The Utica Boilermaker 15k took place yesterday in Utica, New York. Among the many sustainability initiatives implemented over race weekend, this one stands out as a very creative solution to what to with leftover food that cannot be donated to relief agencies. I’ll let Boilermaker’s sustainability guru Paul Macenroe tell the story:
It is now almost 4 in the afternoon and I just got back from the Utica Zoo and had the best experience of my sustainability career. I took 207 pounds of cut up fruit to the zoo, plus 5 extra bags of ice. Apparently on hot days they mix the food with ice to give it texture and to improve hydration (who knew they would have taken all of our leftover ice).
We dropped off most of the food in the kitchen and took an assortment with us to the Children’s Zoo with a Zoo Educator and some animals and set up an education event.
Several hundred children and adults stopped by. I did a short talk on sustainability and why the Boilermaker was donating food to the zoo. Since it has already been cut up it can not be given to humans (food Banks, etc.) One enterprising 7 year old said we could compost the fruit. I said yes but wouldn’t it be better to feed it to the animals first before we put it on the zoo’s compost pile. That way we get two uses for it. She agreed.
The kids had a chance to feed some of the animals the food. The zoo educator talked about the animals and the kids were able to pet and feed them.
We were there for about an hour and half.
Out of town Boilermaker runners and their families made up a large contingent of this crowd. My favorite quote was from one father of three from Erie, PA. He said at every turn I love this race more and more. You amaze me with your total inclusiveness.
This feel good story was also covered by local Utica TV station WKTV.
Richelle Criswell (l) and Susan Farago (r) of Trailhead Running
You’re not Lost. You’re with us.
Trailhead Running’s motto couldn’t be more appropriate. As the organizers of the Women on the Trails Race Series, held in parks in and around Austin, Texas, Trailhead Running offers fun and challenging trail races for women who are new to trail running or for experienced runners who are looking for a different type of race venue.
Susan Farago, Trailhead Running’s Head Explorer, also brings a keen sense of environmental and social responsibility to the task of race directing as well, and offers the following environmental mission statement.
Trailhead Running incorporates environmental best practices into the Women on the Trails Race Series in three key ways:
- By showcasing Austin area trails in a non-invasive way;
- By producing trail running events using innovative and sustainable activities resulting in little to no waste;
- And by promoting and encouraging the spirit of Earth-friendly living through health, lifestyle, education, and community.
It is with great pleasure that we recognize the Women on the Trails Race Series as the first complete running series to achieve certification from the Council.
A PDF version of the press release is available for download here.
The team at Conley Sports in Austin takes sustainability seriously! So much so that they don’t rest on their race day laurels, but go out regularly on trash runs to clean up various sections of the Austin Marathon course.
And they’ve been producing environmentally and socially responsible running events for quite some time. As far back as November 2008, Runner’s World called them the Greenest Race in North America. Since then they’ve become certified by the Council (2009), upgraded to Silver Certification (2011), and maintained their Silver Certification through our biennial recertification process (2013).
You can download a PDF file of the press release announcing Austin’s Silver Certification here.
In the photo above, Andrea Trabuio (MCM), Piercarlo Pirovano (IMQ) and Lorenzo De Salvo (RCS Sport) celebrate the fact that the 2013 Milano City Marathon achieved Silver Certification from the Council — a first on two fronts — the first sports event in Italy, and the first marathon in Europe to be so recognized.
As Andrea Trabuio, the Director of the Milano City Marathon said:
Sustainability was a challenge we could not fail to meet. It was important for us, for the athletes, for the community, the territory, the sponsors and for all those who contributed to the success of this event.
The certification effort was a collaboration between the Council and IMQ (Instituto Italiano Del Marchio De Qualita) the Council’s exclusive partner in Italy. IMQ worked directly with RCS Sport, the Milanese marathon organizational team on the event’s certification application.
A complete copy of the press release can be downloaded as a PDF here.
Sports Destination Management, a trade publication for sport event managers and organizers, has just published a set of tips for hosting a sustainable sporting event. I was pleased to be asked to contribute to the piece, along with Ethan Nelson and Janis Ross. Ethan is the Waste Prevention and Green Building Manager for the City of Eugene, Oregon. Janis is the Executive Director of Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports. They both played big roles in organizing and promoting the environmental and socially responsible initiatives that resulted in gold certification from the Council last summer for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.
I think you’ll find the tips we present to be useful and appropriate for sporting events of all sizes. Here’s the opening Q&A from the piece:
What is a Sustainable Sporting Event?
A source of community pride for fans and athletes alike!