Monarch Ultra Relay Run

Monarch butterfly
Peterborough, ON, Canada
Barrie, ON, Canada

The Monarch Ultra Relay Run is a running event to raise awareness for monarch butterflies.

One of Canada’s longest relay runs, and also be an ultra-memorable experience for everyone involved. The Monarch Ultra is an opportunity to connect communities across Ontario with common goals of Earth stewardship and biodiversity conservation.

The Monarch Ultra is a 4,300km (2,670 miles) relay run following the migratory path of monarch butterflies from Peterborough, Ontario to the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico. Ultra-runners are invited to explore a diversity of landscapes along mountain paths, forests, meadows, deserts, trails, and cities across the North American continent! Relay runners, running in pairs when possible, will run approximately 50km or 100km segments over 47 days. Participants will have the opportunity to traverse wild landscapes as well as populated urban areas while building camaraderie, overcoming adversity, and sharing a singular adventure with monarch butterflies. This will be one of the world’s longest relay runs, amplified even more by the monarch migration. 

The Monarch Ultra is a celebration of two types of superheroes: ultra-runners and monarch butterflies. Both cover long distances using their incredible strength and endurance to arrive at a new unknown destination. Participants of the Monarch Ultra relay run will run the same corridor that monarch butterflies make in two months! Most importantly, the Monarch Ultra is an opportunity to connect communities in Canada, USA and Mexico with common goals of Earth stewardship and biodiversity conservation. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the team had to adjust their route to remain safely in Ontario for the next relay run. In the fall of 2021, they ran for 21 days from Peterborough to Barrie, Ontario via Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, along Lake Erie, and looping back up to Barrie.

Relay runners, running in pairs when possible, ran approximately 30km and 50km segments through a variety of landscapes – dedicated trails, urban, rural and wilderness, and along greenways, waterways and roadways of the Great Trail and Waterfront Trail. The running event is entirely organized by a volunteer team who are passionate about protecting the Earth and are on a mission to inspire communities to get involved in conservation action!

Dates for 2022 are to be set.

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