Événements Harricana produces highly favourable results in 2019

As 2019 is now behind us, Événements Harricana is drawing up highly positive results for the past twelve months.

  • Marked increase in Quebec-based, elite and foreign participants, as well as in the media coverage for Ultra-Trail Harricana;
  • Consolidation of the Trails in Motion film Quebec tour;
  • First edition of La Virée Nordique de Charlevoix under the coordination of Événements Harricana;
  • Holding of conferences and training sessions within various organizations;
  • Development of the Free Your Wild podcast;
  • Election of Sébastien Côté as national ITRA representative;
  • Structuring of organizational governance (meet our team);
  • Different Missions abroad;
  • Nominations for prestigious awards.

The Événements Harricana team worked hard to improve the organization and contribute to developing the discipline within the population in a unique and progressive way.

Most importantly, the team is bursting with ideas and visions on how to keep pushing the trail running discipline towards new horizons in Quebec.

2019 Ultra-Trail Harricana of Canada

The 8th edition of UTHC was held under the theme of consolidation, after a year (2018) of transitioning towards a more enriched programming now spread over three days, and two sites (La Malbaie and Mont Grand-Fonds).

Rather than seeking to develop innovations, the team prioritized continuous improvement measures and growth management in a context where trail running is exploding in popularity.

The event hosted a record number of athletes, with most distances selling out, and included a large number of foreign participants with 2,200 runners from 26 different countries for a total of forty or so different nationalities.

Note that Ultra-Trail Harricana has mobilized 82 participants in fundraising for the MS Society of Canada, an organization associated with UTHC since its creation in 2012. Together, they have raised $59,593.97 to support research on multiple sclerosis.

Improved services

On the organizational level, special attention was paid to further improving after-race meals, residual material management, refuelling station coordination, media coverage of the event, and pre-race communication with participants. The measures introduced were efficient, leading to great organizational improvements on these different levels when compared to previous years.

A key theme

With its year under the theme of health featuring the slogan, “Finding balance” and the collaboration of Honourable President Simon Benoit, the organization sought to implement actions for raising awareness and spreading communications on subjects that might help athletes practise their passion in a healthy manner, and properly prepare for their challenge.

Each year, Ultra-Trail Harricana selects a theme which allows it to develop new event components or place an emphasis on certain current issues within the ultra-trail discipline.

An emphasis on safety

Lastly, UTHC was marked by its commitment to ensuring enhanced safety during the event by revising procedures and processes, raising awareness, better informing stakeholders and adopting the best practices seen in other world-class races.

2019 Trails in Motion Quebec film tour

For a fifth consecutive year, the Trails in Motion film festival travelled around the province, with as many sold-out projections as ever, and an increasing number of new visitors.

A total of 20 projections were held across 17 cities for a total of nearly 1,500 participants, making it the largest regional film festival tour in the world.

We wish to thank the following local promoters:

  • Val-Morin: Jean-Louis Doss
  • Rimouski: Cédric Bouillon
  • Saint-Georges: Nicolas Bélanger
  • Sherbrooke: Benoit Talbot
  • Saguenay: Marie-Christine Dion
  • Percé: Jean-François Tapp
  • La Malbaie: Erika Potvin
  • Quebec City: Catherine Mercier
  • Rouyn-Noranda: Tania Rancourt and David Robitaille
  • Val d’Or: Michel Désy
  • Montréal: Sébastien Côté, Marilyne Tremblay and Marie-Josée Hotte
  • Carleton-sur-Mer: Gaston Berthelot and Vincent Landry
  • Laval: Mountain Equipment Coop
  • Gatineau: Louis Sabourin
  • Shawinigan: Mario Villemure and Peggy Juneau
  • Longueuil: Mountain Equipment Coop
  • Bromont: Audrey Larocquette

This year, the tour was marked by a consolidation of major partners of the event, presented by Québec Mega Trail and supported by Gaspesia 100 and The Running Clinic.

