Conservancy gearing up for Eco Marathon

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The annual Catalina Eco Marathon and Half Marathon will take place on Catalina Island on Saturday, Nov. 21, and the Catalina Island Conservancy and Spectrum Sports Management are working together to make this year’s event the greenest yet.

The annual Catalina Eco Marathon and Half Marathon will take place on Catalina Island on Saturday, Nov. 21, and the Catalina Island Conservancy and Spectrum Sports Management are working together to make this year’s event the greenest yet.

“This year we are going cupless,” says Christie Collins, director of leases and special projects for the Catalina Island Conservancy.  “Single-use paper or plastic cups have been a mainstay for running events for decades, generating substantial amounts of trash.  Even worse, a number of cups invariably make their way into the environment, where they can remain for months, years or even decades if they are plastic.”

This year, race organizers will be selling reusable cups to the runners who will carry the cup with them during the race.  The cups are specifically designed for athletes, and collapse down flat with a minimal weight.

Race organizers have also done away with the traditional gift bag, opting instead for a digital gift bag.  These digital gift bags will include a wide assortment of electronic coupons that race participants can redeem for food, products and attractions.  This not only eliminates the potential for paper and plastic waste, but helps maintain the integrity of our forests by reducing the wood and paper footprint for the event.

Finally, the Catalina Eco Marathon has also expanded to included recycling stations at both the beginning and finish of the race.

“The Catalina Eco Marathon and Half Marathon is a one-of-a-kind experience for any runner, outdoor enthusiast and athlete.  Racers will be treated to breathtaking views as they run along ridgelines that show off both sides of the Island, across rolling hills full of beautiful Island oak trees and coastal chaparral,” said Mike Bone, president of Spectrum Sports Management.  “We are excited about our efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of this year’s race, and build upon our legacy of fundraising for the Catalina Island Conservancy.”

For more information on the Catalina Eco Marathon and Half Marathon, including race entry, go to www.catalinaecomarathon.com.