The Calgary Marathon dedicates time, energy and resources to reduce the environmental impact of the race. The Calgary Marathon aims to build upon the previous year’s green initiatives to create an even more sustainable event for the whole family, and we need your help! 

What Is Sustainability Anyway?

It’s a term we hear all the time, but it has different meanings for different people. For us, it means doing what we can in our day-to-day life to maintain the environment. There has been a huge shift in the way we live and we’ve seen the impact on the world around us. To ensure the sustainability of our environment and our city, we all need to take many small actions to improve our surroundings for future generations. We know that nothing beats the allure of the great outdoors when it comes to running!

The Calgary Marathon Sustainability Program offers simple, easy to adopt choices to help you be a green athlete. Read on to learn more about our efforts to make the Calgary Marathon a leader in race event sustainability:

Our Sustainability Initiatives:

Ongoing Initiatives

  • Clusters of recycle, compost and waste bins placed around Stampede Park for the Health & Wellness Expo and Race Day.
  • Cups from along the route are collected in clear bags and recycled.
  • Compostable plates and cutlery are used by event staff and volunteers.
  • E-Newsletters and registration for all Calgary Marathon race weekend events are electronic.
  • Expo visitors and race participants are encouraged to walk, run, bike, carpool, or take transit with two C-train stops that service Stampede Park.
  • A team of “Race Recyclers” assist visitors to properly discard waste in recycle, compost or garbage bins and pick up discarded waste around Stampede Park.
  • Repurposed metal medals for finishers of all Calgary Marathon races with remaining finishers’ medals recycled at Blackfoot Metal.
  • Race finishers are able to download a complimentary digital finisher’s certificate.
  • Office paper and plastic recycling is collected weekly.
  • Leftover fruit donated to two of the official charities in The Charity Challenge: The Mustard Seed and Inn from The Cold.
  • Discarded participant clothing is donated to one of the official charities in The Charity Challenge, the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta.

Green Initiatives

  • More than 500 cyclists rode to and from the Calgary Marathon last year and locked up at the secure bike zone
  • Solar-powered recycle, compost and waste bins were introduced at The Health and Wellness Expo and on Race Day at Stampede Park.
  • 650 square feet of outdated vinyl banners were recycled to create wine totes and luggage carriers so participants can take home a piece of race history from the Calgary Marathon Health & Wellness Expo.
  • 10 sponsors and partners offered special promotions in the Virtual Goody Bag.  A “no paper” policy at package pick-up means promotions, coupons and discounts were delivered to your inbox on race weekend.
  • A volunteer handbook, printed on 100% recycled paper, with “Be a Green Volunteer” tips page.

Be a Green Athlete

Everyone has a part to play in sustainability, as we are all stewards of the planet. This extends to Race Weekend and what you can do to contribute. We aspire to provide you with simple, easy to adopt choices to help you Be a Green Athlete in ways that make a difference.

Take the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Challenge:

Reducing, reusing and recycling are three easy ways to help limit our environmental impact. Let us help you incorporate the 3Rs into your regular running routine AND on Race Day! Take the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Challenge” for any Calgary Marathon event and commit to making green choices on race day.

Before you accept the challenge you will be asked to commit to adopting the 3Rs on Race Day:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint by using green transportation to get to the race (walking, biking, carpooling, public transit): We are supporting your choice to Reduce your carbon footprint by providing a secure bike valet on Race Day and by being accessible by transit with two C-train platforms that service Stampede Park.
  • Reuse your water bottle and forgo paper cups: We are supporting your choice to Reuse your water bottle and forgo paper cups by introducing new hydration jugs with quick pour valves and by dedicating “Race Recycler” volunteers, visible in their green shirts, at aid stations to assist runners.
  • Recycle all that you can and leave nothing behind: We are supporting your choice to Recycle all that you can by providing solar-powered compost, recycle and waste bins and to leave nothing behind by providing clear bags and a secure bag check so you take out what you take in.

Committing to the 3R’s is a big step towards becoming a green athlete.

The Green Athlete Honour Roll

  • Congratulations to 50K runner Colin Paddington for taking the 2014 TOTAL Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Pledge and winning the 1000 car2go minutes.
  • Congratulations to half-marathoner Cindy Getson for winning the green social media contest and taking home the Ninja Commuter Bike.
  • Congratulations to 21.1k runner Kirk Johnson for taking the 2013 TOTAL I Race Green Pledge and winning the $500 sustainable running prize package.
  • Congratulations to marathoner Jim Thorne for taking the 2013 TOTAL Green My Race Challenge and winning a Car2Go Grand Prize for his idea to improve the BYOB program. Jim donated his prize back!
  • Honourable mention in the 2013 TOTAL Green My Race Challenge goes to 21.1k runner Audra Dufour for suggesting ways to repurpose old signs. Purchase a piece of history at the 2014 Health and Wellness Expo.  Various goods made from old signs will be available.
  • Honourable mention in the 2013 TOTAL Green My Race Challenge goes to 10K runner Charlotte Curtis for her entry for a Valet Bike Service. A secure bike lock for 500 bikes will be available on site at the 2014 Calgary Marathon.

“Race Recyclers”

Join the “Race Recyclers” in their quest to divert waste from the landfill and educate participants, spectators and volunteers about how they can do their part.

Throughout The Health and Wellness Expo and on Race Day, “Race Recyclers” are charged with being green ambassadors.

This includes:

  • Educating participants about the Sustainability Program.
  • Assisting visitors to properly discard waste in recycle, compost or garbage bins.
  • Picking up discarded waste around Stamped Park.

Sign up for a “Race Recyclers” shift (or three!) on our Volunteers page ›