Big plans for the first edition of the Canada Roller Marathon ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


24 juin 2019

Big plans for the first edition of the Canada Roller Marathon

If inline speed skating athletes in Canada were sad to hear the news that the Montreal 24H Roller event would not take place for a second year in a row, the creation of a brand new event with a vision of eventually making it an international rendez-vous will surely help heal the wound. Here comes the Canada Roller Marathon.

By Carl Savard
Pictures by Oscar van den Bosch, Carl Savard and Pascal Briand's personal collection

A roller coaster would probably be the best way to describe inline speed skating’s popularity in Canada. If South America and Europe saw the sport growing at a steady pace leading to thousands of people practicing it, professional teams being created and interesting prize money being awarded, the popularity of the sport seems to have decreased in the last decade in Canada. Thanks to passionate people like Simon Clément of the 24H Roller Montreal, Peter Doucet vice-president of Roller Sports Canada, Pierre Laurent, Pascal Dubreuil and the team at VRL Le Club, roller is still alive and kicking.

Although Canadian skaters were deprived of their biggest event in 2018 (the 24H Roller Montreal has also been canceled for 2019) Pierre Laurent brought a breath of fresh air to the sport last summer organising a clinic with world champion Elton de Souza. Laurent, who's been friend with de Souza for many years, is organising an even bigger event this year with the first edition of the Canada Roller Marathon. The event will take place on September 7 and 8 and another clinic, lead this time around by multiple world champion Pascal Briand who also represented France at the winter Olympics in long track speed skating, will be held during the weekend. Elton de Souza should be there again this year to share his knowledge alongside his fellow countryman.

The marathon will take place at the PMG Circuit in Blainville, Qc (about 30km north of Montreal). The Saturday will be racing day with a 42km, a 3km and some 100m sprint competitions on the program. Sunday will be clinic day and will give the chance to skaters of all ages and level to learn from world renowned French skater Pascal Briand. Based on the success of the 2018 clinic with Elton de Souza, this 2019 edition should be another great event. The location of the clinic hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Marathons are held every year in Canada, but with this event Pierre Laurent would like to see international skaters eventually joining the party. It would help develop the sport in the country and give Canadian skaters a chance to skate alongside the bests. Even though the goal is to make this competition bigger in the future when it comes to international entries, the first edition will focus on the number of athletes taking part in the races. The Canada Roller Marathon will have a team competition portion, something that could give past participants of the 24H Roller Montreal a good opportunity to get together and compete in an event this year.

Besides Pascal Briand’s presence, Elton de Souza’s brother Darren, also a world champion will compete. Darren de Souza was crowned world champion in 2015 in the 5000m road relay event teaming up with Ewen Fernandez and Gwendal Le Pivert. Elton de Souza should also be present. Other than Pierre Laurent who’s organising the event, his sister and world vice-champion Anaïs Laurent will compete and their father François Laurent, will be the referee. Francois Laurent took part in the 2017 World Game as an official.

Other French skaters such as Marick Guerinel who recently finished 6th on 1000m at the Trophée des 3 piste, may also compete in Canada. As for Canadian athletes, it would be surprising not to see Peter Doucet, Jérôme Comtois-Urbain and Julien Armand at the starting line of the this marathon. More confirmations should be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Visit the official website of the event at

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