Cycle, Run, or Hike to Save the Sourlands
The 9th annual Sourland Spectacular will be September 5-13. Typically a cycling rally, this year’s event invites registrants to choose their own route - and fee - to cycle, run, or hike anytime during the nine-day event. The event will offer a choice of three routes ranging from 26 to 63 miles. The routes will begin and end at the Otto Kaufman Community Center.
Sourland Conservancy Trustees, Joanna Fiori and Jim Andrews, are co-chairing this year’s event. “We want to keep everyone’s health and safety front and center, which is why we have modified the event to allow riders, runners, and hikers to participate safely following CDC guidelines,” said Ms. Fiori. “We will be marking the routes, providing cue sheets and GPS files, a water fill station, and porta-potties.”
“Because many people are experiencing economic hardship and because we are offering reduced services for this year’s event, we are not setting a fixed registration fee. Rather, we are asking you to pay what you can.” Mr. Andrews continued. “If you donate $60 or more, we will send you a wicking workout shirt.” T-shirts will be available while supplies last. Orders received before August 10th will be guaranteed.
Proceeds from the Sourland Spectacular will support the Sourland Conservancy - a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, promote and preserve the 90-square mile Sourland Mountain region. Their work is more critical than ever as the forest is on track to lose over one million trees within 3-5 years due to the invasive emerald ash borer.
“Our staff, volunteers, and community partners are doing all we can to restore the forest. We need help,” said Laurie Cleveland, Sourland Conservancy’s Executive Director. “Millions of people rely on the forest to provide clean air and drinking water, habitat for endangered species, carbon sequestration, and more. Now, the forest is facing a serious threat. We will all need to work together to protect it.”
Dante DiPirro, the Conservancy’s Board President, said, “Cancelling our largest fundraiser, the Sourland Mountain Festival, due to COVID-19 dealt a serious blow to our organization. We are hoping that the community will rally together to support our work.” Business sponsorships starting at $300 are still available. Sponsors who sign up before August 10th will receive recognition on the back of the event shirt. Even though we can’t all be together physically, we’re hoping to make it a real community event.”
For more information or to register for the event, visit sourlandspectacular.com.