Runner’s World Half & Festival Powered by Altra Strikes Gold Again

They did it again! Runner’s World Magazine’s annual Half & Festival powered by ALTRA has earned a third Gold Level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. This is the third consecutive certification for the event that gathers 6,000 runners in Bethlehem, PA for a fresh fall run.

“As we gear up for the Runner’s World Half & Festival in Bethlehem, PA this October 14-16, we are committed to hosting an environmentally-friendly event that reflects our healthy lifestyle,” says Warren Greene, Runner’s World brand editor. “We are thrilled to be a Gold-Certified event again this year, and proud to be making a difference in the community through efforts such as offering paperless entries to donating post-race food.”


Runner’s World, a leading industry publication with over 34 million visits to its website monthly, earned a third certification for its signature event by implementing best practices across each of the five categories of the certification standards, including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy.

“Gold level certification from the Council is a hard-earned accomplishment achieved by forward-thinking leaders in the industry who take action on their social and environmental values,” says Shelley Villalobos, managing director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “The Runner’s World Half & Festival remains a steady leader in the field, and the way the event is hosted reflects the organizers’ continued commitment to responsibility and improvement.”

Highlights of Runner’s World’s green initiatives include:



  • ArtsQuest is close to the public transit allowing many runners and participants to leave their cars at home. Shuttle buses were offered, carpooling encouraged, and a free bike and gear check was provided.
  • Source separation of compost, recycling and hard-to-recycle items such as heatsheets and energy shot packaging resulted in keeping 63 percent of all waste generated out of the landfill through recycling efforts.
  • Heatsheets were collected and recycled through the ‘Blankets to Boards’ program in conjunction with Trex, a manufacturer of composite decking materials.
  • 450 pounds of post-race food was donated to Second Harvest Food Bank for local distribution.
  • Pre-event pasta dinner featured locally grown produce, reducing the ‘food miles’ and thus energy from fuel needed to transport goods while supporting area farmers.



  • Fundraising for the official race charity partner, St. Lukes, supports programs including the HealthStar Mobile Youth Clinic Program providing medical, dental, and vision services to underserved youth communities and Community Health Centers providing health care programs within area elementary schools.
  • Clothes-pin booth at ArtsQuest expo collected over 700 articles of clothing and 200 pairs of shoes from participants who donated them for reissue to people in need.


You can read the full press release here and follow the Runner’s World action on social media on Twitter: @runnersworld  Facebook: & Instagram: @runnersworldmag

September 8th, 2016 | | News & Views

WIN for KC Triathlon Earns Gold Level Certification for the First Time in Third Re-certification

Finishers of all ages celebrate their participation in the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

Finishers of all ages celebrate their participation in the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

Where to begin? The WIN for KC Triathlon has achieved re-certification at the gold level for the first time from the Council for Responsible Sport (the Council). The host organization, Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation, expanded programs to earn 45 of the Councils 61 standards, achieving an impressive 73 percent of all possible credits at the event held on July 26, 2014.

This is just the 15th gold level certification ever, and the third since the current edition of the standards was released in January 2014. Over 100 events have become certified since the Council was founded in 2007.

“I am so proud of our entire Green Team committee and volunteers for their commitment to a socially and environmentally responsible event,” said Lisa Diven, the Director of WIN for KC. “They really stepped it up this year developing new, innovative ways to minimize our environmental footprint and maximize the positive impact our event has on the community.”

The all-female event earned more credits than in the past by finding ways to minimize the event’s carbon and waste footprints, including conducting a paperless registration for all participants and volunteers, using recyclable materials for things like race bibs, collecting and donating gently used shoes to Soles4Souls, encouraging participants and spectators to carpool, and offering the opportunity for participants to opt out of receiving a race T-shirt or medal.

On the day of the triathlon, 420 lbs. of waste was collected onsite, of which 405 lbs. was composted or recycled making diversion from landfill 96 percent! Left over race food—including 480 bagels, six boxes of oranges and six boxes of bananas—was donated to a local food bank.

“The WIN for KC should be regarded as a leading example in the industry of how hosting a truly responsible event is done,” said Shelley Villalobos, certification director for the Council for Responsible Sport. “This most recent successful re-certification effort, in which organizers worked tirelessly to implement initiatives that would warrant gold level certification, is proof that the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation walks its talk.”

The WIN for KC first earned silver certification in 2009, then re-certified in 2011 at the silver level. Other efforts that bumped the event up to gold this year included:

  • Using suppliers who source recycled materials for both medals and awards and hosting a medal collection for old or unused medals.
Rhoda Powers designed recycled glass awards for the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

Rhoda Powers designed recycled glass awards for the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon.

