From Radio Canada

On Sunday, the Mamu marathon in Uashat mak Mani-utenam attracted some 230 runners from all over the North Shore and the Bas-Saint-Laurent. The half-marathon was particularly popular for this 12th year, and 55 athletes took the start under the organizers’ gaze.

It’s intercultural, and people come along. “Seeing people move a little in Sept-Îles is encouraging,” says Rabee Bouhdid, who is in his eighth participation in the event. “It’s good to surpass yourself.

This is a message that Benjamin Maheux echoes. A kinesiologist at the CLSC in Kawawachikamach, he came especially to Sept-Îles to participate in the Mamu marathon, accompanied by three members of the Naskapi community registered for the 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer races.

Benjamin Maheux (right) came with three members of the Kawawachikamach community, including Chief Theresa Chemaganish (second right) and Elizabeth Mamaenskun.

We started training in April to come to the marathon. At the same time, it is the reward for those who train regularly with us,” explains Benjamin Maheux.

Elizabeth Mamaenskun is among the group. She put on her running shoes after a six-year break. “I like to come and run [in Uashat]. I went for the 5 kilometers.

This is the first time Benjamin Maheux has set up a Naskapi delegation for the Mamu marathon. He intends to repeat the experiment next year and hopes to attract even more runners. “We’re going to take pictures. We will advertise and show how fun it is.

The half-marathon event exploded in popularity, according to the organizers. © Paul Fontaine/Radio-Canada

The race, a cultural crossroads

For 12 years, Roger Vachon, the founder of the Mamu Marathon, has wanted to promote physical activity and bring indigenous and non-indigent communities closer together.

When you organize the marathon, you must have goals you care about. I have three goals: to move the world, bring cultures closer together, and promote Innu culture“, he explains. “We rub shoulders, but we don’t know each other. We don’t take the time to get to know each other.

Charles Robertson and Bernadette Michel prepared a dozen smoked salmon fillets for the participants of the Mamu marathon. © Paul Fontaine/Radio-Canada

Moreover, bites of bannok and smoked salmon, traditional indigenous dishes, were waiting for the participants at the finish line.

According to Roger Vachon, the number of participants is slightly higher than in previous years, even if the event has already welcomed nearly 600 runners.

Ten walking and racing courses took place, ranging from a single kilometer to the mythical 42.2 kilometers.