Spectators lined the streets of Montreal Sunday, cheering on runners pounding the pavement in the 30th edition of the Montreal marathon. Participants say the weekend long event made a triumphant return.
“We are feeling really good. I think Erika is a little bit banged up. This her first half marathon, her first ever time running 21k, but feeling good,” said Michele Letendre, who ran the half marathon with her twin sister Erika.
8,600 people participated in the half and full marathons Sunday. One, five and ten kilometre races were also offered on Saturday.
The race now called the Beneva Marathon of Montreal is under new management, after a runner died in 2019.
“It’s unfortunate, but us we just keep focus. The focus was since the last two years, on this new beginning in 2022,” Sebastien Arsenault, Organizer Beneva Marathon of Montreal.
Organizers wanted to give the marathon a fresh start, by creating a new start. All races have new routes.
“I just wanted to find the perfect balance between nice, fun and practical,” said Arsenault.
The course now starts in Parc Jean Drapeau, runners cross through five boroughs and pass iconic landmarks along the way. Before crossing the finish line outside the Olympic Stadium.
One runner told Global News his favourite part was running through the Old Port, saying it’s a part of the city he loves.
There is an increased focus on security and medical staff throughout the course with volunteers along the way.
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“We never felt alone. The whole race. There was always people there. There were some spectators with some music at certain spots it was great,” said Letendre.
The rain held out and it was a cool overcast day for most of the marathon. Creating excellent race conditions, according to runners
“Conditions were perfect. So anyone looking to better their personal best today was definitely in for a treat you know,” said Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, co-spokesperson of the Montreal Marathon.
Even if participants didn’t clock a personal best, many are riding on a runners high. Already planning on lacing up their sneakers again.