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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                             May 6, 2021        

     In this Issue:


  1. Olympic organizers will increase COVID-19 testing at Games
  2. Sudbury bike group shares ride maps to inspire others to cycle city trails
  3. Heaven’s Gate Trail protected east to west
  4. Photos This Week
  5. Upcoming Events:  Date Change May 22-23 Apex Sprint, May 30 SudburyRocks!!! Virtual Marathon
  6. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  7. Track North





Olympic organizers will increase COVID-19 testing at Games
The newly-updated playbook for athlete safety emphasizes testing, tracking and isolation


With less than three months to go before the Tokyo Olympics, event organizers have announced further updates to their original playbook, which was released in early February. This new version looks similar to the first, but includes an even greater emphasis on frequent COVID-19 testing and athlete tracking.

The original playbook specified that athletes and coaches would be tested every four days, but the updated version now mandates that all 15,000 of them will be tested every single day. All participants must produce two negative COVID-19 tests before leaving their home countries and will be tested again upon arrival in Japan. In an interview with the CBC, Athletics Canada high-performance director Simon Nathan says he welcomes the increased testing, saying that while it will be “a pain,” it will decrease the possibility of false positives.

“Everybody they’ve had contact with has to lockdown. It takes a long time to unwind that piece, and so many people are involved [in the event of a positive test],” he said. “And I think testing more regularly just mathematically removes the chances of false positives.”

COVID-19 cases have been surging in Japan, and Tokyo has come under a third state of emergency as of this week. This updated 60-page playbook will place tight restrictions on athletes, and there will be penalties for those who do not comply. Nathan adds that these plans “depend on everybody exactly following the rules.”

According to the playbook, athletes will not be allowed to go anywhere other than the athlete’s village and their training and competing venues. They will only be allowed to use dedicated vehicles to travel and will not be permitted to use public transit. Where participants will be allowed to eat will be restricted to catering facilities at Games venues and the Athletes’ Village, and they must wear masks everywhere but on the field of competition.

Athletes and coaches will not be required to quarantine upon arrival in Tokyo, but they must submit a detailed schedule of what they will be doing during that period, and will be required to download two smartphone apps, including a tracking app and a daily health-reporting app. A decision on venue capacity has not yet been released, but there will be no international fans, including the athlete’s families, allowed in attendance.

Canadian 5,000m runner Andrea Seccafien spoke with the CBC about the rules, expressing her concern that athletes will still be eating together in communal dining halls and traveling to events together on buses.

“I also don’t really know how you control the movement of 15,000 people,” she said.

Athletes are not required to be vaccinated before arriving in Japan, where only about one per cent of the population has been vaccinated, but many countries are giving their athletes priority access to vaccines ahead of the Games. David Shoemaker, the CEO and secretary-general of the Canadian Olympic Committee has maintained that Canadian athletes will not be jumping the queue, but others do not agree with his stance. Gar Leyshon, coach of Olympic decathlon bronze medallist Damian Warner, has pointed out that it makes sense to vaccinate the athletes, since the Olympic team makes up such a tiny fraction of our population.

“If you are going to have the Olympics and send a team, then vaccinate them, it is literally 0.00002 per cent of the population,” he said to the CBC. “And do we really want unvaccinated athletes returning to Canada from the biggest super-spreader event in history?”

Many people, including a large portion of the Japanese population, believe the Games should be cancelled, but as of now the IOC is adamant they will go on. These Olympics will be a far cry from the jubilant celebration we are used to, but the hope is that with these rules in place, athletes will stay safe and healthy.







Sudbury bike group shares ride maps to inspire others to cycle city trails

Bike Sudbury has designed some routes that you can do yourself or with your bubble
CBC News · Posted: Apr 29, 2021

The group known as Bike Sudbury has uploaded many of its trail ride maps on the Ride with GPS app. The routes are typically 20 to 25 km in length, but include three shorter rides of 10-12 km, for those who want a shorter route. (bikesudbury.ca)


While several outdoor recreation facilities are closed under the stay-at-home order, trails are not — and a Sudbury bike group is hoping to get more cyclists on them.

Bike Sudbury has created community ride maps, which people can find using the Ride With GPS app.

Group chair Rachelle Niemela says the routes also include points of interest.

