I just read my December issue of the Min-E-Newsletter, and I'm a little surprised that one of the largest half-marathons in the country is giving lip service to the idea of going green. Read on:
The newsletter then goes on to state the second "exciting" initiative:
This month has been very exciting for the organizers of the Mini-Marathon. There will be two new additions to the 2009 race. The first addition is the D-TAG: a new disposable timing device!
What is it? This year, participants will receive a disposable timing device instead of the rental chip that has been used in the past. The device is called the “D-Tag”! How do I put it on? Click here for directions on how to put the tag on your shoe on
How will it help make the participant experience better?
- No pre-race chip check at the Expo necessary
- Less backup at the finish line area
- No post-race chip removal or return fees
- You can toss it in the trash or keep it as a keepsake after the race
The second addition to the 2009 Mini-Marathon is the RECYCLING INITIATIVE: A new way to promote a healthy environment!
If you haven’t heard already, the 500 Festival has announced a new recycling effort for the 2009 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Finish Line 500 Festival 5K with the help of Aquafina.
The Aquafina Green Team will be on hand to provide recycling kiosks and support
staff at the Mini-Marathon finish line and at the Post Race Party in Military Park. The recycling kiosks will be used to collect water bottles from participants as well as any plastic cups or aluminum cans. So be on the lookout for these on event day and help us make an effort towards a healthier environment!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a little odd to applaud oneself for launching a plastic recycling effort at the same time as announcing that they will create 39,000 or so disposable plastic chips that will just go into the same landfill as the water bottles or cans would have gone? Who in the world totes a soda can or a plastic water bottle for 13.1 miles so they can tote it to the finish line? I've done four half-marathons and can say I've not seen anyone do that. (Though I did see a guy chug a beer at the start line once...)
And given that the Mini uses paper cups, not plastic ones, along the race track, I'm doubtful there will be much impact by allowing recycling kiosks. To me, this smacks of a bad publicity stunt.
I've e-mailed the Mini Marathon organizers and have asked that they reconsider using disposable chips in future races. I urge you to contact the Mini Marathon as well. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback on this issue! (And post your comments here as well.)