Happy Planet Running returned to Women Run the D for the first time since 2019, with 2020’s reason obvious, and Pink Elephant Events stepping in last year to help me with a schedule conflict. This event celebrates the strength of women and girls, and in particular those who have survived major health challenges. Two and three-generation runners are not uncommon, along with heart disease and cancer survivors.
This year the food and vendors set up on a grassy area next to the big fountain, and the races started and ended on the road circling the fountain. It was a good setup that managed the post-race flow well, never seeming too crowded or too empty. The kitchen area got two All Waste boxes, and with regular checking the waste stayed under control there.
Post-race food included pancakes, egg and cheese wraps, fruit, and cookies. Bearclaw Coffee was there as usual, serving coffee and smoothies in compostable cups. Always appreciated!
I set up the Zero Waste station across from the food tents. We really only needed a single table, although I put in a side table to stop people from tossing their waste directly into our sorted carts. I continue to be baffled by how people ignore the “All Waste HERE” signs on the boxes and think what they have is “garbage” that doesn’t go in them.
With spectators in the fountain area, I decided to cover two of its trash bins in the race area and placed All Waste boxes on top of them, swapping them out periodically. This worked well, with no overflowing trash bins to worry about.
One big improvement over previous years was the quality of the aid station bags. Only compostable cups were used, so we didn’t need to separate out those from the waxed cups. And the bags were very clean, with almost no cross-contamination. A big relief, as I was short-staffed. Thanks to Debbie for coming in at the last minute to help out for a few hours!
One bummer was ending my streak of not getting stung by the yellow jackets that attend this race in force every year. Likely my fault for not carefully checking before I grabbed something. No lasting damage, just a painful finger for awhile.
Results were comparable from previous years on a per capita basis, although with lower overall waste due to attendance not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. A good solid result, and hopefully the race will be bigger and even better next year!