Over 800 km covered at the “défi de marche Groupe Maurice” hiking challenge!


For several years now, La Mauricie National Park has hosted the Défis du Parc organization for a series of sports and recreational events. This universally accessible event is ideal for endurance sports enthusiasts and people who love the outdoors. For this 16th edition, Le Groupe Maurice residents once again gathered on September 10 for the Défi de marche Groupe Maurice 4 km hiking challenge! Here’s a look back at a fun-filled day!

What a wonderful intergenerational event

Spectacular scenery, exceptional trails, a warm atmosphere… there’s no shortage of glowing adjectives to describe Les Défis du Parc. Every year, nearly 3,000 participants of all ages and walks of life sign up for the various races offered by this non-profit organization. Thanks to the support, accessibility, professionalism of the volunteers and variety of events, many people can choose from five sports challenges in a magnificent, safe environment:

  • Cogeco road cycling (105 km)
  • Chlorophylle trail run (14 km)
  • Groupe Bellemare trail run (7 km)
  • Desjardins youth run (2 km)
  • Groupe Maurice walk (4 km)

Rewarding sporting challenges

Once again this year, the Défi de marche Groupe Maurice hiking challenge was a great success, attracting over 200 participants, the oldest of whom was 93! In all, almost 800 km were covered, and it was under more-than-ideal weather conditions that residents from 45Nord, iVVi, Floréa, Cornelius and Les Jardins du Campanile hiked the magnificent woodland trails with energy and enthusiasm, in the company of other participants.

“My goal wasn’t to finish first at the end of this challenge. What interests me is practicing an activity I love, in a wonderful setting, and sharing it with as many people as possible!” says Floréa resident Jacques Desjardins.

The purpose of this active walk is not just to promote exercise and improve physical health. Just as Le Groupe Maurice strives to do every day, this initiative promotes values of inclusion and solidarity: its social impact is significant, bringing generations together and removing the isolation that some seniors experience. The idea is not necessarily to perform during the hike, but above all to set a goal to reach, to join motivating people and to get to know them!

Cornelius resident Suzanne Végiard proved this brilliantly last Sunday! Admitted to hospital a few days earlier to treat her leg, Suzanne had no intention of missing this sports event. With determination and good humour, the 85-year-old took up the challenge and completed the hike, surrounded by a group of supporters and first aiders. Luc Maurice was there to greet her at the end of the 4 km trek and congratulate her on her courage. Bravo to Mrs. Végiard for her unfailing energy and willpower!

To wind the day up in style, hikers were offered a light, comforting meal at the end of the Groupe Maurice challenge. Just as at the start of the walk, Professor Caroline Duranleau from the Roses team also led a chair yoga session at the finish, to gently relax the muscles.

A heartfelt thank you to Les Défis du Parc and its volunteers for organizing the event and making sure that everything went off without a hitch. We would also like to highlight the exceptional contribution of the Roses team, who not only made sure the route was safe, but also took the time to accompany residents during this hiking challenge! Participating is always worth it.

See you next year for new challenges!