at the races Marathon Beneva de Montreal: Journey to a Great Fall Race

Marathon Beneva de Montreal: Journey to a Great Fall Race


Alexandre Ratthé, Executive Producer, Marathon Beneva de Montréal, is a long-time runner and vocal advocate for his event, which kicks off September 22, and is always a highlight of Canada’s racing year. The event, which features a 1K, 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon—and tons of programming for both race crews and kids—is a perfect excuse for out-of-towners to sample the greatness that is Montreal. As he prepares for race day and embarks on his own training this summer, Ratthé found a few minutes to talk to iRun about the glories of race day, and post-race celebrations, in his beloved hometown. 

iRun: When did you start running and why?

Alexander Ratthé: I started running when my first son was born. Being a cyclist, I was no longer in control of my schedule. Running allows me to leave when I can and maximize my schedule. There’s nothing better than a 30-minute run between two meetings or before everyone gets up in the morning.
iRun: What are your current fall goals? 
AR: Organize the Beneva Montreal Marathon (lol), and I’d also like to run the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 15.


Photo Bernard Brault, Marathon Beneva de Montréal

iRun: What would make Montreal an appealing running town to someone outside the city? 
AR: It’s rare to have a 100% urban marathon course. It’s a great way to discover the beautiful city of Montreal. Take advantage of a few days before and after to really enjoy all the attractions, restaurants, microbreweries  and a good post race poutine!
iRun: Is there a robust running scene in the city, and is it easy for someone not local to navigate? 
AR: There are so many running clubs that it’s easy to find. There’s something for morning runners, those with few minutes during lunch, or 5 à 7 enthusiasts. On the road or on the mountain. What most clubs have in common is that everyone is welcome, and no one is left behind.
AR: I’d say that Mont-Royal is a magnificent playground for enthusiasts. There are also great bike paths along the Lachine Canal. Or further north along the Rivière des Prairies on Boulevard Gouin. And let’s not forget a 5 km loop on clay path in Frédéric-Back park.
iRun: Have you run the Montreal Marathon previously, and is there anything about the course you might recommend? 
AR: No, but I scouted the course last year and the easy answer is take your time, it’s a marathon! There are some difficulties like Côte Berri, so take your time. Pace yourself. There’s a lot of action and so much to see on the course, it goes by fast. The out-and-back on St-Laurent leaves its mark, but when you get to St-Joseph you can quickly see the Olympic Stadium mast coming into view, so you know the end is near.
Photo Bernard Brault, Marathon Bénéva de Montréal

iRun: Is there good crowd support? 

AR: Indeed, the many cheering stations run by the local running club will help you reach the finish line. Confetti, tam tam, music and mimosa will keep you entertained.
iRun: And, the million dollar question: where do you like to eat? 
AR: For a good carb loading I’m a pizza kind of guy! Near the office, in the heart of the Plateau, there’s a wonderful local pizzeria. Stella Pizzeria!
iRun: And what if we want to let our hair down. Where would you recommend iRun readers go to enjoy a post-race victory meal? 
AR: It’s easy! At Messorem-Bracitorium, a heavy double IPA or a smootie sour will quickly make you forget those heavy legs. Not to mention their magnificent terrace and Mitch Deli’s decadent burger and poutine. @messorembracitorium@mitch_deli_