ABOUT THE MONARCH ULTRA: In 2019, 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 (2,671 miles) from southern Ontario to central Mexico. The Monarch Ultra was the first attempt to run across North America (Canada, United States & Mexico) in order to raise awareness of monarch butterflies who make the migratory journey every year, and whose populations are in decline. The 47-day running adventure invited runners to traverse wild landscapes as well populated urban areas while building camaraderie, overcoming adversity, and sharing a singular adventure with monarch butterflies. Another exciting part of this project will be the production of a documentary about the relay run, the plight & flight of monarch butterflies, and conservation efforts taking place at the local level.
The Monarch Ultra started in Peterborough, Ontario and ended at the Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico, with runners following the same migration route as monarch butterflies. 46 ultra-runners ran legs of 50 or 100 km each through a diversity of landscapes including mountain paths, forests, meadows, deserts, and cities. The Monarch Ultra is a celebration of two types of superheroes: monarch butterflies and ultra-runners. Both cover long distances using their incredible body strength to arrive at a new (unknown) destination. Most importantly, the Monarch Ultra is an opportunity to connect communities across North America with common goals of Earth stewardship & biodiversity conservation.