Help us to reduce plastic waste at our events

There are now less than four weeks to go until the Anita Nott Race, so thank you for entering. There are still places so please let friends, club members and colleagues know as we don’t want anybody to miss out.

Our aim at Heaton Harriers is to improve our races, year on year, and we are always looking at possible ways of making changes which will make our races even more enjoyable.

We have identified an issue that we feel we need to address, both as a club and as a running community. It is an issue that is at the forefront of people’s minds at present so apologies if this is overkill, however, it is the issue of single use plastic bottles.

As a running community we regularly organise and attend events where we give, or are given, a single use plastic bottle of water at the end of a race. Our Heaton Memorial Race, for example, involves over 800 plastic bottles being given out to runners across the various races from our main 10K race down to our Under 11 mini minor. As a club and as a community we need to address this issue.

We will, therefore, be trying something new at the Anita Nott Race 2019.

Close to the Start / Finish area, we will be providing a series of crates which runners can use to hold any reusable water bottles which they may wish to bring. and place there before the race. Athletes can then collect their reusable bottles after the race from the crates. We will be labelling the crates with club names so that the larger clubs can keep their drinks together. There will be clubs which have fewer runners and we will be providing joint crates for clubs to share. We will also be providing a number of crates for unattached runners to store their reusable bottles.

We will still be providing water / orange at the end of the race (and chocolate!) and there will be recyclable cups which can be used by anyone who does not wish to bring a reusable bottle. We would, however, like to encourage as many people as possible to bring their own reusable bottles / drinks so that we can test this initiative to see whether this is a viable exercise. If it works it can be used as a blue-print for our own Memorial Race and also a method which can be adopted by other races / clubs.

If we can halve the number of plastic bottles we use at the Memorial Race 2019 it will be a great start. If this works and other races adopt this method or variations of it, even better.

To this end we would welcome any feedback on our proposal before or after the event. If you believe that there is a better way of doing this please share your ideas as we want to try and come up with a viable solution that works for everybody.

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