Sherbrooke pediatrician sets off on three-day ultramarathon fundraiser for Moisson Estrie

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sherbrooke pediatrician sets off on three-day ultramarathon fundraiser for Moisson Estrie
(Photo : Milie Guillemette )

There is no turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy or stuffing in Sébastien Roulier’s immediate future, as the ultramarathon runner embarks on a 72-hour, 422-kilometre run this Thanksgiving weekend.
The 46-year-old pediatrician is running a course shaped like a heart, crossing through 33 municipalities in the Eastern Townships, in support of Moisson Estrie. His goal is to raise money for the local food bank and encourage Quebecers to get into shape.
“I know it’s extreme what I’m doing, I’m not telling people to do what I’m doing, but just picking up your shoes and going running just for half an hour to an hour, if everybody does that it would be incredible,” Roulier said.
The challenge, which he dubbed Avançons tous en cœur, begins Friday morning outside the Moisson Estrie building. The first leg of the course will take Roulier to Scotstown, which is about 145 kilometres away. He plans to rest there for about three to four hours.
The next morning Roulier will head toward Lac-Mégantic and push through to St-Mathias-de-Bonneterre where he’ll spend his second night. He is then scheduled to stop in Orford for his third and final night. The course will take him through Mont-Orford and back to the food bank.
Roulier also ran in support of Moisson Estrie last spring. He did 355 kilometres in 50 hours, but this time around he feels more prepared for the challenge. He is incorporating several food and sleep breaks. And he spent most of the summer preparing his body for the event.
“I know what it is to start again, I’ve been doing this all summer long in many Sépaq in Quebec, so it’ll be similar I think, but what I really need is a good night’s sleep and probably better nutrition,” said Roulier.
He added that he’ll likely be eating a lot on the go. It’s mainly a mix of smoothies, fruit and power bars, Roulier explained, which is better than consuming gels or chocolate bars. His progression from marathon beginner to ultramarathon expert started nearly 20 years ago.
The Sherbrooke pediatrician said that he succumbed to marathon fever in 2000. Once he got a taste, he couldn’t stop. Roulier started with one a year, then three, then eight, until finally he needed more to push his limits.
“I ran longer distances in my training, like 70 kilometres, because my thought about training was that if I can run longer than the marathon it will be easy for me, and that led me to ultramarathons,” he said.
Roulier has dabbled in many different challenges since becoming a marathon runner. He believes that human beings are meant to push themselves — body and mind. He has represented Canada in five ultramarathon championships, setting several records.
He also started running marathons pushing disabled people. He held the Guinness World Record for running the fastest half marathon and marathon while pushing someone in 2018 and 2019.
“I’ve done a lot of challenges, but what I like the most is doing challenges for causes,” Roulier said. “With Moisson Estrie I think the challenge I have now really matches what the mission is for the food bank and for myself.”
People can donate to Moisson Estrie and support Roulier’s challenge at https://www.moissonestrie.com/en/move-forward-at-heart/.

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