Benoît Hallée has transformed his annual Défi Félix event to accommodate the current pandemic situation by challenging Sherbrooke residents to hop on a bike and reach their personal best marks.
The Défi Félix started 10 years ago in honour of Hallée’s son, Félix, who passed away after a long battle with cancer. The event is typically held on one day, but this year Hallée decided to extend it from August 22 to 30.
The Félix challenge has changed over time, according to the founder. It began as a massive sports tournament with running, soccer, basketball and football events. However, they decided to switch to one sport to alleviate the organizational pressure.
“It takes a lot of people to organize a lot of activities and we saw that, especially for running activities, there used to be two or three every weekend in the Eastern Townships, so people had trouble choosing which one they were going to do,” said Hallée.
The Défi Félix has raised $315,000 since its inception, but he said the goal has never been solely about the money. There are two objectives, Hallée explained, cancer research is first, but the other thing is getting people to move and exercise.