The Fifty Marathons Campaign

Run for our Rivers

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As a cornerstone of our political strategy, Alliance Romaine is launching an ambitious marathon campaign designed to physically and figuratively connect the fates of two separate rivers.

Starting in early September, a team of volunteer athletes will run 42-kilometer relays on a route stretching from James Bay to the Lower North Shore.

The event will kick off at the spectacular Oatmeal Rapids, where the historic and soon-to-be diverted Rupert River crosses the James Bay Highway.

Embodying the traditional role of runner as messenger, the marathoners will transmit the experiences and disappointments of the James Bay Cree communities which have been impacted by forty years of aggressive hydroelectric development on their lands. As we run through the communities of southern and eastern Quebec, we will showcase the struggles of local activists who have fought to protect wild rivers including the Dumoine, the Magpie and the Moisie. We will hold seminars and public presentations to discuss energy strategy, and we will expose the cumulative loss to biodiversity, fisheries, and recreational and cultural values that is occasioned by a policy that involves damming the majority of Quebec’s large rivers.

Divided into a set of approximately fifty marathons, the event will span two thousand kilometers, and last five weeks, before concluding on traditional Innu territory at the spot where the now-threatened Romaine River flows into the St. Lawrence.

This campaign’s aim is to mobilize and give a voice to the large numbers of Quebecers who believe that our rivers should be valued as something more than potential treadmills to produce cheap energy.

Our demands:
1. A halt to the recently-initiated hydroelectric project on the Romaine River
2. A moratorium on hydroelectric dam development, including the Little Mecatina
3. Protected status for the full length of the Romaine River
4. Good-faith land title negotiations with First Nations
5. Adopt a conservation based energy strategy with full public accountability
6. End energy subsidies to big business
7. A system of government grants and incentives to support small-scale renewable energies

Marathon schedule

Sept. 8th (Tuesday) Public info night in Matagami, 7:30 PM. Centre Civique, 30 rue Cavelier. Salle Multidisciplinaire

Sept. 9th (Wednesday) 8:00 AM. Press Conference at the James Bay Highway (km 0), followed by  marathon send-off

Sept. 12th (Saturday) Arriving in Amos. Public info night, 8:00 PM, at Café Aquarium. 14, 1ère Ave.  Ouest

Sept. 13th (Sunday) Arriving in Val d’Or. Public info night. (venue to be confirmed)

Sept. 16th (Wednesday) Arriving in Barrier Lake Algonquin Community. Late afternoon press  conference, followed by public event.

Sept. 18th (Friday) Marathon leaves Barrier Lake

Sept. 20th (Sunday) Arriving in Maniwaki. Public info night.

Sept. 23rd (Wednesday) Arriving in Gatineau. Press Conference.

Sept. 24th (Thursday) Public info night in Gatineau.

Sept 25th (Friday) Leaving Gatineau via Highway 148.

Sept. 27th (Sunday). Arriving on Montreal Island (métro Côte-Vertu). Press conference, followed by  public info night downtown (venue to be announced).

Sept. 29th (Tuesday) Marathon crosses Montreal Island, passing Mount Royal and McGill University,  and Hydro-Quebec’s office on René-Lévesque (to coincide with public gathering). Following  Sherbrooke Ave/ Highway 138 to Repentigny. Public info night in Repentigny.

Sept. 30th (Wednesday) Leaving Repentigny via Highway 138

Oct. 4th (Sunday) Arriving in Quebec City (Sainte-Foy). Press conference and public info night at  Laval University, Amphithéâtre Hydro-Québec (!!)

Oct. 5th Running through Quebec City, over the Plains of Abraham, in front of the National Assembly  (to coincide with public gathering)

Oct. 9th (Friday) Arriving in Tadoussac. Public info night.

Oct. 10th (Saturday) Leaving Tadoussac. Arriving by marathon and ferry in Trois-Pistoles. Public info  session in the late afternoon.

Oct 12th (Monday) Arriving in Rimouski. Public info night.

Oct. 13th (Tuesday). Taking ferry from Rimouski to Sept-Îles. Midnight press conference.

Oct. 14th (Wednesday). Public info night in Sept-Îles.

Oct. 15th (Thursday) Marathon leaves Sept-Îles.

Oct. 16th (Friday). Public info night and discussion in Havre Saint-Pierre.

Oct. 18th(Sunday). Marathon arrives in the Innu community of Ekuanitshit. Public reading of a  letter  from a  Cree trapper from Nemaska, near the Rupert River. Press Conference and ceremony on  the banks of  the Romaine River.

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