There can be no activity report more difficult to summarize than that of this past year’s, a year replete with an impressive set of surprises, twists, turns and uncertainties.
While the end of the year allows us to take a step back from all the events of the past few months, it still seems too early to congratulate ourselves on having made it through these trials. We are fortunate to have pulled through relatively unscathed, but we realize the future remains murky. We will need to remain vigilant, creative, and rigorous, and will need to continuously adapt to the current reality as it evolves over the coming months.
We would like to thank all those who support and trust us. Partners, volunteers, athletes, contractors, collaborators, suppliers, customers: you gave us the courage, optimism, and support that made all the difference in finding the solutions that were needed in 2020.
Thanks to you, we enter 2021 with a realistic optimism and the confidence that we will continue to achieve great things again.
- February 2020: Hosting of record-setting edition of the Virée Nordique de Charlevoix with 1400 participants;
- March and April 2020: Production of the Portraits de loup, Covid Special podcast;
- Spring 2020: Unprecedented media presence in mainstream channels; in particular, two television shows devoted to the UTHC (filmed in 2019 and broadcast in the spring of 2020) : The De par chez nous program, broadcast on Unis TV, and On the Van Aventure program, broadcast on the Évasion channel and simultaneously on TVA with Dominic Arpin.
- March to December 2020: Participation in various working and consultation committees of the racing and events sectors;
- June 21th to September 11th: Creation of the Harricana Club as well as the Lone Wolf Harricana initiative in June 2020 (197 participants, 4 discovery outings and 4 other activities organized throughout the summer);
- July and August 2020: Organization of three open-air screenings of approximately fifty people in in the Capitale-Nationale region;
- September 2020: The long distances events of the Ultra-Trail Harricana ™ of Canada were held with COVID-19 as a backdrop; New 80 km course; Exceptionally fruitful fundraising efforts for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada;
- November and December 2020: Transformation of the Trails in Motion Quebec film tour into virtual mode;
- November 2020: Recipient of the Vivats for eco-responsibility award in the “Prevention and reduction at source” facet of the event’s 2019 edition;
- November 2020: Creation of a virtual challenge on the Ultra-Trail World Tour platform (496 athletes from approximately thirty different nationalities);
- January to December 2020: Election of General Manager Marline Côté to the governance committee of the Ultra-Trail World Tour as representative of the circuit’s 500-point races for the year 2020;
- January to December 2020: Continued consolidation of organizational governance (discover our team)
- And even more!
Virée Nordique de Charlevoix 2020
For the second year in a row, the Harricana Events team coordinated La Virée Nordique de Charlevoix. The 7th edition of this absolute must in the region came to an end on Sunday February 16, 2020, just a few weeks before the start of the pandemic, with record participation in each of its activities for a total of over 1,400 participants from all over Quebec.
The new activity for the 2020 event, the Yeti des Glaces race, also reached the cap set at 100 participants in the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park, on a unique 10 km snow running course.
Club Harricana and Lone Wolf Harricana
Faced with the uncertainty and the possibility that the event would have to be postponed, our team developed a new program of activities that was offered throughout the summer to fuel the motivation of runners as well as to continue to support the Charlevoix region: the club “Harricana all summer” later became the “Club Harricana” with the promise of future developments throughout the year.
One of the main activities on offer was inviting members to come and run the “Harricana Lone Wolf 28 km and 10 km” from June 27 to September 11.
Several discovery outings were also organized throughout the summer. Among these was a week of activities with Mathieu Blanchard which included two trail workshops, as well as exploring the new 80 km loop in the Hautes-Gorges National Park, and the equally new UTHC 42 km from Saint-Siméon. An outing on the Les Florent trail in Baie-Saint-Paul and another to experience the 125 km from the start line to the La Marmotte aid station were also organized.
While the Harricana Club’s fall programming was scheduled to continue from September 19 to October 18 at the Massif de Charlevoix, it was cancelled at the last moment due to the second wave of the pandemic.
A total of 197 club members took part in these various activities from June to September.
Ultra-Trail Harricana™ du Canada
The 2020 Ultra-Trail Harricana ™ du Canada has been a very special edition, exceptional in many ways, but definitely successful. What a relief it was to see that the athletes collaborated willingly,showing understanding and respect for the health rules that we were obliged to put in place this year. A special, unique, historic edition that will long remain etched in our memories.
Grandiose landscapes, a warm and welcoming region, exceptional weather, an unbelievable opportunity … and athletes so happy to be together again, to surpass themselves and to share in these unforgettable moments.
Due to the pandemic, international athletes were not able to participate in this historic edition, but that did not prevent the 2020 edition from being among the most competitive in the UTHC’s history, with a remarkable line-up of high calibre Canadian trail runners.
