Montréal, Wednesday, March 24, 2021 – Événements GPCQM is pleased to announce that the Marathon Beneva de Montréal will be held from September 24 to 26, 2021. The promoter of the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec et de Montréal and founder of the Montréal Marathon in 1979, Événements GPCQM is resuming management of the event with a brand new title partner, Beneva, born from the coming together of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance. Montréal’s was the first international-calibre marathon to be held in Canada, and Québec’s largest running event over 30 editions. The Marathon Beneva de Montréal will feature race distances for runners of all performance levels, from families to seasoned athletes: 42.2 km, 21.1 km, 10 km, 5 km and 1 km.
“We are very excited to announce our partnership with Beneva. Their people-first approach and the values they espouse align perfectly with our priority, which is to make the runners’ experience the focus of our actions,” says Sébastien Arsenault, President and CEO, Événements GPCQM. “By partnering with the Beneva, we’re consolidating our strengths to get people moving in a safe environment, in a context where healthy lifestyle habits and improved conditions for sports and exercise are more important than ever in our lives.”
“We are extremely proud to be teaming up with Événements GPCQM to make the Marathon Beneva de Montréal possible. Running is a sport that is accessible to everyone and has so many benefits, both physical and mental,” says Martin Robert, Executive Vice- President and Lead, Talent, Culture and Communication, Beneva. “We wish to contribute to a wholesome sports event for families, runners and spectators alike,” he adds.
September 24 > Active Youth Day
September 25 > 1, 5 and 10 km Races
September 26 > Half-Marathon and Marathon
For the first time, the start of the Sunday races will be at Espace 67, in Parc Jean-Drapeau—the perfect site to ensure an optimized and safe experience in the current context. No matter which distance they choose, runners will be rewarded with a finish worthy of their efforts on the iconic Olympic Park Esplanade. Between these two emblematic Montreal sites, they will wind their way through the city from one shore to another, through five boroughs: Ahuntsic–Cartierville, Plateau-Mont-Royal, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, Ville-Marie and Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. The detailed race routes and full event programming will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
“The Marathon Beneva de Montréal will be there with runners well before the start of the race, and beyond the finish line. Sport as a vehicle for personal growth and excellence is in our DNA,” Arsenault adds. “We are fans, spectators and a race promoter all at once. For us, the exhilarating experience of the event and the shared memories that are created are part of one package. We have been working for several months with the city and the departments involved to deliver an accessible, safe and secure race, and a memorable experience for participants. The Marathon Beneva de Montréal is going to be about the Montreal community.”
“We sincerely hope that all the conditions will be in place for the safe return of the marathon this September, which Montrealers will of course be glad to see,” says Hadrien Parizeau, Associate Councillor for Youth, Sports and Recreation, City of Montréal Executive Committee. “The Marathon Beneva de Montréal is a major event, symbolizing endurance and the achievement of personal bests. With everything we’ve been through this year, the return of this great sporting event to the streets of Montréal will be more than welcome, and will encourage people who want to take up running, or any physical activity that’s good for the body and soul, to get on it!”
Founded in 1979 by renowned sports journalist Serge Arsenault, the Montréal Marathon saw 12 editions under his leadership. Serge’s brother Bernard then redesigned this annual weekend gathering under other banners in keeping with trends and participants’ needs, working with a loyal colleague from the earliest editions, Mario Blain, as director of operations [history]. This year, the next generation of Arsenaults is taking up the family torch with an equally qualified, united team whose members are accustomed to working hand in hand. “We’re proud of our track record managing sports gatherings, and we intend to grow the reputation of this race locally and beyond our borders,” says Sébastien Arsenault. High-level runners from Québec and the rest of Canada will feature prominently in this upcoming 30th edition, and the organizers hope to bring the world’s elite athletes back into the fold in 2022.
The Marathon Beneva de Montréal organization is relying on a team of experts who have been involved in the sport, medical and safety aspects of major-events management for some 40 years. Key team members Mario Blain, Dr. François de Champlain and Eddy Afram were involved in organizing and operating the Montreal Marathon at various times from 1983 to 2018 [biographies]. In addition, Afram is the co-author of the Fédération québécoise d’athlétisme (FQA) Guide sur les services médicaux pour les courses à pied (guide to medical services for running events).
“The Fédération québécoise d’athlétisme is pleased to be collaborating with Événements GPCQM under the visionary leadership of Sébastien Arsenault, who heads an experienced team with the ability to restore the event to its former glory. We are confident that the Marathon Beneva de Montréal organizers will consider the needs of runners of all levels and do everything in its power to provide them with an unforgettable sporting experience,” says Marc Desjardins, Executive Director, Fédération québécoise d’athlétisme.
Registrations are scheduled to open in April. Until then, the organizer invites the public to follow its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and sign up for its newsletter via its web page for the latest news. In the event that the event is canceled due to COVID-19, the registration fee (excluding transaction fees) will be refunded.