Organisers of a popular race series that attracts thousands of runners every year have made a commitment to reduce their carbon print and drastic reduction in single use plastics at their races next year. This comes as welcome news from the running community and locals alike, who share the concerns of event organisers.
David Martin-Jewell, director at Front Runner Events stated:
“As an ambitious company, we are continuously looking at how we manage our events and where we can make improvements. Everyone is aware these days that continuing to use single use plastic is unacceptable. We have been monitoring the impact of plastic usage at our events for over a year and I believe that we simply cannot wait any longer to take action. So, we are committing to removing as much plastic from our events as possible, starting in February at the Risk Kitchen Llanelli Half Marathon; where ALL water at stations across the course will be served in cups. We will also encourage and support those who run with bottles and hydration packs to continue to do so and refill if necessary, at the stations”.
The commitment by Front Runner Events will be the first step made by a major event organiser in the region of South Wales. They will be removing almost 10,000 bottles of water from their first event which is a great start for the team, and they hope that other event organisers will follow their lead. The team will maintain a cautionary approach and will trial different measures and logistical applications to ensure that all participants will continue to hydrate themselves sufficiently.
The phased approach will be implemented in February, at their first race of the year, then at the Great Welsh Marathon which takes place at Pembrey Country Park on the 5th April 2020. Procedures will be continually monitored with full reviews taking place post event to establish the feasibility to roll it at their flagship race the; JCP Swansea Half Marathon in June. David added:
“Whilst we would like to be able to make a firmer commitment at this stage, we realise that this change requires a total rethink about how we perform a number of tasks across our events. This staged approach allows us to review and tweak as necessary with a target of removing all bottled water from all event courses from 2021, that has to be the ambition”.
This commitment is just one of the sustainability initiatives brought in by Front Runner Events, prior to which the business has already undertaken the following:
- Removed all individual packaging from all event t-shirts and medals.
- Reduced the size of bottles supplied in the previous years (cutting plastic use by 1/3).
- Consistently maintained a high recycling rate of 98% of plastics diverted from landfill.
- Providing runners with finisher goodies, but without the plastic carrier bags.
- Introduced a ‘no frills’ package for the 2020 JCP Swansea Half Marathon offering runners the option to participate in the race without receiving a medal or t-shirt – reducing the environmental footprint of the associated goods.
- Developed a community fund to encourage young people to take up or stay in sport, administering approximately £5,000 to date.
To find out more about Front Runner Events, the team behind these initiatives or their events across South and West Wales go to: www.frontrunnerevents.co.uk or for up-to-date news follow them on Twitter @FrontRunEvents or like their Facebook page: facebook.com/frontrunnereventsltd