"So, [people can] stop here and have a view of the Maley Dam or stop over here and have a view of the train tracks as we cross Nelson Bridge," she said, referring to a couple of the maps.

"There's little places that you can stop for a rest. We've got [suggestions] like, 'stop at this beach for a quick swim.

"So this is a way to get people to get out. We've designed the rides so they're a mixture - some of them are a little bit harder than others, some of them are on busier roads, some are on mixtures of residential streets and trails."

Niemela says the maps will also be useful for tourists who visit the city once the stay at home order is lifted.

"It can actually guide you through the ride so that you don't get lost. And you can also download a PDF of the ride if you want," she said.

"There's a variety of ways [people can] explore different neighbourhoods in Greater Sudbury," she said, adding that there's even a "Grand tour de Sudbury," a 104 km route for the more seasoned cyclist.

Find out more here.






Heaven’s Gate Trail protected east to west
By Warren Schlote -May 5, 2021

November 2020 Heaven's Gate Hike at Mt. Ararat overlook (photo by Vince)

Heaven’s Gate Trail is a scarcely marked route that stretches some 40 kilometres between Willisville and Sagamok.

Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy raises $1.766 million

RED DEER VILLAGE – Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) has raised all the funds it needs to purchase the Heaven’s Gate Reserve property near Whitefish Falls, fulfilling the late former owner’s wishes that the 2,100-acre property remain conserved for generations to come.

“It’s just fantastic. We’re just dancing,” said Dr. Roy Jeffery, a Little Current physician and EBC board member who has been a strong local supporter of the project.

This newspaper shared the full gravitas of the undertaking and the significance of this property in its February 10 edition. In short, the nature conservancy had 90 days to fundraise toward the $1.65 million purchase price, much more than it has ever had to raise in such a short time, to purchase a property that is twice as large as EBC’s previous largest single property.

The land was originally listed as 1,984 acres, but recent data from Municipal Property Assessment Corporation pegged the total figure as 2,100 acres.

It abuts LaCloche Ridge Conservation Area to the west and, together with EBC’s recent acquisition of Willisville Mountain, forms an eastward link to Killarney Provincial Park. The successful sale means there is now a 500-square-kilometre conservation zone in this area.

EBC executive director Bob Barnett said closing the sale was a massive relief and said he shared a physically distanced glass of champagne with EBC treasurer Ted Cowan upon learning they had raised enough money to finance the sale.

“Our website has been flooded with donations. It’s just wonderful. All of those people are now on our mailing list and hopefully they’ll continue in the spirit of (conservation),” said Mr. Barnett.

Mr. Cowan said the conservancy is past most of the legal obstacles and expects the final stages to be fairly straightforward.

“It’s a place that’s just so timeless,” he said, describing the complete lack of human development that can be seen from within. “It’s a complete different set of sounds. Even the bird life in there seems louder and different.”

He added that this property will help keep thousands of visitors in the area for an extra day, boosting the region’s economy.

Gary Albrecht, the US-based landowner, first listed Heaven’s Gate in 2008 but the price was too high for the conservancy’s budget. EBC made a half-hearted offer but, as expected, was not successful. Mr. Cowan said EBC made other similar offers in 2016 and 2018 but, unsurprisingly, was not able to offer enough.

Mr. Albrecht died in 2019 and his wife died nearly one year later, leaving the property in the care of his children. As per the executor’s instructions, the family worked with an Island realtor to see if there was any potential for a deal with EBC.

“We realized it was our last shot,” Mr. Cowan said. The price ultimately came down a small amount, but the family wished to resolve the process as quickly as possible and they only offered a 90-day closing (a May 5 deadline) for EBC to raise the funds.

By the time of its March newsletter, it had already raised $1,665,000, some $35,000 short of its goal (higher than the agreed price to account for closing costs and other contingencies).

“We are extremely excited about having saved the Heaven’s Gate Trail in its entirety. That little section (on this property) was in jeopardy so it was a nice thing that we managed to save it,” said Saba Ahmad, EBC board chair.

