By Bernard Pelletier

Last Saturday, 11 June 2016, I had the pleasure of participating with my family in the 4th annual Trail La Clinique du Coureur. Just as in past years, the activity took place in the middle of the Le Saisonnier outdoor center in Lac-Beauport in the suburbs of Quebec City. The event was planned as much for families as for elite athletes, and all of it in a friendly atmosphere.

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For its location, there is no doubt that the activity met the criteria for a family activity very well…Imagine a site set up for a children’s summer camp. With camp counselors present on the site to organize activities for the children and the addition of inflatable rides, the chance that the children would find the day boring was practically nil.

Same thing for the parents: a child care service provided monitoring for the children while running, or simply while enjoying the trail.

And that wasn’t all: the choice of courses available made it possible for the entire family to run. Various distances were offered for the children according to their age, going from 300 meters for the 3-year-olds and younger, up to 1 kilometer by age categories up to 12 years.

For the teens and adults, three distances were available: 5, 10 or 30 kilometers. These distances were excellent challenges for those who participated.

For elite athletes, the 30-kilometer course was described by the organizers as being “a 100% difficult trail, technical and with a good positive incline” of more than 1200 meters.

My children (Simon, aged 9 years, and Catherine, aged 6 years) loved their experience. It was their second year to participate in this event. Both were so excited returning all proud from their race, telling us, “There was mud everywhere and we ran through it!”

As for me, I was up for my first experience in a trail-running race, and it will not be the last! All along the 5-kilometer course, which was clearly marked out, numerous volunteers cheered us on or helped us if needed. At the end of the race, they had everything we needed to restore our energy (sandwiches, fruit, cheese, drinks, etc.).

Quite a few exhibitors, all of them specialists in various areas of racing, were also there to introduce us to their products and services. Incidentally, I will use my next blog postings to let you know more about them!

Altogether there were about 450 children who participated in the 1-kilometer races, while just over 600 individuals took part in the other races.

Congratulations to the entire organization for their exceptional job…

See you next year on 10 June 2017 for the 5th annual event!

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