QUANTICO, Va. – The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) has received Gold certification, the highest level awarded by the Council for Responsible Sport for being socially and environmentally responsible as a wod-class running event. The MCM has been recognized for enacting best practices during the 39th MCM held on Oct. 25, 2014. The MCM earned 45 credits to become the largest U.S. marathon to earn this distinction among environmentally-conscious sporting events.
According to the Council, the MCM earned credit for both meeting and exceeding standards for Effective Planning and Communications; Procurement of products and supplies and work with partners with environmental focus; Resource Management; Public Access and Equity for all participants and for the MCM’s ongoing efforts toward building a Community Legacy.
“The Marine Corps Marathon was an early adopter of the Council for Responsible Sport standards, an indicator of its status as a principled organization that brings true value to the local and running communities,” says Shelley Villalobos, certification director, Council for Responsible Sport.
“I salute the MCM’s commitment and efforts around waste minimization, reducing barriers to participation and engaging its audience around important social causes,” she adds. “From the MCM’s partnership with the Leave No Trace campaign, to its support for a myriad of MCM Charity Partners, the D.C. Metro area is a better place to live, play and run because this event exists.”
This is the MCM’s first gold certification by the Council for Responsible Sport. The MCM was awarded Silver-level certification in 2009 and again in 2011. The Council awards certification every two years.
Prior to the 39th MCM, the organization initiated a robust plan to reduce carbon footprint, waste, energy, consumption while also educating MCM participants to be environmentally aware and “Stash the Trash.” This campaign, promoted to the public via the website, media and social media and throughout all events during MCM Weekend, was coordinated with the National Park Service to promote a clean event.
“The MCM is thrilled to have the Council for Responsible Sport’s recognition and Gold certification,” says MCM Director Rick Nealis. “In conjunction with partners like Arlington County Solid Waste Bureau, Two Marines and a Truck, the Clothing Recycling Company and Turbana, MCM cleanup efforts were very effective, aided by the unique “Adopt a Mile” initiative to conduct trash cleanup along the course.”
In conjunction with Arlington County’s Solid Waste Bureau, 7.33 tons of trash was collected on Marathon Day. Nearly 1,540 pounds of banana and orange peels were collected from runners for composting, while 7,000 plastic jugs and 2,200 cardboard boxes were recycled, preventing those items from going to a landfill.
In addition, the MCM and its partners collected 7.46 tons of clothing that were cleaned and donated to local Arlington and Washington, DC-area shelters following the Marathon. Also during MCM Weekend, visitors of the Health & Fitness Expo presented by GE were encouraged to retire their high-mileage running shoes by donating them at the event. The MCM collected 650 pounds of shoes at the DC Armory and delivered them to One World Running, an international program that provides providing running shoes to those in need in the United States and around the globe.
The MCM’s headquarters hotel, the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, and sponsor companies and organizations such as Turbana, Chipotle, Clif Bar, Silver Diner, Fitful, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and Washington Metro Area Transit Authority also focused on reducing their carbon footprint at the event.