On June 9th, Samuel Pegg of the InfoSuperior Team got a chance to catch up with the members of the Our Shores Run, who were passing through Thunder Bay and had scheduled a day of rest in town. Evan, Allissa, and Andy are circumnavigating Lake Superior on foot to collect water samples and raise awareness for microplastics research, and “for love of the lake.”
Starting in Ashland, WI, the runners have been on the road since May 20. Though the runners are preparing themselves for the long haul on their three month journey, they say that their bodies are starting to adjust to the grueling conditions and physical demand of the run.
So far, the runners have collected two samples on their journey, around Duluth and Grand Marais (both Minnesota), and said they would be collecting another in Thunder Bay before they set off. They’re looking to collect a mix of urban and rural lake samples to gauge population impact on the water. Their next samples will mostly be all rural, as they will not reach another major city centre on the North Shore until they hit Sault Ste. Marie.
For their interviews, the runners are aiming to speak with a large cross-section of society, everyone from farmers to academics to young entrepreneurs. They’re hoping to ask what brought people to the shores of Lake Superior, what their connection to the lake means to them, and what challenges they face as inhabitants of the Great Lakes Basin.
For their own challenges on the run, the runners laughed and told Sam they find themselves end their daily runs with a gigantic hill – “some cosmic coincidence” that just seems to happen as a result of their route planning. Allissa noted that the best part of running the hills is that they’ve been treated to stellar views of Superior from the top. She also noted that they’ve tried to stay as close to the lake as possible, but that the roads can stray from the shoreline so they will sometimes go days without seeing water.
To hear the whole podcast, clocking in just over 6 minutes, click ‘play’ on the link above. To read the runners’ blog detailing their experiences on the road, click here. And if you see these three pushing a stroller down the highway, cheer them on!