Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mini Marathon responds on plastic situation

The 500 Festival Mini Marathon has responded to my initial e-mail regarding its plastic problem.

Ben Pawelak, the Indianapolis 500 Festivals' Ticketing and Customer Relations Coordinator, wrote to me today:

First of all, I would like to thank you for your e-mail. In moving to the D-Tag this year we considered many factors, but most of all was the overall health and safety of participants. Historically, we have seen a good number of people who faint or suffer injuries in the Mini-Marathon do so while they are waiting to have their chip removed. The switch to the D-Tag will help lessen the number of people who suffer injuries at the conclusion of the race. Rest assured that, as with all aspects of the Mini-Marathon, we will continue to monitor the D-Tag’s effect and will discuss changes for the 2010 race.

My response:
As a three-time participant in the Mini, I understand that fainting may occur at the finish line. However, attributing that solely to getting chips removed is ludicrous. Any person who has appropriately trained for a half-marathon knows they should keep moving to cool down after completing a race.
If there truly was a health issue, wouldn't the Mini Marathon organizers more appropriately design the finish line area?
Again, to be true community stewards, we need to look at all waste we generate. Proudly applauding ourselves for bottle recycling while contributing to the amount of waste we generate in our community sends an extremely mixed message.
I urge you to reconsider the use of disposable chips for future races. My children thank you.

We'll see whether I hear back.


Corie said...

You go, girl! :o)

Michele said...

Hi! This is Michele (we've met a few times at Corie's scrapbook/family functions). I saw your link on Corie's blog and thought I'd check it out.

This whole disposable chip thing is ridiculous. Why can't they just make the chip-removal area at the END of the finish corral instead of the begining so participants have a chance to cool down a little? I think sometimes people overlook the simplest of remedies.

And as far as the bottle/can recycling: I'd be impressed if the Mini organizers signed up volunteers to wrangle all the discarded bottles along the course to be recycled, not to have a bucket or two set up at Military Park. And I have wondered if all the sweatshirts thrown to the side of the road were ever collected for the homeless or just thrown away.

Check out my blog to see the way I'm reusing plastic grocery store bags! www.catellier.wordpress.com