Positively impacting the world through running: putting words into action.
We're delighted to announce our involvement with @ultratrailmonarque - an ambitious project that combines environmental awareness, action in the face of a critical ecological situation, improving biodiversity in an incredibly fragile ecosystem and a whole heap of running (4,500km to be exact).
End of summer 2023, ultra-marathoner Anthony Battah will follow local monarch butterflies on their winter migration from Canada to Mexico, with the aim of drawing attention to the existential threat facing this important pollinator.
The athletic challenge is immense: Anthony will cross 3 countries (Canada-USA-Mexico) and cover 4,500 km in 90 days, averaging 50 km per day. He will depart from Montreal on July 29, 2023 and plans to arrive on November 1, 2023 at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico.
We will be supplying Anthony with the kit required for such an enormous endeavour, ensuring that he can maximise comfort and performance, whilst minimising his footprint along the way.
The migratory monarch butterfly population has been in major decline for over twenty years.
According to recent data, the monarch butterfly population has been in significant decline for about two decades - the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently placed this species on the Red List of Threatened Species.
Due to habitat destruction and climate change, the IUCN estimates that the western population of the monarch (west of the Rocky Mountains) has declined by 99.9% since the 1980s, and the eastern population (east of the Rocky Mountains) has declined by 84% between 1996 and 2014.
Logging, deforestation, and the use of pesticides and herbicides significantly impact monarch butterflies and their habitat. Weather events caused by climate change, such as droughts, forest fires, and extreme temperatures, are also growing threats to the remaining populations.
This is just a microcosm of a wider global problem, but one that we can work to improve.
We need to add approximately 1.5 billion milkweed plants and an abundance of nectar-producing flowers along the migratory pathway of the monarch butterfly.
Throughout his "migratory" ultramarathon – from Canada to Mexico - Anthony will plant milkweed and nectar-rich flowers to create "aid stations" for future generations of monarchs. He hopes to initiate a North American movement to create habitats for monarch butterflies. The movement is already underway with many schools and cities committed to support the cause.
The @ultratrailmonarque project encourages the following citizen actions:
1. Create monarch habitats along the entire migration corridor by planting milkweed and other nectar-rich flowers; and
2. Raise $4.5 million, or one dollar per meter Anthony will run, to help serious organizations dedicated to protecting the monarch and biodiversity.
We are proud and humbled to be a part of such an important and ambitious project, which aligns fully with our values and mission and we look forward to sharing Anthony's story as he tackles this 4,500km adventure.
Please follow @ultratrailmonarque and support in any way you can.