The solidarity marathon

The torment experienced by the 58 runners of the Saguenay Shared Marathon must be similar to the one I live trying to write this column.

They pushed me, sitting comfortably in a suitable chair Kartus, in the coast of Saint-Jean-Eudes and in the climbs of the rank of Cheese (Saint-Martin).

As for me, I have to give them back every sweat drop and all the generosity they showed me, propelling me, in joy and sorrow, 42.2 kilometers from La Baie to Jonquière. A gift of self that is priceless.

On Saturday, I was one of eight people with mobility issues who could do the unthinkable: a marathon. We each had eight riders with us, two by relay of ten kilometers. One of the organizers even described the riders as “accessories” for the co-racers.

And on arrival, I received a medal; not them. And yet!

Here are some members of my team: Marie-Ève ​​Brassard, Romane Le Gallou, Benoit Levesque, Yan Lapierre and Marie-Hélène Gilbert, in addition to co-organizer Marie-Ève ​​Larouche, at the back.

Team Beaumont

Them, in my case, are the members of the François Beaumont team – an inspiration and the regretted close friend of many of my acquaintances; what a chance and what a sign of destiny!

They are Mario Morissette, Julien Levesque, Benoit Levesque, Marie-Helene Gilbert, Romane Gallou, Yan Lapierre, Marie-Eve Brassard and Anne-Sophie Potvin.

The rise of Cheese rank was one of the biggest challenges of the shared Marathon. In this photo, we see Mario Morissette draw from his energy reserve and Julien … who seemed in full control, again and again!

This medal is especially yours. And I do not say that solely by guilt for the effort expended; I say it by gratitude! Thank you for giving everything for me!

Mario summed it up well: “Thanks to you, I exceeded my limits.

“Thanks or because,” I said.

– Grace, he insisted. ”

Mario has even finished the mouth in blood so he gave everything!

Julien Levesque was practically the distance in full and before each climb, he appeared to give a boost to the two runners of the current relay. Sometimes they had to get three to deliver me to the top of the new mountain. It was “the Machine”.

Benoit, he, “the oldest of the pack”, gave me the explanation of the superhuman character of his son … Julien! The father, like the boy, delivered an impressive performance.

Marie-Helene, I think she surprised herself. With her big smile, she repeated over and over again, “Leave it to me! She even re-embarked in the pack for the fourth leg.

The four co-organizers, Donald Dubois, Marie-Eve Larouche, Romane Le Gallou and Dave McMullen, gave some instructions before the start, given to the dock at La Baie. The Mayor of Saguenay, Josée Néron, was present to encourage participants.

Romane, she was one of four organizers, with Dave McMullen, Donald Dubois and Marie-Ève ​​Larouche. A fire team who delivered a flirting first edition with a perfect score. A performance at the height of my runner almost too fast!

Yan had to give up his personal challenge of not needing Julien back-up. And so much the better, since it may have reserved the energy needed for a small sprint in the last meters, allowing us to reach the finish line first!

That said, it was not a race; it was a “team effort”, said Gilles Plourde, the one with whom I did my first shared race, in April, in Kénogami! These wise words, he pronounced them as he came to lend a hand to my team; being assigned to another cocoureur.

Let’s go back to my team.

Christine Thibeault loved her experience, she told me in the last kilometers of the race.

Marie-Eve, she told Julien – not me, the other – that it was “his idol”, confused apologetically for needing his help. And yet, she did her part and ran without problem her 10 kilometers, which is impressive in itself. It’s more at the level of the arms that she reached her limit, her baby in the stroller weighing 200 pounds more than the one she usually carries!

Anne-Sophie, she made a small exit very nice road, which simply made me smile. You too, touched me by your generosity and your joy of living! A real team girl!

All together, you allowed me to do the unthinkable. You made me experience the emotions that inspire the inspiration of this event, the multiple marathon runner and holder of a shared race Guinness record, Marie-Michelle Fortin. An ambassador for the Kartus armchair, exceptional equipment designed in Sherbrooke.

I was very happy to meet Marie-Michelle Fortin, before leaving for La Baie, having only had social media exchanges with the one I can now describe as “inspiration”.

Thanks to …

The words “Because, because, because” of Celine Dion had no place in the shared Marathon. It was rather “Thanks to, thanks to, thanks to”!

Thus, thanks to you, I vicariously lived the roller coaster of emotions of the long-distance race, clutching the face for no reason in the ribs when I heard you force like never and let go a long expiration once at the top! And in writing these lines, I feel like reliving every second of this invaluable experience.

Thanks to you, I crossed the finish line, arm in the air, smiling to Marie-Michelle, by my side! Photographer Rocket Lavoie caught this magical moment on arrival, while I was not looking at the finish line. No, I was looking at my new friend, as if to thank her with a smile for having inspired such an event.

Thanks to you, we sensitized the crossed Saguenéens on the way to the values ​​of inclusion and generosity.

Thanks to you, we felt included and not so different for four and a half hours.

Thanks to you, Patrice Imbeau, Christine Thibeault, Claudia Duchesne, Éli-Jeanne Tremblay, Pierre-Luc Gauthier, Marie-Michelle Fortin and I realized the unachievable!

Thanks to twenty or so volunteers, special education students and organizers, we had an experience without “no thorns”, as Marie-Ève ​​Larouche pointed out on the way home.

Thanks to Mother Nature, we were able to take full advantage of the beautiful Saguenéens landscapes, in addition to feeling a welcome wind.

Thanks to us, you have understood the daily challenges of reduced mobility, especially the organizers, when they noticed the inaccessibility of toilets in the Chicoutimi Port Zone, a bad surprise that was quickly corrected, but which remained to them. head. “You do not realize how much you have to face inconsistencies in your daily life,” said the very friendly Marie-Eve.

Thanks to us, you have forgotten the times to give “a new meaning” to your race.

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