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Monarch Ultra Relay will pass through Tillsonburg

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They are coming here!

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It’s so exciting, and you can be part of it! It’s a 21-day adventure raising awareness and funds in support of monarch butterflies. We all know the plight of the monarchs today and this is your chance to help.

The 2021 Monarch Ultra Relay Run begins Sept. 19 in Peterborough, follows the coast of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie to Windsor, then heads back up and ends in Barrie on Oct. 9.

“Not only will this be one of the Canada’s longest relay runs, it will also be an ultra-memorable experience for everyone involved,” said race founder Carlotta James in a media release. “Running fast is optional but having fun is guaranteed!

“Most importantly, the Monarch Ultra is an opportunity to connect communities across Ontario on an inspiring journey of hope and resilience that combines ultra-running and environmental conservation. The event is entirely organized by a volunteer team who is passionate about protecting the earth and are on a mission to inspire communities to get involved in conservation action such as creating native plant habitats and nectar gardens for pollinators.”

On their website, it says this once-in-a-life time running experience is for those seeking a physical challenge while sharing an epic experience as part of the Monarch Ultra team. There are 84 spots available in the 21-day relay run. Each day, the Monarch Ultra team will travel 80 km per day, with four running segments available – two segments of 30 kilometres and another two segments of 50 kilometres.

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Registration is open now.

A 21-day relay? Not to worry as it comes in segments! On its way to Windsor, it stops in Port Burwell Sept. 26.

And on its way north from Windsor, the segments Oct. 4 segment from London heads down Hwy 73, through Aylmer to Hwy 3, and then to Tillsonburg where they overnight. On Oct. 5 they are off along Hwy 3 again through Delhi, Simcoe then up to Waterford.

Right now, they are looking for the runners and there are still openings although that seems to be going quickly. Go to and check out the route map and dates and go to ‘relay run’ and ‘registration’ for more details.

Not a runner but love butterflies? Great, there will be lots of things you can do to help cheer the runners on. Schools, daycares, clubs, seniors, individuals, businesses, and municipalities can make as much as they want around the run. Learn about the monarch and other butterflies. What do they need? What can you do? Set up booths on those days, make a whole festival around the run when it comes through.

The website will give you ideas on what communities have done when past runs went from southwestern Ontario to Mexico, including meet-and-greet events! (Go to ‘in the news’ tab]. Let’s join together have some fun with this!

Why wait? Monarch Ultra is all about the butterflies and nature, so they are quite willing to help you with more information about how to join them for a press conference, butterfly release, or community event. Or you can find out how to showcase your community by emailing

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Holly Chaille has been super sharing information with me, and I am no runner, so if you have questions after you check everything out you can email her at

If you don’t have a computer you can call me at 519-842-9416 and I will happily share the information I have with you.

COVID precautions will be taken with the runners and hopefully by October, if we all behave, we could make this a community event.

Bored right now not doing much because of COVID? Well, now is a good time to make the plans for your family or group. Let’s have the butterfly gardens made and fluttering with butterflies when they come through! Don’t wait to the last minute. Dream and start now.

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