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Trailhead Running: Sustainability

The woods and trails are our playground and the birds and bugs are our cheering fans. We care about the impact we make so we are partnering with the Council for Responsible Sport to promote environmental best practice standards. The Women on the Trails Race Series is certified by the Council for Responsible Sport in recognition of our efforts to produce environmentally friendly and socially responsible events.

Why Certify? | Mission | Fast Facts | Timeline | Athlete Involvement | Community Involvement | Sustainability:Where We Focus | Press | Links | Feedback

Council for Responsible Sport

Why Certify?

Trailhead running could simply put on three 5K/10K trail races and be done with it. So why go the extra step to become certified? Because we are athletes who are passionate about where we work and play.

Earning a certification from the Council for Responsible Sport formally recognizes our significant dedication to environmental and social responsibility in sport. It requires having a plan, telling the community, promoting health and wellness, and inspiring others to do the same. Trailhead Running must go through an auditing process to earn a minimum of 26 credits to achieve certification. We earned this certification in June, 2013 (see timeline below) but that is not the end. it must be maintained year over year.

 

Mission

Trailhead Running is incorporating environmental best practices into the Women on the Trails Race Series. Our mission is three-fold:
1. To showcase the Austin area trails in a non-invasive way.
2. To produce a trail running event using innovative and sustainable activities resulting in little to no waste.
3. To promote and encourage the spirit of Earth-friendly living through health, lifestyle, education, and community.You provide the bags. We provide the goodies!

 

Fast Facts: What We Have Accomplished, Thanks To You!*

What We Did: We saved over 300 cups on the course.
How You Helped: You brought your own water bottle to use during the events.

What We Did: BYOB - We provided the goodies, you provided the bags for packet pickup.
How You Helped: You brought your own bags, resulting in a savings of 228 bags.

What We Did: Rather than pre-stuff bags for packet pickup, we enabled participants to take only the information or materials they wanted. The result? We saved over 40 pounds in paper and materials!
How You Helped: You only took what you needed.

What We Did: Targeted low water usage and used only what we needed to support the race participants.
How You Helped: You brought your own water bottle filled with water, resulting in only 6 gallons of water used for the entire 3 race series.

What We Did: Provided an "Opt Out" option for race shirts and finisher's awards during race registration.
How You Helped: 1% of all participants opted out for race shirts. Thanks for letting us know what you want.

What We Did: Encouraged participants to carpool or ride bicycles to the race venue, including providing cycling maps and a place to lock bikes.
How You Helped: Whether by car or by bicycle, more of you are joining your friends to rideshare to the race!

*Data is for the three "Women on the Trails" 5K race series for 2012-2013.

 

Timeline

Our goal is to achieve certification for all three Women on the Trails Race Series events. Our timelines is as follows:

2012-July: Contact the Council for Responsible Sport for ReSport certification.
2012-Oct: Submit application for ReSport certification.
2012-Nov: Implement initial round of standards at first 5K trail race.
2012-Dec: Review and adjust standards.
2013-Jan: Implement second round of standards at second 5K trail race.
2013-Jan: Review and adjust standards.
2013-Feb: Implement final round of standards at last 5K trail race.
2013-Mar: Finalize certification package and submit to the Council for Responsible Sport.
2013-Jun: Achieve certification status for Women on the Trails Race Series events. Completed!
2013-Nov: Kickoff Women on the Trails Race series as an officially Certified event series.
2013-2015: Continue refining and implementing certification standards to maintain certification status.


Athlete Involvement

We are a community of athletes and as such, we all can do our part to make a difference. Trailhead running is implementing the following areas for all the series races and we need your help:

1. No Cups on the Course - Bring your own water bottle or carrier to use on the race course. Water will be provided of course!
Spectators are also encouraged to bring their own water bottles to stay hydrated during race day events.

2. BYOB: Bring your own bag for Packet Pickup - You bring the bags, we provide the goodies! Please bring your own reusable bag and we will be happy to fill it with your race number, shirt, and other goodies from sponsors!

3. Take Only What You Want - We will provide goodies from sponsors and local businesses on a table at packet pickup, but only take what you want! That way you don't have to throw away unwanted paper or products.

4. Carpool or Bike to the Event - Take one car with friends and/or families OR ride your bike to packet pickup and the race! Maps and more information is available on the race page.

5. Opt In: Shirts and Finisher's Awards - Your choice to receive a participant's race shirt AND/OR a finisher's award.

 

Community Involvement

Community is all-encompassing and comprised of all the people who are involved in the series races including: vendors, organizations, sponsors, neighbors, and the city in which each event takes place. Trailhead running is implementing the following areas for all the races and we need your help:

1. Bio Fuels - Using a generator or other gas-powered item at a Trailhead Running event? Please consider using bio fuels to power the equipment.

2. No Styrofoam - Skip styrofoam/polystyrene packaging. Trailhead Running discourages sponsors and vendors from using or donating goods in polystyrene packaging. Examples include: cups, plates, boxes, and containers. Opt for using recycled and/or biodegradable materials.

3. Locally Sourced Food/Beverage - Food and beverages provided by the event have one or more of the following sustainable attributes: is locally produced, organic, Fair Trade Certified, Food Alliance Certified, or a sustainable certification by another reputable third-party organization.

4. Eco-Friendly Porta-Potties - Environmentally friendly portable toilets and sinks including: deodorizers that are formaldehyde and alcohol free, cleansers that are free of aerosols, butyl and glycol, and/or chlorine free paper products made with recycled content or FSC certified.

 

Sustainability: Where We Focus

Every step we take towards sustainability gets us one step closer to reducing our overall impact to our race venues. Trailhead Running will achieve certification by focusing on these areas: waste, climate and energy, procurement and sourcing, community impact, healthy lifestyle, community involvement, inclusion, and innovation.

 

Links

Forest Stewardship Council
Council for Responsible Sport

Women on the Trails Race Series
American Trail Running Association

 

Feedback

We want your feedback on the things we are doing well and the areas we can improve. Please send and e-mail or call and let us know!

 

 


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