  • Partnering with a local bike shop to help provide bikes to women who without one couldn’t participate.
  • Expanding training resources available to girls ages 6-12 who want to complete a triathlon but who are not yet old enough to compete.
  • Offering a team option for women who would rather share the effort with friends, sisters, family, moms, aunts, etc. and eliminating the barrier of doing it all on their own.

For more information and to read the full press release about the 2014 WIN for KC Triathlon re-certification at the gold level, click here.

The Council offers its congratulations to the dedicated organizers of the event and thanks the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation for its continued commitment to hosting responsibly produced events.

November 4th, 2014 | | Access & Equity, News & Views, Planning & Communications, Procurement, Resource Management

Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities Earns Silver Level Inspire Certification

Community Foundation of Jackson Hole recognized for producing ‘Old Bill’s Fun Run’ event using international best practice standards for social and environmental responsibility


EUGENE–September 6, 2017–Old Bill’s Fun Run, celebrating its 21st running on September 9, 2017 and produced by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, has earned Silver Level Inspire Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport (Council), an Oregon-based non-profit supporting and promoting sustainability in sports.

Inspire event status is awarded by invitation to events achieving multiple certifications from the Council, to recognize the legacy of their commitment to social and environmental sustainability and thoughtful resource management. Old Bill’s Fun Run first earned certification in 2012 and has retained its silver level status each year since.

“For years Old Bill’s has reduced, reused and recycled, both for environmental and budgetary reasons,” said Old Bill’s Coordinator Annie Riddell. “In 2012, Council for Responsible Sport certification gave us the opportunity to strategize, organize and codify our efforts. Given Old Bill’s leadership role in the philanthropic realm, it makes sense to also demonstrate leadership in terms of environmental sustainability.”

“What the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has accomplished through this event is nothing shy of incredible, and that work extends to the 30-person volunteer Run Committee that ensures the event is as responsible as it is fun by using the sport industry standard for best environmental and social practices,” said Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport.

The Foundation gives out Old Bill’s Fun Run T-shirts made from 100% recycled materials and produced in the U.S., reduces waste sent to the landfill by using biodegradable plates, bowls and cutlery for food and beverage, sorts recyclable and compostable waste for processing and reuse, promotes biking and bussing to the event and much more.

A spirited volunteer engages visitors with information about recycling right at the 2016 Old Bill’s Fun Run

Inspire certified events are required to measure and report on sustainability performance indicators and expected to share their story with fellow event organizers. Inspire event organizers are also asked to mentor other events on aspects of their responsible sport program—a requirement Old Bill’s has met by working with the Community Foundation of Teton Valley on a waste management program for its Tin Cup Challenge. Other Inspire events include the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, Eversource Hartford Marathon and the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.


About Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities: The first event of its kind in the nation, the idea for Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities came from an anonymous couple that has pledged more than $10 million in matching funds over twenty-one years to encourage local philanthropy. Through the event, produced annually by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, the community has raised over $133 million to benefit local charities. In 2016, Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities raised $12.1 million for 221 local nonprofits with about 4,000 people running, walking or wheeling in the event.

About The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole: For 28 years, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has worked with donors and nonprofits to enrich all aspects of Teton County, Wyoming. The Foundation enables donors to establish personal philanthropic funds including donor advised, endowment, field of interest and legacy funds to facilitate their giving, makes grants to nonprofits and regularly convenes nonprofit professionals for training and stakeholder conversations.

September 5th, 2017 | | Community Legacy, News & Views, Planning & Communications

Destination Marketing Professionals Invited to Participate in Responsible Event Activities Survey

Eugene—August 10, 2017—Destination marketing professionals are invited to participate in a survey intended to assess the ways destination marketing organizations (DMOs) help host events in their communities that meet the ‘triple bottom lines’ of economic, social and environmental responsibility.

The Council for Responsible Sport is supervising the survey in partnership with Eugene, Cascades & Coast as part of a ‘Responsible Events’ project that received grant funding from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) to explore how events can be managed to set and meet ‘triple bottom line’ sustainability goals in cities across the U.S.

The survey is open to tourism industry professionals in any U.S. city that are involved with the recruitment, bidding, sales and production of events in their destination. While there are eight primary participating U.S. cities collaborating on the project, including: Eugene, OR; San Jose, CA; Houston, TX; Boulder, CO; Minneapolis, MN; Phoenix, AZ; Chicago, IL; and Washington D.C., the results of the survey will be published in early 2018 by USDN and the Council for Responsible Sport.

The City of Eugene’s ‘We Can!’ booth for events showcases ways citizens can get involved, be healthy and reduce impacts

Research gathered through the study will help inform the development of comprehensive sustainability guidelines and valuable tools to cities and event organizers nationwide to make it easier to produce and host events that reach standards for environmental consideration, social inclusion and economic impact.

