The Original Ann Arbor Turkey Trot takes place at Hudson Mills Metropark, on a paved path with some challenging slow climbs. Runners can choose the 5K, 10K, or the “Iron Turkey” option for those brave enough to run both. There is also a one-mile kids run and a 200-yard dash for the youngest runners.
The post-race area had a smaller “footprint” than previous years. We set up food, awards, and the Zero Waste Station on the concrete patio near the park building rather than out on the grass. It was a good choice on a cold morning with rain expected.
Run Scream Run returned to Wiard’s Orchards after a year hiatus, and the Haunted Village was scary as ever. Attendance, at around 700, was about half the usual total but still had its share of colorful costumes.
Some group had held a party the previous night, and the ground was littered with tiny liquor bottles and other trash. As I policed the field I saw one of the orchard’s staffers also picking up trash. I told him to leave his bag by our station and I’d recover the recycling, so that total is a bit higher than actually generated by the race.
Here’s a chance to test your estimation skill. How many syrup packets are soaking in this sink? Answer at the end of the report. I’ll give you a hint – there were 600 registered runners, plus another 100 or so spectators eating breakfast there.
This event represented a first for Happy Planet Running – leaving the Zero Waste station unattended for an entire race. Yes, perhaps a more fitting title for this was Flirt with Disaster, but I don’t get to name the races. I’m just the Trashman.
How did this come about? A very fortunate event – the resumption of live races – combined with a shortage of volunteers and being double-booked on this particular day. But we had a couple of things going for us here. There were only about 300 runners signed up, the event was over quickly, and Flirt with Dirt has a history of producing very little landfill – like one small baggie’s worth. So we gave it a shot.
I set up a single station near the finish line, with a large bin for recycling, smaller ones for compostables and snack wrappers, and pails for landfill. Then I said a prayer and headed off to the other race I had that morning.
I came back to find everything in good order. Post-race sorting was minimal. I’m sure it helped that many, if not most, of the athletes go to multiple RF Events races, and thus are accustomed to our Zero Waste program. All the same, not something I would like to do again, if avoidable.
And the result? The top image says it all. Baggie for the third year in a row! Report below. (Click to enlarge.)
A race to use up leftovers from other races! What a concept! Runners got their choice of a 5K, 10K, or 15K and received bibs, shirts, and finisher medals from random events. Plus French toast (made with leftover bread), cider, and hot chocolate. All that with Zero Waste, of course!
It’s turkey time again, and runners are getting an early start on burning off the calories. Hundreds of runners and their families showed up on a chilly morning to run a 5K or 10K, (or even both) and enjoy some pumpkin spice pancakes. And this year’s event was “greener” than ever, with a reduction in overall waste generated and a shift toward more compostable materials. See the details below!
A scary race in an apple orchard, with a costume contest and cider and donuts for the survivors. That’s Run Scream Run, a 5K or 10K race that takes runners through an orchard, nearby woods, and through a haunted village featuring mummies and chainsaw-wielding maniacs.
And what if the cups, leftover food, and cardboard had to be buried in a landfill? Now that’s scary! Fortunately, the Zero Waste team was there to make sure that didn’t happen. How little of the event’s waste ended up in a “grave?” See below to find out! Continue reading “Run Scream Run 2019 Sustainability Report”→
Fall has officially arrived, and it’s peak season at the cider mills. Combine a race with terrific apple cider, pancakes, and live music, and you have a recipe for a very popular event. And so it has proved for the Scrumpy Skedaddle at Almar Orchards. When even the race director (right of stroller) gets into the act with her new baby, you know it’s gotta be good!
Going compostable has reduced overall waste and simplified things for the Zero Waste team, but there’s still plenty of work for them to do. And the very lives of the orchard’s pigs depended on our diligent collection of the leftover food (just ask them). Did we leave the event clean and pigs stuffed? See below!
The 10th annual Swim to the Moon was, for the athletes, and the charitable camp the race supported, a really good day. It went swimmingly, one might say.
Behind the scenes, things were a bit less serene. A full race field combined with a shortage of volunteers made for a long morning for everyone, including the solo member of the Green Team. In came the waves of waste. Did we get swamped, or climb on top and ride them out? All is revealed below!