Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Missoula Marathon Takes Big Strides In Becoming A Greener Race

The Missoula Marathon, since its inception, has tried to be conscience of the environmental impact is has on the communities through which its routes pass. For this year’s race, those efforts of becoming a more environmentally friendly race were drastically increased.

Being already the largest Marathon in Montana, the Missoula Marathon, even as it grows larger, will continue to improve on its carbon footprint and the environmental impact a race of such a magnitude can create.

We are working diligently to make improvements, and this year, we proudly introduce true, ECO friendly, high-end, technical shirts for our finishers made of bamboo charcoal and/or recycled polyester. The bamboo was grown and the t-shirts were dyed and printed in the U.S.A. So, as a fun fact, instead of finding your plastic bottles in the landfills, you now will be able to wear super soft, “10 2-liter plastic bottles” during your next training run or race. We didn’t stop there. The dye for the shirts and the ink for the print are environmentally friendly as well; they are water-based, non-toxic, lead-free, and contain no heavy metals.

The same applies to our official posters and fliers; those were printed on 100% or partially recycled post consumer waste paper, and printed with soy-based inks.

Also starting this year, we will separate garbage from recyclable materials at: the Expo, the Half and Full Marathon Starting Lines, throughout the courses at every aid station, at the finish area, the food area after the finish, and at Caras Park, at which the Medal Ceremonies and other post-race activities will take place.

A big thank you goes out to our post-race food provider, The Good Food Store, by providing: cups, plates, bowls, and any other plastic or paper ware that is made out of bio-degradable corn-based plastic and/or recycled paper.

Our race bags are also made out of partially recycled plastic and are re-usable.

The three leaders of the Half and Full Marathon will be accompanied by bicyclists, not motorized vehicles.

All of the port-a-potties which you’ll find before, during and after the races are free of formaldehyde, and provide an ECO friendly hand sanitizer.

The Runner’s Edge is starting a recycling program for your old running shoes. This program not only takes your shoes so that they don’t end up in the land fills, but will also benefit great causes by either recycling the materials for various projects or by distributing the shoes to individuals in need of a running shoe.

We will not give out plastic bottles which cannot or should not be re-used. However, we will provide filtered and treated drinking water at the Expo, before, definitely during, and after the races. We encourage you to bring your own re-usable water bottle/s to the Expo to stay hydrated.
Our volunteers will be provided with “green” shirts, similar to the finisher shirts, and with re-usable drinking bottles – made out of recycled plastic and are PBA-free.

Be so good and do your part of making the Missoula Marathon an enjoyable and green race experience for yourself and those around you. Please dispose of any gel wrappers, bottles, or any other garbage you may want to shed yourself of during the race at any of the many aid stations throughout to race. Keep in mind, volunteers will pick up your garbage, and it will become more than cumbersome if the volunteers have to collect those items farther than in their immediate areas of the aid stations. Also, we are privileged to be able to run through many neighborhoods, so let’s not trash the front yards of those friendly people who will wave at and cheer for us and have their water sprinklers running for us.

We hope you’ll enjoy our efforts of creating a more environmentally-friendly Marathon race experience for you.

The Missoula Marathon is wishing all of you runners, friends and families a fantastic race and a fun-filled marathon weekend, and is certain that you’ll leave with many great impressions of our beautiful state and city.

Thank you for choosing the Missoula Marathon as one of your races this year!

Vo von Sehlen
Director, Green Efforts
Missoula Marathon


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