“There isn’t very much reliable data on how DMOs and Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVB) contribute to things like enabling and activating sustainability-related sponsorships, on-site waste management efforts, promoting public transport to event guests, and getting local youth involved” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “We’re really excited to invite people in this field to pitch in a little time for the greater good and to see what insights we can find and share out.”

DMO, CVB and sports commissions professionals from across the country are called upon to contribute to this work in an important and valuable way by participating in the responsible event survey now. If participants would like to receive updates on the results of the survey, they can sign up for the Council for Responsible Sport’s mailing list here.

The survey can be Accessed here.

The survey will run from August 10-25, 2017.

August 11th, 2017 | | Innovation, News & Views

Green Turns to Gold at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Organizers improve on past performance to earn gold level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for Social and Environmental Initiatives

Eugene, OR—August 8, 2017—The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), held October 16, 2016 and hosted by Canada Running Series, has achieved Gold Level Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport (Council) by improving performance from its first certification effort (silver) in 2015. Organizers earned credit on 45 of the best practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events, up from 38 achieved in 2015. The marathon, which hosted over 25,000 participants in 2016, remains the only certified event in Toronto out of over 150 total certified events worldwide.

Green Team volunteers help sort waste into proper bins at the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Race Director Alan Brookes said “Canada Running Series is passionately committed to ‘building community through running’ – and that means the cities we live in as well as the sport we love. Sustainable communities; green, healthy cities for people, and the organizing of environmentally responsible runs are core values for us. We’re proud of this achievement for our city, and the certification will inspire us to do more.”

Certification is valid for two years. It is achieved by complying with criteria across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. Highlights from the event that earned credit towards certification included:

  • Continual improvements to a comprehensive solid waste management plan to strive for high rates of diversion from landfill. Green team members assisted with proper placement of garbage, recycling and compost at each waste station.
  • 135 pairs of lightly used running shoes were collected and redistributed through partner organization Community Education Services (CES) Canada, which provides secondary school education for youth orphaned in Kenya.
  • 740 pounds of food was donated to Second Harvest, a local food bank that distributes the food to those in need.
  • 1,200 local youth in grades 4-8 finished an active lifestyle training program by running in the 5K event weekend free. Canada Running Series covered all transportation costs, t-shirts, bib numbers and a nutritional snack, with gifts totaling around $36,000.
  • Canada Running Series staff coordinated a staff outing to clean-up a community park along the marathon route.
  • The Neighbourhood Challenge annually provides an opportunity for neighborhoods along the marathon route to gather and celebrate their communities by providing resources, coordination support and even prize money for categories including most people, most noise, best costumes and best entertainment.
  • Supported locally owned businesses such as Chiovitti Banana and Vert Catering through direct purchases and promotion.
  • The Scotiabank Charity Challenge helps to make runner’s participation meaningful by fundraising for causes important to them. Scotiabank adds an additional total of $33,000 in cash awards to the participating charities who recruit the most runners, fundraise the most dollars and who raise the most on average per fundraiser. The Scotiabank Charity Challenge is a turnkey fundraising program that provides a simple way for runners to support the charity of their choice and make a significant impact locally. Participating charities keep 100 per cent of the proceeds raised, as Scotiabank pays for all transaction and credit card fees.


“The Council for Responsible Sport congratulates Canada Running Series on this most recent accomplishment. It’s a group that has worked hard for many years now to think strategically about what it means to host events that truly support local economies, build community and reduce the environmental impacts of their planning and purchases. That’s the core of the responsible sport movement!” Said the Council’s managing director, Shelley Villalobos.

Supporters cheer as runners pass at the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon


About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon:

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 7-race Canada Running Series. In 2016 it attracted 26,000 participants from 70 countries, raised $3.24 million for 182 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast was watched by more than 72,000 viewers from 129 countries.

August 8th, 2017 | | Community Legacy, News & Views

The Cowtown™ Marathon Earns Silver Certification for Socially and Environmentally Responsible Initiatives at the 2017 Event

The 2017 Cowtown Marathon has officially earned silver level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport (Council), an Oregon-based nonprofit that provides objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work that sports event organizers do to make a difference in their communities.

The two-year certification was awarded based on planned activities and programs, documentation of policies and on-site assessment of the 2017 Cowtown race weekend by a third-party evaluator from Waste Management Sustainability Services.

“It was a pleasure to witness the Cowtown Marathon’s commitment and comprehensive sustainability efforts” said Ashley Faseler, the assigned evaluator from Waste Management. “This year’s event embraced programs that intended to reduce transportation impacts, institute recycling and composting and conserve water.  These initiatives round out the Cowtown‘s iconic event that supports and embraces youth and community in a way that should be considered a best practice for all race organizers.

