Derry City and Strabane District Council are aiming to make the 2018 Waterside Half Marathon one of the most environmentally friendly races ever hosted in the UK and Ireland through a number of innovative new eco-initiatives for the event on Sunday September 2nd.
Paperless registrations and race instructions, smaller water bottles, more recycling bins and recyclable race pack bags are among a host of new elements that race organisers hope will reduce the waste generated by the event.
The project is part of Council’s wider Zero Waste Strategy which has the ultimate aim of making the City and District a sustainable region.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, praised the additional efforts to enhance the race’s green credentials.
“I am delighted and proud that the organisers of the Waterside Half Marathon are leading by example by introducing these new environmentally friendly initiatives that support Council’s aim to build a cleaner, greener more circular economy.
“We are one of the first local authorities in the UK to adopt a Zero Waste Strategy which we have committed to working towards in the Strategic Growth Plan with the ultimate aim of becoming a sustainable region.
“There is an onus on all of us to take the small steps that can make a big difference to the environment in our everyday lives and I believe that this year’s Half Marathon can play a key role in setting new standards for the public.”
New Eco-Friendly Aspects
Waste Services Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Nicola McCool, detailed some of the new eco-friendly aspects of the race.
“The registration process is now complete, all of which were paperless and online and the race instructions will only be e mailed to participants prior to collection of race packs,” she explained.
“On the day water stations along the route will be using smaller water bottles with a sports caps and we will be locating large recycling bins 150-200 metres after each station, runners will be encouraged to empty their bottles before throwing them in the bins and the bottles will be reused and recycled at upcoming Council events.
“Our race packs are all in recycled bags and will contain some recycled materials and we will have a Kids Recycled Arts and Crafts pop up workshop at the finish area where there will also be food waste, recycling and general waste bins in the finish area.”
Event organisers will also position Recycling Advert walkers around the course who will engage with members of the public on how they can apply the principles of recycling in their everyday lives.
Local environmental action group Zero Waste North West will also attend the event and help advise the public about which bins to put their waste in.
Waterside Half Marathon
The Waterside Half Marathon is one of the longest running athletics events in Ireland with a scenic route that takes in both sides of the River Foyle, passing many of the city’s historic landmarks including its famous walls and the Guildhall.
The 13.1 mile course has runner, wheelchair and three person relay categories and is open to athletes of all levels and abilities and full event details are available here.