by John Symon – Montreal Times
Saturday, May 3 will see the ninth annual edition of a Montreal charity event, the Mount Royal Stair Climb. This athletic event, on the 256-step staircase below the Mount Royal chalet, raises funds mainly to benefit the Montreal Children’s Hospital Juvenile Diabetes Dept. A small portion of the proceeds also goes to buy Xmas baskets for families with autistic children.
“This event is not a race,” stresses organizer Dean Whalen, a personal trainer. “The idea is to get organized into teams that are expected to raise at least $500 each in pledges.” He notes that apart from this being a great occasion to get some exercise outdoors, the stair climb location commands superb views overlooking the downtown core, the South Shore and the Chateauguay Valley.
And speaking of that valley, southwest of Montreal, Whalen says, “I appreciate how the Chateauguay Valley Dream Team comes in for this each year,” to recognize his most faithful team.
In 2013, a young man named Anthony Ivaskiv climbed the stairs 32 times in four hours. “But it’s important that everybody go at their own pace,” notes Whalen. “I ensure that there is water for everybody to drink and that first aid is available nearby.”
“I enjoy hearing from participants in the days following the stair climb as they complain about how sore their legs are. I remind them that this is all temporary and the pain will go away, but it’s all for a good cause to help the kids.”
“Not much has changed from 2013. We do have a new website and it is easier to donate online. Right now it looks like rain, but the show must go on. So far $182,000 has been raised and I am hopeful to get over the $200,000 mark this year. And it’s never too late to participate or donate,” responds Whalen when asked if teams can still register at the website below.
“The event is scheduled from 8 a.m.–12 noon, rain or shine, but there is no need to stay for four hours. Do your stairs and then leave if you want.”
Mount Royal Stair Climb 2014
Saturday, May 3, 8 a.m.—12 noon
Big staircase/ grand escalier beneath the chalet
(Access via chemin Serpentine from corner of Peel & Pine)