Finishers complete the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas on February 26, 2017

The event achieved 41 of the best practice standards set forth by the Council and credit was earned in each of program’s five categories, including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. An event sustainability report showing performance in each category can be seen here.

“The Cowtown is proud to have achieved this certification. While it is a broad team effort, I want to specifically recognize Cowtown Operations Director Bryan Cathey’s tireless perseverance and dedication in planning and implementing new programming aspects such as Cowboy Compost, as well as leading the certification process,” said Cowtown Executive Director Heidi Swartz.

Cowboy Compost raises awareness in the Greater Fort Worth area about current organic waste challenges, and to provide residential and commercial composting services previously unavailable in Fort Worth.

“The certification process is rigorous, with documentation requirements in place to ensure transparency and create a useful baseline for tracking performance year after year,” said Council Managing Director Shelley Villalobos. “On behalf of the entire Council staff and board, congratulations to The Cowtown, and thank you for your efforts, which are a significant contribution towards a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm.”


About The Cowtown:

The Cowtown, the largest multi-event road race in North Texas, has a $10.4 annual economic impact in Fort Worth, Texas, and has one of the largest youth runs in the nation. The 40th annual Cowtown is scheduled for Friday, February 23rd through Sunday, February 25th at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The Cowtown races are presented by the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Medical City Healthcare, MillerCoors, Star Telegram, NBC 5, and Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet. For more information, see


July 26th, 2017 | | News & Views, Uncategorized

2017 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon Levels Up to Gold Certification

The 2017 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon produced by Conqur Endurance Group has been awarded Gold Level Certification. The marathon earned credit on 46 of the best practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events, up from the 36 criteria the Marathon met to gain Silver level certification in 2015.

At the 2017 event, a combined eight tons of clothing dropped near the starting line and leftover food from the finish area were donated to local organizations for redistribution to those in need.

Certification lasts two years and requires meeting or exceeding standards across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. Organizers met all the possible best practices in the access & equity category, and were lauded for working closely year-round with the Los Angeles based non-profit Students Run LA (SRLA) to promote active lifestyles to local at-risk high school students through the donation of 3,500 marathon entries annually, valued at over half a million dollars.

The event diverted 62 percent of waste generated from the landfill, up from 47 percent diversion reported in 2015. The bump can be attributed to increased collaboration with the multiple municipal jurisdictions along the marathon course including a pilot compost collection of banana peels and biodegradable service wares at the finish area with the City of Santa Monica. Also, a combined eight tons of clothing dropped near the starting line and leftover food from the finish area were donated to local organizations for redistribution to those in need.

“We’re honored to earn this certification and to be a part of this incredible movement,” stated Tracey Russell, Chief Executive of Conqur Endurance Group. “We remain dedicated to reducing our footprint while expanding the marathon’s impact both locally and globally.”

“The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is a catalyst for change,” said Stacey Embretson, Senior Director of Operations for Conqur. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve and to engage our athletes in new ways, so this is really just the beginning for us.”

Organizers are working with local non-profits and the City of Los Angeles to eliminate the use of single-use plastic water bottles in future years, as well as consider ways to reduce energy use and engage participants with issues important to the community.

The Council’s managing director, Shelley Villalobos, said “The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is dedicated to its own improvement year over year, and organizers have worked hard to educate themselves and make adjustments in their decision making to enhance the sustainability of the event. It’s encouraging to see such a major marathon embrace change so openly. This is the type of leadership that is so needed on a broader scale in the industry—the gold level certification reflects the work that’s been put in behind the commitment.”

Read Also: ‘Greening the LA Marathon’ Interview with sustainability manager Jamie Simon (Green Sports Blog)

About Conqur Endurance Group:

Conqur Endurance Group, a subsidiary of McCourt LP, creates world-class experiences that ignite passion in athletes and connect communities through the transformative power of sport. The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is among the largest marathons in the country with 24,000 participants, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of spectators. The “Stadium to the Sea” course, starting at Dodger Stadium and finishing near the Santa Monica Pier, is one of the most scenic in the world, taking runners on a tour of Los Angeles past every major landmark. In addition to the marquee event, Conqur Endurance Group produces the Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K at the Rose Bowl, the Santa Monica Classic 5K/10K and the LA BIG 5K. Conqur also owns and operates one of the largest marathon training programs in the U.S., the LA Road Runners. Through official charity programs and strategic partnerships, Conqur supports dozens of nonprofit partners; the most notable being Students Run LA, one of the foremost nonprofit youth running programs in the nation. For more information, please visit

July 24th, 2017 | | News & Views, Planning & Communications