About 41 years after the Montreal Marathon was established, the Arsenault family will be in charge of the endurance race again starting next year.
For Sébastien Arsenault, chairman of the board of directors of the organization, this new challenge will have a special flavor. It was indeed his father Serge who proposed this event in 1979. Then, his uncle Bernard took over the collar of the competition in 2003. In 2011, the right to organize the game was sold to a competitor company and then bought back by Ironman. .
“I have memories of the 1980s,” Arsenal recalled. In 1979, I was 8 years old. I remember that with my sister, we made flyers and sorted bibs. This is indeed the beginning of what happened in my family. Therefore, there is a touching note. “
However, the challenge is not easy. Indeed, the last edition (2019) was marked by the death of Patrick Neely at the age of 24. The runner suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest during the race.
The investigation by the coroner Géhane Kamel reported communication problems, poor organization and lack of personnel to explain the tragedy. Regarding the announcement of the cancellation of the 2020 version due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ironman also said that due to the “lack of viability”, the company will not count the events held in 2021.
Through the takeover, GPCQM will rely on capable personnel, including Dr. François de Champlain and Eddy Afram in charge of security.
“I’m very excited, but in the end, the rational side often takes over. The only reason to accept submissions for candidacy is because I know I am counting on the best team.”
“I found unfortunately what happened. “Our duty is to ensure that there is an accurate contingency plan to meet the needs,” Arsenal explained, who claimed to have read the Coroner’s report.
However, due to the current measures taken by the public health department to contain the epidemic, it is uncertain whether a large group event is needed. If cancelled, GPCQM will bear all losses.
However, even if the return has to wait until 2022, and New York City only authorizes one version of its organization, Arsenault still cannot escape from this opportunity.
“No one can predict what will happen. On the other hand, she has the opportunity to return to the organization, and she is dying at the moment. We seized this opportunity. I know the fact that the first few years will be difficult. We will be in Will there be an event in 2021? I don’t know, but we have no choice. You must start working immediately. We will see you later.”
“This is a long-term investment. It is an honor to take over the marathon. This is Montreal’s signature event.”