The spectacularly picturesque city of Quebec is gearing up to host its annual weekend of running festivities with the SSQ Quebec City Marathon.

 

Held over the last weekend of August the fun begins on the Friday evening with the SSQ Star Race. Participants are given a sports cap with led lights on it that turns into thousands of tiny stars on the 2km loop course. The route is illuminated with various lighting displays and bands playing. It’s the perfect chance for some last minute training as participants do as many laps as they like in the 1h:15m time limit before being dazzled by a firework display to celebrate the beginning of an exciting race weekend.

Saturday hosts a selection of 5km and 10km fun runs for grown ups and kids alike, as well as the excellent Sport and Fitness expo. Sunday morning brings the start of the Marathon, Half-marathon and the Oasis 10km.

 

Runners are treated to an exquisite blend of scenery including famous historical architecture, beautiful waterfront vistas and striking parks such as the Parc des Champs de Bataile (Plains of Abraham), before finishing on Saint-Paul street, in the heart of Old Québec, near the famous Gare du Palais train station.

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The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is fast scaling the ladder to become one of North America’s most exciting events.

 

Earlier this year the marathon became the first in Canada to be awarded IAAF Gold Label status and is only the fourth in the Americas to receive it.

 

Boston, Chicago and New York marathons are also Gold Label events. This means the marathon is now recognized as one of the best in the world. To be given this status reflects that the race has impeccable organization and top quality athletes competing.

 

The flat and fast features of the course have consistently been the reason for so many people achieving a personal best, qualifying for Boston or having an exceptional race.

 

Power walkers and slower runners also love this course because of its 6 hour time limit. Last year over 27,000 competitors from more than 60 countries gathered to compete in the full or half marathon and 5km events.

This year The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is also host to the 2015 Canadian Marathon Championship for the first time.

 

With bands and Neighbourhood Entertainment Centres every 2km, cheerleaders and numerous aid stations, the race is set to be another outstanding weekend of running and festivity.

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