Once again this year, a total of $2,000 was given to Courir pour la vie in order to support its mission of suicide prevention. An another 885$ was given to The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) as well as 3 290$ for the Centre de pédiatrie sociale de Gatineau.

Portraits de Loup podcast

Since the summer of 2018, Événements Harricana has presented their Free Your Wild podcasts, which feature inspiring personalities from the trail running community both at home and abroad.

Produced by Curiozidée, twelve French episodes have been broadcast to date, for the year 2019 alone. An English version of the podcast was launched this fall, thanks to the collaboration of What’s Really Good.

These podcasts, in no way promotional, do not specifically discuss Ultra-Trail Harricana, but aim to offer trail stories by passionate runners, who share their best memories on the trails, their initiation to the discipline, their juicy anecdotes, their vision and their life philosophy.

To listen to all the UTHC podcasts, click here — > Free Your Wild

* The Free Your Wild podcast is available on all popular apps (Spotify, Google, CastBox etc.)

La Virée Nordique de Charlevoix

The year 2019 was marked by the first collaboration between Événements Harricana and La Virée Nordique de Charlevoix, which hired the Ultra-Trail Harricana team to ensure the proper coordination and communication for the event, held from February 14th to 17th.

This collaboration offers both organizations the opportunity to create synergies that are highly profitable for the region of Charlevoix: sharing human and material resources, and exchanging expertise.

La Virée Nordique is also a rapidly growing event in terms of participation and notoriety, with double the number of participants in 2019 compared to 2018, and a significant increase in media coverage.

Conferences and training in 2019

The UTHC team is called upon more and more to offer conferences and training sessions on event organization, ecological event management, work-family-sports balance, and practising run-commuting and trail running.

In 2019, these conferences and training sessions were mainly offered in several secondary schools within the Fillactive program, as well as the continuing education centre in Charlevoix, and as part of the Zero Waste Festival.

Election of Sébastien Côté as national ITRA representative

Sébastien Côté, Co-Founder of Ultra-Trail Harricana and current Chairman of the Board of Directors, was elected by his peers to represent Canada within the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) during the elections held from March 30th to April 5th.

An active member of ITRA since its creation, Sébastien had already been a national representative for Canada and a member of the Steering Committee from 2015 to 2017.

As the national representative for Canada, Sébastien Côté will be responsible for actively listening to the runners and organizers of his country and sharing his exchanges with ITRA, informing runners and organizers in his country of actions and services offered by ITRA as well as promoting them, representing the association during sports events and gatherings in Canada, and acting as a mediator within his community.

Ultra-Trail Harricana named best Cross/Trail competition organization of the year

It is with great pride and humility that the Ultra-Trail Harricana of Canada team received the title of best cross-trail competition organization of the year by the Fédération québécoise d’athlétisme on November 16th, during its annual awards gala.

The prestigious prize highlights all the efforts the organization made to offer a high-quality event through the variety and quality of services offered to participants, as well as its contribution to developing athletics.

Volunteer involvement with Distances+

Ultra-Trail Harricana’s executive manager, who is trained in journalism, has also written a number of articles for Distances+ on a volunteer basis, and revised several articles by other collaborators throughout 2019.

Sprinting into 2020

The team at Événements Harricana is heading into 2020 with a head full of exciting ideas.

For the Ultra-Trail Harricana, the organization shared its desire to reach a higher operational level and to enhance the event by improving the circuits. Announcements will be made at the beginning of the year.

The Trails in Motion tour should see new developments, especially in other French-speaking regions of the world. The goal is also to reach new clienteles to participate in projections: road runners, outdoor and adventure lovers, etc.

Many great surprises are in store for all Événements Harricana projects. Be sure to follow us so you don’t miss a thing!

The Événements Harricana team would like to take this opportunity to thank all the partners and collaborators who help make these promising projects possible for the trail running community!