A group of trail runners from Hamilton will be taking on the entire Bruce Trail this  spring. Pictured are Stephanie Jetté, Adam Fletcher, Sarah McClure, Chris McAnally, Megan Biggs, Stephanie Verkoeyen, Jacob Haas and Patrick Rivers on the Bruce Trail.

Hamilton runners to take to Bruce Trail for ultra-relay race

We Run the Bruce will raise money to support marginalized women who are survivors of violence

A group of Hamilton runners will be hitting the Bruce Trail this spring to raise funds to support marginalized women who are survivors of violence.

The run project, titled We Run the Bruce, will see around a dozen athletes from different Hamilton run clubs take to the more than 900-kilometre footpath — which stretches from Tobermory down to the Niagara Region — for a non-stop, ultra-relay race.

Their goal? To run the entirety of the trail in just five days.

Stephanie Jetté, head organizer of the run, said the idea for the project came together after she and a handful of other Steeltown runners watched a screening of “Escape,” a film about the 2021 Escape to Chicago run, last spring.

The documentary left her and others feeling inspired to create their own ultra-relay — but instead of racing between two cities, they set their sights on the nearby trail system they all loved and many had wanted to run solo.

“It was one of those aha moments,” Jetté said in an interview with The Spectator. “We realized that we didn’t have to run the entire trail alone and that we could plan it as a group and endure it together.”

Runner André Morgan said the project will see each runner complete different segments of the trail before eventually tagging off to the next sprinter.

The participants will make their way along the footpath, which mostly hugs the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, at all hours of the day and through rain or shine.

A group of trail runners from Hamilton will be running the entire Bruce Trail in June to raise money for marginalized women who are survivors of violence. Adam Fletcher, Jacob Haas, Sarah McClure, Chris McAnally, Megan Biggs, Stephanie Verkoeyen, Jacob Haas, Patrick Rivers and Stephanie Jetté on the Bruce Trail.

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I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jacob Haas over the past year through the WE Run Club in Hamilton, Ontario. To say Jacob has helped me take my running to a new level would be an understatement! Previously, running for me was an outlet to blow-off steam after work and to maintain my cardiovascular health with age. Now through Jacob’s mentorship, I am equipped with a suite of tools or workout types including fartlek, tempo and interval training that are enabling me to run farther and faster.

In 2022, with limited racing experience, I competed in Hamilton’s Around the Bay 30K road race, the Chase the Coyote 25K trail race in Mono Cliffs, and the Hamilton Half Marathon. Most notably, in May I competed in the Sulphur Springs 50K trail race in Dundas, Ontario without ever competing in a full marathon (42K). Not only did I finish, but I placed 21st out of 152 with a time of 5:07:47!

I owe a great deal of gratitude to Jacob for helping me achieve these accomplishments (dreams, really!), but above all, for introducing me to trail running. I am more confident than ever that the natural world is best explored at a runner’s pace J

Thanks, Jacob!