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Posted: August 24, 2017:  

Athletics: SSQ Quebec City Marathon celebrates 20th anniversary on both shores

Paving the way for a new course in 2018

Quebec City, Wednesday, August 23, 2017: This weekend, August 25 - 27, the SSQ Quebec City Marathon in collaboration with the City of Lévis celebrates its 20th anniversary in a celebration of running that takes in both sides of the river and features three days of exciting events for amateur and elite runners alike. With just a couple of days to go until the start, this year’s event promises to be one to remember. Quebec Running Events Corporation and event producer Gestev are proud to announce all the details about the weekend ahead, as well as an exciting change of course for 2018. Based entirely on the Quebec City side of the river, next year’s event will showcase the city’s picture-postcard scenery and feature plenty of new challenges for runners. "For the 20th anniversary of the marathon, we’re celebrating this superb course that has taken thousands of runners from one shore of the St. Lawrence to the other since 1998. And 2018 will mark the beginning of a fantastic new adventure focused on the Quebec City side of the river,” said Chantal Lachance, Vice-President of Marketing and Operations for Gestev. “We want the cream of the crop to keep coming back to Quebec City by setting new challenges for them, and we want to attract more runners from not just the local area, but also the rest of the country and across the world."

The organizers expect the change of course will make the SSQ Quebec City Marathon a true destination marathon. "Going forward, this is an incredible opportunity for runners to see all the charm of the city and its neighbourhoods,” said Chantal Lachance. “Until then, we’re focusing all our energy on this 20th anniversary event that has attracted close to 8,000 runners from all over the world!" The longstanding collaboration with the City of Lévis will continue, with a revamped Oasis Lévis Half-Marathon already on the calendar to kick off next year’s Je Cours Qc running event series in May 2018. And exceptionally, all five races on the 2018 Je Cours Qc calendar will be open for registration this weekend, August 25 - 27, so runners can get a headstart on planning their next race season!

A long weekend packed with sporting action

The weekend kicks off on Friday evening, August 25, with the SSQ Star Race, a fun run starting at Parc de la Francophonie park. The next morning, Saturday, August 26, the same park plays host to two more family-friendly events with the Tanguay Kids Race (2K and 5K) and the SSQ Health 5K. The weekend then reaches its peak on Sunday, August 27 with the three long-distance races—the Oasis 10K, 21.1K half-marathon presented by WKND 91.9 FM and the 42.2K marathon all sharing the same finish line on Quai Saint-André street in the Old Port, right across from the Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec market.

SSQ still a pace-setting partner

Je Cours Qc would like to highlight the exceptional commitment and support that SSQ Financial Group has brought to the event year after year as title partner for more than ten years running. “We are very proud to lend our name to the SSQ Quebec City Marathon and to have been a part of its ever-increasing success as the landmark event on the Quebec City running calendar. The new course for 2018 here on the Quebec City side of the river promises to breathe new life into the race,” said Jean-François Chalifoux, Chief Executive Officer of SSQ Financial Group. “This longstanding partnership is SSQ’s way of showing the importance we place on community engagement and healthy lifestyles.”

Je Cours Qc Expo - August 25 and 26

There are lots of new and exciting things in store at the Je Cours Qc Expo, which runs Friday, August 25, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, August 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Quebec City Conference Centre. Visitors are in for a treat, with around forty sporting exhibitors’ booths to visit and free talks about running-related topics held throughout the weekend. Writer, elite coach and Je Cours Qc ambassador Jean-Yves Cloutier will be at a booth providing one-on-one advice for runners. A museum feature commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the marathon is sure to bring back memories for the forty-something diehards who have been running the race since the very beginning. And that’s not all: supporters wanting to cheer their favourite runners on in style can even record a message to show on the big screen along the course for the Sunday races. Oh, and let’s not forget, entry to the Je Cours Qc Expo is free for all!

SSQ Star Race - Friday, August 25

The SSQ Star Race is an untimed fun run that kicks off the running festivities for the weekend. It’s a great way for keen runners to warm up for their big event on Sunday too. The same as every year, this year’s SSQ Star Race is happening at Parc de la Francophonie park on the Quebec City side of the river. New for this year, though, are a snack bar and live DJ by the finish line. Starting at 8 p.m., participants get to run a 1.8K loop up to four times in a time limit of 1 hour and 15 minutes.

SSQ Health 5K and Tanguay Kids Race (2K and 5K) - Saturday, August 26

There’s something new for the kids this year too! Little ones can also get involved in the weekend fun with a 2K loop now on the calendar for Saturday, August 26. Some 1,000 walkers and runners are expected to turn out at Parc de la Francophonie park, for these family-friendly events. The 2K Tanguay Kids Race gets underway at 3 p.m. and there will be a simultaneous start for the 5K Tanguay Kids Race and the SSQ Health 5K at 4 p.m. Now in its 16th year, the untimed SSQ Health 5K is raising money for the Carrefour des enfants de St-Malo to fight social and emotional poverty and help children aged 5 to 12 from underprivileged backgrounds by providing them with a safe place where they feel they can belong and be heard.

Highlight of the weekend: long-distance events - Sunday, August 27

This year’s SSQ Quebec City Marathon (42.2K) and 21.1K half-marathon presented by WKND 91.9 FM start over on the South Shore of the river for one last time at the Lévis Conference Centre from 7 a.m. Thanks to the cooperation of the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec, runners registered for the Oasis 10K get to start their race in a stunning waterfront location at Quai des Cageux wharf on the Samuel-De Champlain Promenade and run along the riverside from 9 a.m.

Race facts:

  • 42.2K marathon: 20th edition, approx. 1,300 entrants
  • 21.1K half-marathon presented by WKND 91.9 FM: 18th edition, approx. 3,500 entrants
  • Oasis 10K: 18th edition, approx. 2,500 entrants

The finish line and podiums for all three races are in the Old Port as usual, on Quai Saint-André Street across from the Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec market.

Registration and bib pickup

There’s still time for runners to sign up online at or in person at the Je Cours Qc Expo as registration is open until 4:30 p.m. on August 26. Participants must show their registration confirmation to pick up their bib on Friday or Saturday at the Je Cours Qc Expo in the Quebec City Conference Centre. Bibs will not be handed out on Sunday and cannot be distributed at the start areas or onboard race shuttles.

About Gestev

Founded in 1992, Gestev is a dynamic event management company specializing in happenings that make their mark locally as well as on the world stage. Over the years, Gestev has raised event management and production standards by adding a party twist to high-calibre sporting events, including music shows and live entertainment, while making competitions accessible to all. Jamboree, Red Bull Crashed Ice, Vélirium, Ski Tour Canada and Transat Québec Saint-Malo are just a few of the major events organized by Gestev. Gestev also manages the Baie de Beauport recreational site and is certified under the BNQ 9700-253 standard for responsible event management. Gestev acts as the official event producer for all running events organized by Quebec Running Events Corporation. This role is fully delegated by Multi-Sport, which is jointly owned by Gestev and Groupe Boucher Sports.

About Groupe Boucher Sports

With some 900 employees and 24 store franchises under the Sports Experts, Atmosphère, Intersport, Hockey Experts and Entrepôt du Hockey banners, Groupe Boucher Sports is one of Quebec’s leading sports equipment, clothing and footwear retailers.

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