The Akron Marathon commits to consider the social, economic and environmental impacts while putting on a world-class event. We seek to incorporate environmentally responsible practices through a process of planning, deliberate actions, measuring progress, and continuous improvement. These practices will help to reduce waste and energy consumption, encourage economic advancement and healthy living.

The Akron Marathon has established the following practices to ensure we are being an environmentally responsible running event:

Pre-Race

  • Enhanced recycling efforts in the marathon office
  • Packaging from food-bag and goodie-bag stuffing sites is collected and sent to be recycled.
  • Reduced pre-race paper promotional materials
  • A no-Styrofoam policy has been introduced to encourage vendors not to use Styrofoam products.

Health & Fitness Expo

  • Local non-profits are promoted throughout the expo hall
  • Enhanced recycling stations throughout the expo hall
  • Composting stations at the pasta party
  • Recycled pallet boxes were purchased and the boxes will be taken back after this year’s race to be used for future races.

Start Line

  • Discarded clothing at the start line gets donated to a local charity
  • Water at the start line is distributed in recyclable cups instead of plastic bottles
  • Shuttle bus services are provided from official race hotels and to the relay exchange zones to provide mass transit opportunities

Course

  • Water is drawn from hydrants along the course rather than having trucks deliver the water in plastic jugs.
  • Water and POWERADE cups are collected and sent to be recycled
  • Mile markers and Kilometer markers are reused for multiple years to reduce waste
  • Powergel packets are collected and sent to Terracycle which is a company that creates new items from used food wrappers
  • Cardboard used at all water stations is recycled
  • To help protect our watershed we use portable toilets that have T Fresh Deodorizer STF 4000 which is a biodegradable product and poses no harm to the environment according to the EPA. The toilet paper used in the portable toilets is also biodegradable.

Finish Line

  • Composting containers are provided to collect banana peels and other food scraps
  • Enhanced recycling stations will have individually labeled recycle bins to collect food wrappers to be sent to Terracycle to be turned into new items.
  • D-Tag collection bins will be provided for relay runners to recycle their D-tags from their shoes
  • Heatsheets will be collected to be recycled through the Blankets to Boards program
  • Left over food is donated to a local food bank

Kids Fun Run

  • Enhanced recycling stations available throughout the event
  • Free event to give every child the opportunity to participate

2012 Environmental Endurance

In 2012, the Akron Marathon was certified by the Council of Responsible Sport, becoming one of less than sixty events worldwide to receive certification as an environmentally friendly sporting event.  The certification is based on making environmentally sound decisions regarding waste, climate & energy, procurement & sourcing, community impact, healthy lifestyle, community involvement, inclusion, indoor expos, and innovation.

This certification represents the commitment of the Akron Marathon to the environment and the community of the city of Akron.  Many of our environmental initiatives and successes are documented below:

Diversion rate for waste materials during the 2012 Akron Marathon:

77.7% of all waste was diverted from the landfill. There was a total of 5.63 tons of material that were either recycled or composted throughout the event.

Carbon Footprint traveling to the Akron Marathon for 2012:

CO₂ Emissions for Vehicle and Air Passenger combined equals 426 metric tons

-Air Passenger Miles Traveled – 545,000.4 which equals 284 metric tons

-Vehicle Miles Traveled – 334,555.2 which equals 142 metric tons

426 metric tons of CO2 emissions is equivalent to:

  • 47,758 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • 991 barrels of oil consumed
  • Electricity use of 53 homes for one year
  • Energy use of 36.8 homes for one year

534,420 miles were saved by carpooling, saving approximately 226 metric tons of CO2 from being released into the environment.

Water Footprint for the 2012 Akron Marathon:

A total of 7,730 gallons of water were used as part of the 2012 Akron Marathon

-4,424 gallons of water were used at the fluid stations along the course

-1,956 gallons of water were used for street cleaning

-1,350 gallons of water were used for finisher’s fluid at the finish line and at the relay exchange zones along the course

*As a way to conserve water, fluid cups are filled half full to reduce spillage and unnecessary waste. This process saved approximately 4oz per cup. There are 18 fluid stations along the course with 107,000 cups divided among the stations. With 4oz of water being saved with each cup that equals 3,344 gallons of water saved during the event.

2013 Environmental Endurance

The Akron Marathon was awarded the Summit of Sustainability Award for the non-profit category in 2013.  This award recognizes organizations and businesses in Summit County of Ohio that employ best practices in sustainability and environmental responsibility.  The Akron Marathon was recognized for its efforts in energy management, water management, waste management, awareness, and innovation in conjunction with race week activities.

Furthermore, the Akron Marathon expanded its environmental responsibility by partnering with Keep Akron Beautiful to apply for a grant for new recycling bins designed specifically for placement at the race finish line to encourage recycling and increase the sustainability of the event.  This grant was made possible through Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation.

In addition to the award and grant, the Akron Marathon continued to follow sustainable and environmentally sound practices.  Some initiatives and successes are documented below:

Diversion rate for waste materials during the 2013 Akron Marathon:

77% of all waste was diverted from the landfill. There was a total of 5.35 tons of material that were either recycled or composted throughout the event (0.5 tons were reduced from the recycling total due to reusing unused heat sheets from 2013 compared to recycling them in 2012).

  • Provided composting at the Finish line, Pasta Party, Kids fun Run and collected 500 pounds of food scraps.
  • Collected energy bar wrappers and chip bags/trail mix and sent to Terracycle to be upcycled.  21.3 pounds (10,600 wrappers) of energy bar wrappers and 13.2 pounds of chips bag/trail mix wrappers were kept out of a landfill.
  • 1,200 pounds of clothing were donated following the event.
  • Used heatsheets were sent to a nearby grocery store to be recycled as part of the Blankets to Boards program.  A total of 47 sixty-five gallon trash bags of heatseets and grocery bags were collected, equaling approximately 470 pounds of heatsheets. Unused heatsheets from the event were collected to be used in future events.

Carbon Footprint traveling to the Akron Marathon for 2013:

CO₂ Emissions for Vehicle and Air Passenger combined equals 527 metric tons.

590,338 miles were saved by carpooling, saving approximately 250 metric tons of CO2 from being released into the environment.

Water Footprint for the 2013 Akron Marathon:

A total of 7,893 gallons of water were used as part of the race

-4,437 gallons of water were used at the fluid stations along the course

-1,956 gallons of water were used for street cleaning

-1,500 gallons of water were used for finisher’s fluid at the finish line and at the relay exchange zones along the course

*As a way to conserve water, fluid cups are filled half full to reduce spillage and unnecessary waste. This process saved approximately 4oz per cup. There are 18 fluid stations along the course with 142,000 cups divided among the stations. With 4oz of water being saved with each cup that equals 3,350 gallons of water saved during the event.

 

Summit of Sustainability Award

Certification and Awards