Go Green Get Fit Challenge Week 10: Eco-Friendly Fitness Events

This week’s Go Green Get Fit Challenge Topic is Eco-Friendly Events.

Is there such a thing as a completely Eco-Friendly Event? If there is I haven’t seen it yet. But as much as it drives me bananas to see GU packets along a race course or barrels full of cups and wrappers at the fueling stations, I do believe that many event organizers are working hard to reduce their footprint. I ran a 5K in the Seattle area on Mother’s Day and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the sponsors were predominantly of the greener variety. For example, PCC Natural Markets was there with organic bananas, organic apples, and an organic trail mix station for the kids to mix up their own batch of goodies. Yes, they used plastic baggies to dole out the organic trail mix. But the focus on chemical-free foods was certainly a huge step in the right direction! Another sponsors I was excited to see there was Honest Tea. I did have a woman at one post-race booth try to give me samples of a “glide” that was loaded with Parabens and then try to defend their safety to me when I respectfully declined. And they did have water bottles rather than water stations where we could fill our own reusable bottles. There were certainly areas that could and should be improved, but it was clear that there was some thought put into making this a greener event.

The 10K I did in July was along the WA State coastline, including a 2-mile stretch along the beach. It was AWESOME! This event was put on by TriFreaks Endurance Sports and was done in a very minimalist spirit. It was a relatively small event, so they could get away with making us peanut butter sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Bread (YUM!) for post-race fuel. And I loved that they had Coconut Water instead of one of the “ades” for post-race hydration. The run along the beach speaks for itself. It was GORGEOUS! The perfect first “longer” race for a newbie. And who can resist looping the Chariots of Fire theme song in their head while running on the beach and giving virtual high-fives to the runners coming the other way? Not me! I hope to have the chance to do this race again next year – maybe I’ll go for a personal record and speed it up a bit. And maybe I’ll bike to the race next year instead of letting my car get locked up inside the campground gate and trying to run the 4 miles from our campsite to the starting line. Thank goodness for friendly fellow racers who saw me running on my way to the event and gave me a lift, or my 10K would have become a 10-miler! Hey, there we go – carpooling! Another way we greened the event!

Both of my races to date (5K and 10K), as well as my upcoming 1/2 Marathon used paperless registration through Active.com, utilized reusable timing chips, and recyclable cups. And I hope they continue to improve their sustainability efforts in the coming years. The Go Green Get Fit Challenge has given me the opportunity to connect with several groups which work really hard to put on greener events. Here are a few you might like to check out. And if you want to save a little on your entry fees, get free training plans and discounts on fitness gear, be sure to sign up for a free 30-day trial for an Active Advantage Membership! I saved over $20 in fees this summer, got a free 1/2 marathon training plan and extra 20% OFF two different Active.com Schwaggle Deals (and I’m about to grab a third!). Even after the trial period ends, it’s a great money saver!

Do you have any eco-friendly races or other events in your area? What makes them green? Does it affect your decision of what race or other event to register for?

Share in the comments here (we always love to hear your ideas) or share in this week’s discussion at EcoMom Alliance for a chance to win more than $250 worth of eco-fitness gear from our fabulous Go Green Get Fit Sponsors!

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