Montréal’s marathon is music to your feet

Jamie O'Meara

Being able to run over 42 km in under six hours rocks in and of itself, but the annual Montréal Rock’n’Roll Oasis Marathon ups the awesomeness by adding more than two dozen live bands to the action on a course that snakes through many of the city’s beautiful and beloved neighbourhoods and hotspots before wrapping with rock stars and a party. Rock’n’roll, indeed.

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It doesn’t get more rock’n’roll than this

IMPORTANT NOTE (21-09-17): Due to the warm weather forecasted, the 42 km distance will not take place.
Read more.

September 23 and 24, the annual Rock’n’Roll Oasis Marathon Series, which turns 20 this year, will return to Montréal, and with it will come thousands upon thousands of runners pounding the pavement to the beat of live music culminating in a special post-race headlining concert and celebration. There are five different races under the umbrella of the Marathon, which takes place Sept. 24: 1 km, 5 km, 10 km, the Half-Marathon (21.1 km) and the Marathon (42.2 km). The Half-Marathon course is roughly 3.45 hours long, and the main Marathon takes roughly six hours to complete. It all begins at 8:30 am and concludes roughly eight hours later.

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All roads lead to La Fontaine

The Rock’n’Roll Marathon’s many races have different starting points, but they all end in Parc La Fontaine in the city’s happening Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood. The Marathon starts at the Jacques Cartier Bridge and winds through picturesque Île Ste-Hélène (home to Six Flags amusement park La Ronde and Parc Jean-Drapeau, where internationally renowned music festivals Osheaga, Heavy Montréal and Île Soniq take place) and Île Notre Dame (the site of the annual Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 race). It continues through Old Montréal and the Old Port to the Gay Village downtown, finally concluding at Parc Lafontaine.

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Families that run together have fun together

The races and all associated activities of the Marathon are designed with the whole family mind, though there are some age restrictions when it comes to the individual competitions. To participate in the main Marathon you must be at least 18 years old, 12 years old for the Half-Marathon, 10 years old for the 10 km run, and at least 8 years old to be eligible for the 5 km course.

Expo(se) yourself

Learn all about the latest in running at the two-day “Health and Fitness Expo” that is free and open to the public. It will feature clinics, the latest in running technologies and fitness apparel, health and nutritional information, and interactive displays. The Expo takes place prior to the Marathon on Sept. 22 and 23 at downtown Montréal’s Place Bonaventure (directly across from Central Station). Participants can also pick up their personalized bib, gift bag, t-shirt and other runny goodies here.

Bands on the run

It’s not called the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon for nuthin’. Live bands of many stylistic stripes will line the marathon routes, essentially turning the races into the longest block party in town. A post-race headline concert featuring well-known Canadian rock icons Moist awaits competitors at the finish line. At the end of each race in Parc Lafontaine, all participants will be directed to the Secure Zone where their photo will be taken, refreshments will be served and medals awarded. From there it’s off to the Family Reunion area to enjoy live music and beverages. As a special bonus this year, all participants that complete the full marathon distance will receive a snazzy marathon finisher jacket.

The deadline for online registration for the Montréal Rock’n’Roll Oasis Marathon is Sept. 17, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST. Please note that there is no race day registration.

Jamie O’Meara

Jamie O’Meara, blogger

Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.