(Quebec) laughter, tears, grimaces of pain, some cursing… The finish line of the 18th Marathon SSQ Lévis-Québec was a zone of strong emotions, Sunday morning, in Quebec city.
Among the thousands of runners who would all have a great story to tell, Joanne Norman, for a second consecutive year, has established itself among women in 3 h 02 min, while the American Christopher Zablocki triumphed with a time of 2 h 25 min 36 s in men.
“I’m glad, because I’m in my forties and my time-static’, has launched the champion of 44 years, a native of Neufchatel, and resident of Lévis. “But if it can collect up to 50 years, so much the better.”
Its time stagnated, perhaps, but she was cut off Sunday near the five-minute mark last year (3:06:34). It must be said that in 2014 – the participants have not forgotten-it was over 30 degrees. With this time nearly three hours, Normand has not gone so far away from his best time in life, 2:59:39, figures that she has made a tattoo on the arm. Norman has also won the Montreal marathon last year. Not too bad for a woman who runs “just to relax”.
Another quarantenaire, Ontario Tracy Greig, finished second at 4:36 is the winner. Melanie Letourneau, Disraeli, completed the podium in her first marathon. “I was second for a good part of the race, but after 25, 30 kilometres away, it is really put to go wrong. But I gave all that I had to snatch the third position. […] When we hit the famous wall, hits it straight,” said the little athlete for 25 years, first recorded in the half-marathon, which has decided to run the 42.2 km at 24 hours notice. She achieved a time of 3:09:46.
In men, Zablocki flew over the course, finishing nearly 15 minutes before the vice-champion, Chris Hartshorn. “There was a rider with me to the entrance of the bridge [of Quebec]. But he has slowed down on the climb,” said the one who had finished second in 2013. The native of Connecticut has cut off more than 10 minutes at the time of the winner of the last year, Evans Maiko (2:36:46). Next February, Zablocki will try his luck in qualifying for the Olympics. “I’m ranked 50th and it must finish in the top 3. The chances are slim, but if you aren’t trying, you can’t ‘t win,” philosophized the winner of 27 years.
Hartshorn, a new Zealand native who lives in the Boston area, has registered a time of 2 h 40 min 06 s. “This is the best way to visit the city”, has launched the great runner 43-year-old, who was his first race in Quebec city.
“It couldn’t be better!”
Interviewed near the podium, while several runners crossed again to the finish line, the organizer of the marathon, Denis Therrien, was delighted with his day. “It couldn’t be better! Even mother Nature has contributed to it”, stated first the great manitou of the activity.
Near the finish line and around the large space serving area of decompression for the riders, a dense crowd had come to encourage parents, friends and even strangers. It is necessary to live these moments of ecstasy at least once, even if it is not amateur race, according to Therrien. “I want to say to people who remain at home… I do not ask you to come to the run. Come and live the finish line once. And you’ll catch the bite. There is an energy absolutely amazing. There is a vitality, which is unusual,” said Therrien, who plans to run in the 20th marathon Lévis-Québec, in two years.
A few riders have been in need of medical assistance at the finish line, but no unfortunate incident is to be deplored. On Sunday, thousands of runners have taken part in the 10 km and half-marathon (see table of results in p. 47).
Denis Therrien defends its pricing system
Denis Therrien replied to those who believe that the decline in enrollments noted in the different races of the Marathon SSQ Lévis-Québec this year is caused by the price of entry too high. These complaints usually come from the followers of the 10 km, ” said Therrien. It must be said that, unlike the majority of events of this kind, the price for the shorter distance is the same as for the 21 and 42 km (between 80 and $ 90, according to the registration date). “The policy with us, it is : same service, fee equal. I give the same service to all the participants of the day. […] Why it should be that I will pay more to those who are the 42 kilometres? There is no expense of the organization that is related to the quantity of asphalt to wear with the shoes.” Therrien added that several directors of other marathons feel that his approach is correct, but that they do not dare to change the tradition. As for the price itself, Therrien said that it is comparable to rates of marathons in Montreal (125 $), Ottawa (100 to $ 105) or Toronto (90 to 110 $), and significantly lower than those of the major marathons americans.