The Burns Bog Conservation Society held its 16th annual Jog for the Bog in late July, but it was unlike any of the previous editions.
Jog for the Bog has traditionally been held on International Bog Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the benefits bogs and peatlands provide, the threats they face, and how we can all protect them. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, this year’s run had to be different but cancellation was not an option.
The Burns Bog Conservation Society could no longer offer the free pancake breakfast or live music synonymous with past events, but Jog for the Bog 2020 Virtual Edition proved to be a memorable experience for participants nonetheless.
“This year was definitely challenging given the current environment, but there were a lot of requests to hold this annual event in some form,” said Nikolai Karpun, research and stewardship coordinator for the Burns Bog Conservation Society.
“I’m very happy with the turnout and participation from the community, and the summer students who planned this virtual event did a great job. Any opportunity to raise awareness of Burns Bog and to connect the community with nature is well worthwhile.”
This year, there were over 100 participants, primarily from Surrey and Delta, who ran on their own between July 20 and 26. Most chose to run in the Delta Nature Reserve, although they had the option to run wherever they chose.
Thanks to the generosity of participants, the Burns Bog Conservation Society raised over $1,400. Proceeds will fund summer camps, in-class workshops and community tours (once it’s safe to do them again) as well as restoring 1,000 square metres of Burns Bog over the next two years to native plant species.
This year, prizes were awarded for the fastest time in the women’s and men’s 5km and 10km runs. Heather O’Connor (women’s 5km), Andrew Fairbairn (men’s 5km), Viktorija Juciute (women’s 10km) and Donogh O’Connor (men’s 10km) took top honours and each received unique Burns Bog medals.
For the first time, this year’s Jog for the Bog featured a costume contest. Runners submitted their photos via email and social media and were judged by society staff members in three categories: funniest, most colourful and most bog-like.
Winners were Shelley Hatfield and Trevor Friedmann (funniest), Lynn Graham and Karen Heimburger (most bog-like) and Karen Oliveira, Lorna Gordon, Genevieve Friesen and Gail Hickey (most colourful).