This year, Canada’s Ultra-Trail Harricana™ was held under the banner of solidarity. With the slogan “Ensemble, plus loin / Together Forward”, our team wanted to reflect on how the trail running community could collectively pull together to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. This theme led us to get involved in multiple formal and informal working groups and consultation committees aimed at helping one another out as race organizers.
In spite of the pandemic, Ultra-Trail Harricana™ du Canada welcomed 650 athletes spread over four start lines, more than 295 volunteers and about 50 employees at 15 different sites over four days of activities.
To the best of our knowledge, absolutely nothing was heard of a possible spread of COVID-19 during these activities, 98% of which took place outside.
Although the second wave was not yet at its peak at the time of the event, we hope that we demonstrated that it is possible for our sports and outdoors sector to organize safe activities despite the restrictions linked to the pandemic. We recognize how fortunate we were, and we hope this example can help bring all of our trail running events back in 2021, whether or not the coronavirus is still an issue.
Of special note, this 9th edition of the event was an opportunity to bring in Julien Harvey, as an additional race director, as well as the GESTEV team which is our new logistics service provider. These collaborations promise to take the UTHC to another organizational level in the upcoming years.
2020 brought us its share of challenges with COVID-19, but letting go of our intrinsic values such as eco-responsibility was out of the question.
Thanks to the support of RECYC-QUEBEC, we were once again able to hire a squad from Coop de l’Arbre to manage the waste as best as possible on the main site. The heads of aid stations were also asked to sort their residual materials and send them to us at the main site.
Each year, we seek to improve our methods in order to limit the production of waste and optimize its sorting and management. We are far from perfect, but there is no lack of effort being deployed!
Also of note, on November 11, 2020, the 2019 edition of the Ultra-Trail Harricana ™ du Canada was declared the winner of a Les Vivats award from the Conseil québécois des événements écoresponsables – CQEER- Les Vivats, in the “Prevention and reduction at the source” category!
In the 2019 edition, thanks to the support of RECYC-QUEBEC, additional steps were implemented to improve the eco-responsible management of our event, which were achieved thanks to the collaboration of two volunteer coordinators, Thomas Duhamel and Marie-Philippe Ouellet.
A sorting centre, more efficient management of compost, a green team, a decrease in medal production, testing the washing of dishes at night; several measures had been added in addition to those already in existence in order to become even more aligned with our values of eco-responsibility.
Trails in Motion’s Quebec Tour
The Trails in Motion tour was adapted in two different ways for 2020. First, three open-air screenings of around fifty people were organized in July and August in the Capitale-Nationale region (Outdoor centres in the regions of Sainte-Foy, Baie-de-Beauport and Baie-Saint-Paul).
Later in November and early December, four webcast screenings were presented in collaboration with these local promoters: coach Benoit Talbot; the Bromont trail club; Richard Turgeon and Louis Sabourin from Gatineau; and La Clinique du coureur and Gaspesia 100. Close to 1000 people took part in one of these 4 screenings. This significant participation rate as well as the comments collected were conclusive in showing the relevance and interest that offering this kind of webcast in the context of the pandemic have.
Ultra-Trail World Tour Virtual challenge
From November 1 to December 1 2020, thanks to the UTWT virtual club, the Ultra-Trail Harricana ™ du Canada invited its community to rack up a distance of 125 km and 4220 D + (or 167.2 km without D + ) in their respective regions in a maximum of 10 outings and 25 hours, which is the official time limit for the 125 km race. We wanted to allow all those who had not had the chance to take part in our event this year to be able to experience it a bit. The objective was also to motivate our community to get some training volume and elevation gain done at one of the times of the year when it is often less easy to train.
A total of 496 athletes from about thirty different nationalities registered for the challenge.
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
Despite the context of the pandemic, an unanticipated amount of $ 41,968.33 was raised for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada as part of the UTHC.
We take this opportunity to thank all those who participated in the 2020 fundraiser. We were overjoyed than to say we didn’t expect such an amazing fundraising effort and such a great result within the current context. Bravo!
Onwards to 2021
The upcoming edition is likely to be a transitional year on the way to a probable return to normality in 2022, and it will certainly require us to continue to adapt our activities and events to the context of the pandemic. This reality will certainly contribute in the creation of even more innovation as well as testing new ways of doing things.
The Harricana Events team is hard at work as it seeks new ways of adapting itself while pursuing its mission of continuing to expand trailrunning horizons.
To follow all our activities :
- Ultra-Trail Harricana website
- Trails in Motion Francophone website
- Ultra-Trail Harricana Facebook page
- Trails in Motion Francophone Facebook page
- Ultra-Trail Harricana Instagram
- Virée Nordique de Charlevoix website
- Événements Harricana Twitter feed
- Infolettre : email@example.com