Q: I want to be "GREEN" as a competitive runner. How can I do this other than making sure I don't leave trash on my runs and when I race, and don't despoil the environment along the way?
A: The general rules for being kind to the earth apply to running as they do to other activities, of course. Conserving energy in travel methods (carpool, bicycle instead of driving), purchasing re-usable bottles rather than disposables, and cleaning up after yourself are some examples of being a good Earth citizen.
A unique way that runners who race can help the planet involves clothes layering. Often participants in a race must get to the starting line site much earlier than race start time. The weather may be cooler or inclement. As the race starts and bodies warm with the effort of moving rather than standing still, runners have been known discard outer clothing layers. Spectator family or friends are sometimes tasked with finding these tossed articles on the roadside.
Another practice is to go before race day to second-hand stores, purchase low-cost donated jackets or sweatshirts, wear them as outermost but disposable layers that can be shed, picked up by race personnel, and donated once again. Kind of a race-day-recycling effort. Not sure how the race personnel feel about this, though.
Taking thrift store fashion in a different direction, some runners are keen on finding classic old school running apparel in antique and charity-run secondhand shops, and wearing them instead of buying never-worn new clothes. This works well for clothes safely worn in situations in which high-tech fabrics are not needed for performance.
NOTE: Runner's World has a "HUMAN RACE" item in the March issue p. 19 that features Tara Ehlis, co-owner of SPOOL NO. 72, a women's online boutique in Wenatchee WA. The piece describes how she searches thrift shops for vintage running clothes for her personal use, the most prized being throwback track jackets. This so so very cool. I love browsing antique stores and now there's another great excuse to do it! Thanks RW for bringing this to our attention.
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Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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