On May 20 three friends will embark on the expedition of a lifetime around Lake Superior.
Allissa Stutte, Andy Butter and Evan Flom are going to run 1,300 miles around the lake while pushing a baby stroller containing all of their food and equipment.
You can read more about why their feet are their chosen method of transportation in their blog post here.
During their three-month long journey, they plan to collect water samples and stories from residents that live around the lake. (More on that below.)
The trio met at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin and share a love for Lake Superior – the largest freshwater lake in the world.
They named their expedition "Our Shores: Ultrarun for the Love of the Lake." You can follow the trip on their blog here.
Although they went to college in Wisconsin, all three are very connected to Minnesota.
Butter grew up in Grand Marais, Flom is from Maple Grove, and Stutte is writing her Master's thesis about urban agriculture in Minneapolis.
A food shelf has already donated hummus, falafel and energy bars for the runners to eat on their expedition.
The group also plans to eat foods like spaghetti and peanut butter on the trip.
They told the Ashland Daily Press that they will each consume about 5,000 calories and run 20 miles a day.
A Minnesota-based soap and skin care company has donated half of their April profits to the trip too.
According to their CrowdRise page, the group is currently about three-fourths of the way to their $7,500 fundraising goal.
The group has already talked to a lot of Lake Superior residents, and now they want to document their stories into a powerful series, according to their blog.
"Throughout the past several years we have learned from countless people who call Lake Superior their home, including farmers, professors, tribal members, chaplains, activists, musicians, artists, fellow students and community leaders. We hope to meet so many more," reads the blog post.
Climate change and freshwater supply are also two focuses of their research, according to Butter.
“We want to show all of the amazing or maybe not-so-amazing parts of living on the lake and what that means especially in a time of a changing global climate, and especially focused on what that means for freshwater as a commodity and a resource for these communities,” Butter told the Ashland Daily Press. “Particularly rural communities that live around the lake.”
Collecting water samples
The group's weekly liter water samples will contribute toward a a database of microplastic freshwater pollution research at Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit based in Montana. The trio hopes to raise awareness of microplastics pollution through their work.
Microplastics are tiny plastic beads found in personal care products like soaps and body washes, explained Wisconsin Public Radio.
"We want to sample from a variety of areas, so some places that are more remote and have less human impact, and other samples that are closer to river outputs to see what the levels of pollution are in those very intense human activity areas," Butter told the outlet.