Marion Richard, a Civil Design Technician at Englobe, is no stranger to challenges. Last year, Marion combined his love of wind surfing and paddling with his desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives. He embarked on a 1,000-kilometre fundraising odyssey, paddling from St-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans to Gaspé, located at the easternmost tip of Québec’s Gaspésie peninsula. At the end of the demanding19-day journey, Marion had collected nearly $35,000 in donations for Relief, a Québec-based initiative that provides support for people suffering from anxiety, depression or bi-polar disorders.
A second challenging journey
While many would consider this effort to be the adventure of a lifetime, Marion wasn’t resting on his laurels yet. “Last year, my goal was to raise $50,000 for Relief. I only raised $35,000, so I knew I still had work to do this year to reach that mark,” he says.
That’s why on June 19, Marion kicked off his Anticosti Island 2023 solo challenge. Disembarking from the Rimouski ferry, he set off to cross the island from east to west, travelling exclusively on foot along Anticosti’s scenic southern coastline.
Taking a different approach
There were a few major changes from last year’s challenge – notably, he traded his WindSUP board for a pair of hiking boots. “I would have liked to paddle around Anticosti Island, but there were time constraints. Last year’s challenge took me longer than expected due to strong winds, so this year, I wanted a more consistent pace. Since I’m a keen hiker, I decided to walk instead,” Marion notes.
“Also, this time I was completely on my own from start to finish. There was no one at the start, unlike last year. The entire journey was solo, on foot,” Marion says. To stay in touch with family members and donors, he kept an online journal (in French only) throughout his trip, recounting difficult days of walking, crossing rivers with waist-high water, a lot of physical pain and plenty of time to reflect. The slower pace of this year’s challenge also allowed Marion to commune with the island’s plentiful fauna, which included deer, foxes, hares, partridges, and seals.
Ultimately, Marion travelled the roughly 330 km of the Anticosti Island challenge in 9 days, and raised nearly $8,500. Once again this year, Englobe sponsored his challenge, offering paid time off and promoting this worthy fundraising cause both internally and on its social media channels.
You can join Englobe in supporting Marion’s fundraising efforts by learning more about it or by donating here.