The third edition of the Monarch Relay has begun and for the next 21 days, runners from across Ontario will be working together to complete the 1,800 km route starting in Peterborough on September 19th and looping down through southern Ontario and ending in Barrie on October 9th.
The Monarch Relay began in 2019 when a team of ultra runners, film-makers and pollinator advocates followed the flight of the monarch butterfly by running the same distance of 4,300km from southern Ontario to central Mexico. The goal of the 47-day event was to raise awareness of monarch butterflies, whose population is in decline. Because of COVID-19, last year’s event was cut down to a 50K charity run, and this year the relay is back, albeit still on a slightly smaller scale.
Again due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns, the entire relay will take place within Ontario’s borders. A team of 84 runners will run approximately 30km and 50km segments over 21 days starting in Peterborough and heading south towards Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls, then running southwest along Lake Erie, looping back around towards London, Cambridge, and Kitchener, and ending in Barrie.
100 per cent of the money raised through donations to the relay will go to Camp Kawartha, a non-profit organization committed to nature education and environmental stewardship for youth. To learn more about the event, how you can support the cause or get involved, visit themonarchultra.com.