Cycle, Run, or Hike for the Sourlands, Sept. 5-13

All are welcome to participate in the ninth annual Sourland Spectacular to enjoy the great outdoors and to “Save the Sourlands.” Typically, the event takes the form of a cycling rally, but this year’s event invites registrants to choose their own route (and fee) to cycle, run, or hike anytime during the nine-day event.

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 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.” Andrews continued, “If you donate $60 or more, we will send you a wicking workout shirt.” T-shirts will be available while supplies last and orders received before August 10 will be guaranteed. Logo and T-shirt designs are by Michelle Baker Design.

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, “Canceling 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.

“I hope everyone will join us in September on the trails, roads, and social media. Our team is developing some fun ways to connect with your friends, share your experiences, and challenge each other. Even though we can’t all be together physically, we’re hoping to make it a real community event.”

When posting, remember to use the hashtag #sourlandspectacular2020.

The Sourland Spectacular will be held September 5-13, 2020 on Sourland region roads and public hiking trails. Cycling routes will be released soon. For further updates, visit www.sourlandspectacular.com.

Business sponsorships starting at $300 are still available. Sponsors who sign-up before August 10 will receive recognition on the back of the event shirt. Visit www.sourlandspectacular.com or email info@sourland.org for more information.