“Mother Nature is one hot mama!” A greener Marathon with Ryan Van Duzer!
The Big Sur Marathon is 26 miles of pure beauty along coastal Highway One in Central California. It’s so pretty in fact, that my neck is incredibly sore from staring off to the left the entire race.
Apart from being one of the most stunningly beautiful races on the planet, it’s also one of the greenest. The organizers of this 28 year-old event take great pride in their eco-initiatives and for good reason—they’ve received Gold Level certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for the past three years.
I run a lot of races and it always scares me how much waste I see generated (thousands of disposable cups, wasted food and endless piles of trash).
Things are different in Big Sur though—here’s some impressive stats:
1. Over 90% of the waste is diverted—there are no trash cans!
2. Zero plastic bottles used along the course.
3. 57,200 pounds of transportation emissions are offset (Runners are bussed to the start of the race, no cars allowed.)
4. All aid stations separate compost and recycling into separate containers.
5. Water refill (BYOB) area at every aid station.
One of their main goals is to reduce the number of paper cups along the course and they do this with the CamelBack REFILL stations. I’ve never run with bottles before (pretty much because I don’t like carry anything heavy for 26 miles) but it was great! All I had to do was run up to a friendly volunteer with a smile on my face (or a painful grimace) and they quickly filled my bottles (see video for action shots).
I applaud the Big Sur Marathon organizers for pulling off an incredible race and being so considerate to Mother Nature at the same time. Now, it’s time to get my hometown race, the BolderBoulder to green up their act—it is green loving, hippie Boulder after all.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise