The Défi Escaliers Fonds de solidarité FTQ Québec is a one-of-a-kind event and it’s happening in Quebec City on June 16. The translation is “Staircase Challenge,” which is exactly what the event is all about. Quebec City is showcasing its unique layout and changing up the traditional race by hosting an event that challenges runners to race through the city’s multiple staircases.

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The event hosts four distances: a 19K, 13K, 9K and a kids’ 2K. The 19K event runs a total of 30 different staircases throughout the city, which means 3,000 steps on staircases alone. That’s a lot of glute work. Having done the Quebec City Marathon last year, which is tough in its own right, this race is sure to be a huge challenge.

Photo: Je Cours QC

The race takes the runner through the entire city in a loop. Runners should watch out for the the Cap-Blanc, the 400 step staircase from the water to the Plains of Abraham. This race is all about big elevation gain.

Photo: JecoursQC

Another bonus for runners: the course has changed since last year, so the record remains unclaimed. The male and female winners of 2019 will automatically have a course record to their name. The winning times for the Defi Escaliers Fonds de solidarité FTQ Québec in 2018 were 1:18:18 for Alexandre Ricard and 1:30:37 for Marianne Boivin.

Photo: JecoursQC

The Défi Escaliers is designed to be a family challenge, with something for every kind of runner. Yes, it is a challenge, but it’s as hard as you make it. Runners can get very competitive or make it fun, while seeing the entire city of Quebec.

Photo: JecoursQC

This is the only race in the world that runs from staircase to staircase, and if that isn’t incentive enough to give it a try, the prize money adds to the draw. The top three men and women in the 19K receive $200 for first, $100 for second and $50 for third. Registration is currently open, and closes the day before the race. All races begin and end in the same location at the Parc du Bois-Du-Coulongue.

Race Day Schedule

7:40 a.m. – 19K start

8:00 a.m. (wave 1)/8:20 a.m. (wave 2)/8:40 a.m. (wave 3) – 13K start

9 a.m. – 9K start

9:45 a.m. – 2K

If you and your family are looking for a run race that’s different from the traditional road event, be sure to plan a weekend to Quebec City. See here for registration.