Wilderness advocate to run 110 miles across Boundary Waters for clean water awareness

Running the Border Route Trail in the BWCAW. (All photos courtesy Alex Falconer).

On the morning of May 22, before dawn, Alex Falconer will start running on the Border Route Trail near Grand Marais. About 40 hours later, he hopes to have completed a 110-mile route that will bring him to Snowbank Lake, east of Ely.

The “Boundary Waters Traverse” is intended to raise awareness of the risks of pollution from the Twin Metals copper-nickel mine proposal near the wilderness. His path will take him along the complete Border Route and Kekekabic Hiking Trails. Falconer is the Government Relations Director for the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters. He is also an “ultrarunner” in his free time.

He plans to run the entire route with stopping to camp or sleep. He will be supported by friends who will provide food and water at predetermined points — where they will paddle in to meet him. He plans to also drink water directly from lakes and streams along the route, an important point for the purpose of the trip. “That’s part of what we want to raise awareness of,” he told the Duluth News Tribune.

“Where else can you run 100 miles and not have to carry water with you? That clean water is worth protecting.”

Alex says on Instagram: “I don’t think anyone can ever be 100% ‘ready’ for a 100 mile run. But training, planning and preparation to get to that point will carry you most the way. The rest is a combination of a mental game, some luck with regards to weather, and adapting to changes along the way.”

Falconer will start the run at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, and hopes to finish at the end of the Kekekabic Trail on Sunday evening. He will be carrying a GPS device to allow supporters to follow his progress online.

He has prepared for the run over the past two years with a series of shorter expeditions on different segments.

Follow Alex Falconer on Instagram or find more information on Running for the Boundary Waters.

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