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San Diego Students to Run in Southern California’s First Ever ‘Green’ Race

May 22, 2009

By Christine Clark

Hundreds of runners at the “Grove Run 5K” will drink from reusable water bottles, eat with compostable food utensils, and run in sustainable racing gear at Southern California’s first ever green certified race, 9 a.m., May 23 at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo of Runners

UC San Diego’s Triathlon Team partnered with the Council for Responsible Sport to certify the “Grove Run 5K” as a sustainable athletic event organized around environmental, community, and personal sustainability. 

The runners will arrive at the race via bicycles and buses or carpool with fellow students. Race announcements were printed on certified recycled paper printed with non-toxic ink. The event will feature compost bins, paperless registration, organic food, and reusable sports equipment. There also will be loads or recycling bins and the runners will wear race apparel made with alternative fabrics and soy-based inks. The AQUAholics Anonymous student group will also be at the event to raise awareness for water conservation.

 “We want to show that sustainable sporting events are possible with the right planning and focus,” said Timothy Ray, “Grove Run 5K” organizer and graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He hopes the race becomes a model for other sporting events.  “So many racers will take one sip of water from a water bottle and throw the rest out,” Ray said. “There are as many as 10,000 water bottles left over from major sporting events and marathons.”

Maggie Souder, UC San Diego’s sustainability coordinator, credited Ray and the Triathlon Team for their dedication. “Their energy, amount of work and passion is amazing,” she said. “These students just want to pay back their community. This is one of the best goodwill events I’ve ever seen.”

The public and first-time 5K racers are encouraged to sign up for the event. “We want to educate participants about the health benefits of running and living a sustainable lifestyle,” Ray said.

As a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Ray has been exposed to world renowned climate research. “I’ve studied how our climate is rapidly changing, and I hope this event helps people learn how they can take action to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Media Contact: Christine Clark, 858-534-7618, ceclark@ucsd.edu

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