* 37 forty foot Douglas-fir trees
* 41,300 gallons of water
* 332 million BTU energy
* 7 Metric Tons of Carbon Emission (MTCE)
* 3,000 gallons of gasoline
Bosley believes that a mindset of minimizing waste and saving resources not only is the right thing to do for the environment, but can help an event's bottom line. Trail runners didn't need Al Gore to bring home the importance of minimizing our ecological footprint so the first 'Green Running Event' was probably a trail run. Nancy Hobbs, executive director of the American Trail Running Association, (AATRA) says the organization is very supportive of the green event concept. "We hope that race directors stage their races with the environment in mind. Of utmost importance is to use eco-friendly course markings such as flour, and at the very least to remove any and all markings once the event is completed. We like to encourage runners to carry their own water and / or fill up their bottles at aid stations rather than using paper cups. These are just a few ways to mitigate the impact to our natural resources." One candidate for the first authentic green race is the Keweenaw Trail Running Festival which began in 2000. The director, Jeff Crumbaugh has been improving his pro-environment efforts every year. In 2006, there were no garbage bags to take to the landfill after a 2-day event that included a meal for 300 runners. Finishers are served a breakfast featuring organic, locally grown foods that minimize use of fossil fuels required for transportation. Real dinnerware replaces Styrofoam cups and paper plates. Bringing in real dinnerware and refilling participant water bottles is not going to work very well for the typical road race. But running events of any type and size can get cost effective promotions by taking some modest eco-friendly steps. [END]. FYI to my readers - there's a new site Runner's World new pro-environment web community where running/races and ecology is the focus!
First of all "Trail Races" are highly suspect events and the author failed to address the real issue behind them which is basically, "capacity" per condition which changes DAILY. Normally Race Directors seek to pack as many entry fee paying heads into an event as possible to maximize the revenue. However most trail races have a capacity, a limit, I've seen them as large as 1000, as small as 75 (runners allowed). Not all have this self governing and it's all pretty much self-policed (which never works). But Trail Racing has a serious impact on the the environment - 500 runners = 1000 feet trampling a trail in an hour for example (or if it's 2 loops of the same course, double the trampling). The dirty secret? If it rained before the event the environment is even more fragile and prone to erosion (from the weather condition alone!) - now add to the equation 1000 feet to inflict more damage to the trail and the environment has little to no chance of having a fair voice to counter in real time. There are not enough environmental authorities out there to inspect & evaluate conditions, as they change, as the race hour looms. Yes, there have been trail races that have been canceled due to authorities determining the event will have a permanent deleterious effect on the trail (due to the rain that softened up the trail and primed the course for erosion). However canceling these events is rare, it's only happened 2 or 3 times in the U.S. to my knowledge. So Trail Race Directors like to bring your focus on litter - when the real question is one of trail erosion and how weather before the event compounds the damage of runners on the trail. This changes daily right up to the moment of the start of the race. A Saturday trail race might be permitted to have 300 runners, capped to limit environmental damage - did not factor in weather - an ever changing variable. In the real world if it rains that week or night before or day of, etc. the trail is primed for erosion and it might only take 100 runners to have the impact of 300,.....300 runners might now have the impact of 900. The Trail Race business does not want to concede or come to terms with this reality - they don't even want it probed - they want unrestricted use per their allowed capacity limit regardless of weather the day of, night or week before.