Heaven’s Gate Trail is often cited as the key feature of this property, in addition to the quartzite mountains, pristine lakes and robust forest ecosystem, which are all home to species at risk. There are also “some other wetland areas, phenomenal stands of ancient hemlock, and yellow birches in there that you couldn’t even reach around,” said Mr. Cowan. “Things you couldn’t imagine are in there.”

The trail dates back to the 1994 summer work of youth at Anishinaabe Spiritual Centre, south of Espanola, under the leadership of Fr. Michael Murray, SJ. The Anishinaabemowin name for Heaven’s Gate is Kitchitwaa Shkwaandem. The trail connects Fort LaCloche, near Sagamok, with Willisville, following conservation lands until it reaches the Heaven’s Gate property. If another private owner had purchased the land, they may have prevented the trail from continuing on its original path.

Ms. Ahmad said it was particularly important for EBC to continue developing strong relationships with First Nations in the area.Heaven’s Gate Trail is very lightly trafficked and there are lengthy sections without any trail markers or any semblance of a packed-down trail. Its 40-kilometre length, elevation changes and extremely remote location far from any roads or access trails makes it a very challenging trek, even for the most experienced hikers.

Ms. Ahmad said EBC’s stewardship has plans to improve the conservancy-owned portion of the trail, but this is just the start of the trail-making process for the group.Dr. Jeffery, the Little Current EBC member, has spent many hours on the property in recent months, planning out an intricate system of trails with varying difficulties and hiking some 200 ilometres in the process.

“We’ve got a really interesting trail system pretty well ready to go but we still have to resolve the parking and figure out exactly where we’re going to have a parking lot. We hope to hear about that in the next few days and we’d like to have that in place before we really open it up to the public,” Dr. Jeffery said.


Dr. Jeffery and his wife Cathy had a major role in the fundraising process, too. They offered to match individual donations up to a total of $250,000, a figure that Dr. Jeffery proudly announced was maxed out.

Donation support came from a wide range of sources including foundations, estate bequests and individual donors, including a massive slate of first-time contributors to the organization from both sides of the national border. Many of the supporters, though, are those with property in the Sudbury-Manitoulin area.

“Between them, they are well under one percent of the provincial population,” said Mr. Cowan, “but I am certain they provided well over 50 percent of the funds. Northern Ontario people love the land, period.”

While many partners contributed to this project, including sizable donations from foundations and estate bequests, Mr. Cowan highlighted Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA)’s contribution of $330,000 through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, a $50-million investment across Ontario over four years.

That partnership is a collaboration between Ontario and non-provincial sources such as Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“OLTA is very grateful for the support and leadership shown by the government of Ontario through this conservation program,” OLTA executive director Allison Howson said. “It’s a really wonderful opportunity north of Manitoulin, a really well-connected property, and the program itself is really beneficial to help protect highly sensitive, biodiverse ecosystems.”

Gifts from individual donors, including Dr. Jeffery’s matched $250,000 contributions, totalled $886,000. Other foundations contributed $25,000.

To finish the project, EBC is prepared to draw as much as $250,000 from its operating funds.











Photos This Week


April 29 Sunrise over Long Lake by Jerry Lada

April 29 Sheila and Jerry at Crowley Lake

April 29 Blue Jay at Kivi Park

April 29 Kivi Park

April 30 Minnow Lake

April 30 Minnow Lake

April 30 Minnow Lake

April 30 Minnow Lake

April 30 Minnow Lake

April 30 Minnow Lake

April 30 Minnow Lake

April 30 Suckers at Finlandia

April 30

April 30 Muskrat at Finlandia

April 30 Finlandia

May 1 Nature Chalet

May 1 Nature Chalet

May 1 Laurentian Loop

May 1 Laurentian Loop

May 1 Laurentian Loop

May 2 Crowley Lake

May 3 Laurentian Lake

May 3 Laurentian Lake

May 3 Laurentian Lake

May 4 Minnow Lake

May 4 Minnow Lake

May 4 Minnow Lake

May 5 Laurentian Lake

May 5 Laurentian Lake

May 5 Bennett Lake





Upcoming Local Events



  DATE CHANGE May 22 - 23 , 2021








SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon








Run Club Update




Store News


Good afternoon Sudbury Runners and Walkers,


We have FREE run club Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.

Cancelled until Further Notice








Track North News - by Dick Moss








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Laurentian XC/Track Team
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