3 friends to do ‘Ultrarun’ around Lake Superior for microplastics research

Imagine spending your summer running 20 miles a day for 85 days in sweltering heat (or fog, or thundershowers, or snow?) along Superior’s shores.

Not to worry, if that’s not your style. Andy Butter, Allissa Stutte, and Evan Flom will send you updates from the road.










It’s not a vacation for them, either. The trio of friends will be doing what they deem an ‘ultrarun’ around Lake Superior this summer to raise awareness about microplastics in the Great Lakes. Working with non-profit Adventures and Scientists for Conservation, their aim is to collect water samples and stories from residents to aid research being done on microplastic effects on the lake and its inhabitants.

Their website identifies their goals for ‘Our Shores’ run:

We are three friends running around Lake Superior on an expedition that will start in May and end in August 2016. As we circumnavigate the world’s largest freshwater lake on foot, we will collect and share stories from residents as well as gather ecological data about the water and landscape. Throughout this journey we plan to show what’s at stake, as seen through the perspectives of those who live most closely with this body of freshwater. By telling the story of Lake Superior and its people we also hope to foster an understanding of its significance and a greater love and appreciation for its beauty.

Butter told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the trio will depart from Ashland, WI on May 20th.  They’ll be carrying their camper gear, food, and equipment in a baby stroller and will take turns pushing it while they run. The 1-litre water samples will be taken about once a week, drawn from areas of differing population (some densely-populated and some sparsely).

The group will provide regular updates via blogging to people who are interested in their journey. They’ve already published three posts, including a thoughtful take on the ‘privilege’ inherent in undertaking such a journey. Take a look here, if you’re interested.

Visit ‘Our Shores’ website for more info on the runners, their mission, and their partners. If you are interested in donating to their cause, a link can be found on the homepage to do so.

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