A conversation about running, culture, spirituality and a passion for preserving the environment. Out of these passions the Monarch Ultra was born. Carlotta James in her own words....
Since I was a young girl, I have loved running in the outdoors. When I was in my 20s, I worked and travelled around the world, and it was through running that I discovered wild spaces and places off the beaten track. Some of my greatest memories of living overseas include running through the beautiful, quiet countrysides of rural China. I also lived in Beijing when the 2004 Summer Olympic Games took place, and watching Usain Bolt run like a cheetah with such incredible power & speed, I knew that I wanted to continue running for the rest of my life. Although I love competing in races, my greatest joy is running along trails on my own. It's a time to reflect, to meditate, and to envision new ideas for my life, my family and my community. While running along the trails in Peterborough, Ontario in 2017, the dream of following the monarch migration from north to south started to reveal itself. Monarch butterflies were with me during this run, as they seemed to dance around me, amplifying my dream of creating an ultra run across North America, a journey that would connect communities along the 4,000km migration route. There is a life force in any story of animal migration, and the one that fascinates me the most is the monarch migration. I have a strong desire to understand the migratory pathway of monarchs through my own ecological consciousness. Since we launched the Monarch Ultra in the fall of 2018, all of my energy & passion have gone into this project as an act of hope that we can protect some of the smallest creatures on Earth. My wildest dreams are coming true, and my greatest hope is that the Monarch Ultra will bring awareness and action to protect monarchs and other pollinators