of outdoor activity as a treat: it boosts your mood and gets you to work happier and more energized. Why not grab a friend and walk somewhere for a coffee (or tea or hot chocolate) break? While there are lots of great winter activities, don’t feel like you have to get crazy creative either: going for a walk isn’t a seasonal activity and it’s worth reminding our bodies of that. When you spend more time outside, I find that my body starts handling the cold better. Try getting outside to make winter feel less miserable – even if you don’t feel like it. You might surprise yourself!” – Teresa

“The best thing, I think, is to implement the activity into your daily transportation, rather than having to make time for it. Biking is a much faster mode of transport than people imagine- try mapping your route in Google Maps!” – Sean

“My challenge to participants would be to participate whether you think that reaching 130km is possible or not and to be encouraged by however many KMs you’re able to travel. I would also encourage people to use JFC as a chance to get outside and enjoy Manitoba’s winter with friends whether that’s by skating, going for a bike ride, or simply going for a walk around your neighbourhood.” – Bethany

“Make a team of five and divvy up the kilometres evenly. Then, plan for how you will achieve your daily target. For example, five people would be responsible for a minimum of 26 kilometres each, which you can split up evenly as a minimum of 4 kilometres each day of the week. If a daily target of 4 kilometres is not realistic, capitalize on the flexibility of weekends by doing more on those days and less during the week.” – Heather


Did this help get you hyped up for Jack Frost Challenge? It’ll be here before you know it!

Stay tuned for registration, events, and prizes.