A RACE DIRECTOR’S GUIDE FOR

COMMUNITY BUILDING &
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Best Practices

We are excited to share examples of trail races putting community building and environmental stewardship practices into action at their events! Below are some examples of events doing an amazing job and we look forward to seeing more! Please click here [insert link] to recommend an event to be featured as a best practice!

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Belonging

Born to Adapt 

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In 2022 Born to Adapt became the first ever adaptive athlete specific trail event. It was created by Race Director and adaptive athlete Zachary Friedley to increase inclusion of and expand opportunities for adaptive athletes in the trail running community.

Watch the Born to Adapt Documentary here!

The Rut Mountain Runs 

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Beginning in 2022 the Rut is designating 40 spots to “historically marginalized groups” which includes adaptive; Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC); and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and more (LGBTQIA2S+) athletes. Additionally the event and its partners are making scholarships available for those athletes who cannot afford the cost of entry. 

https://www.irunfar.com/the-rut-seeks-runners-from-marginalized-groups-2022-races

Crazy Mountain Ultra

Photographer: Erik Peterson 

In 2022, this event will provide free entry, support, and coaching by leading ultra-distances coaches to 12 Indigenous Runners from the Apsáalooke Tribe and other Tribes from across the country. While being innovative in inclusivity and belonging, the race also demonstrates the leadership in community coordination and relationship building, as the course traverses through the ancestral lands of the Apsáalooke people, 9 private working ranches, and National Forest. 

https://trailrunner.com/trail-news/crazy-mountain-100-promotes-indigenous-respect-and-bipoc-inclusion/

Cuss Running Events

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Cuss Running provides free entries to their races for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ athletes as an affirmation of belonging in the community, these are not need based scholarships. 

Go Beyond Racing 

This leader in environmental stewardship has demonstrated how events can successfully create and support a sense of belonging while also maintaining the highest environmental stewardship practices. Go Beyond created the Trail Mix Fund (a separate non-profit organization) to provide free entries to historically under-served and under-represented communities and to those who cannot afford to race. 

The Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run

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This event demonstrates how ultra-distance events can include and create a sense of belonging for adaptive athletes. The event has developed policies and openly shares those policies with other events for the purpose of expanding competitive opportunities for adaptive athletes.  All proceeds from this event support Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport.

Natural History
Miwok 100k

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Miwok 100k is not only a leader in environmental stewardship, but also provides an exceptional example of how a race can incorporate natural history into their event. Check out the article Miwok 100k: A Geological Tour by runner Melani Michalak available on the Miwok race website. This article is a great example of how race directors can share natural history information in a way that is interesting and relevant to runners.

Run for Salmon 

The Run for Salmon demonstrates how an event can educate and organize community action around ecology in need of protection. Check out the Run for Salmon 9 Mini Lessons available on their website for an example of how an event organizers can connect education materials to an event course.

Environmental Stewardship

Miwok 100k

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Miwok is an environmental stewardship leader displaying best practices in recycling, composting and waste minimization. The event was one of the original cupless races, Terracycle is used to recycle nutrition waste, and leftover food is donated to a local shelter. To address the problem of human waste in the forest, there is a porta-potty at each Aid Station, and MaskIt disposal pouches are provided at each aid station as well. Check out the American Trail Running Association article Trail Running Race Sustainability Guidelines featuring Miwok Race Director Tia Boddington for more examples on how she incorporates environmental stewardship into her event and some great recommendations to consider for your event.

Mount Laguna Trail Marathon 

environmental stewardship…. Soap finisher medal, terracycle, composting in 2022, carbon offset in 2022, optional shirts, and functional giveaways

Go Beyond Racing

Go Beyond Races are true leaders in implementation of environmental stewardship at their events. Choosing the products and supplies that have the least environmental impact is where Go Beyond begins. Here are some examples of their best practices:

  • using reusable plastic dishes at the aid stations that we can wash and use again and again versus disposable paper or plastic plates or bowls. 
  • We work to identify non-traditional recycling streams, like plastic ice and bread bags that are recycled into Trex decking. 
  • Recycle tyvek bibs by sending them into Dupont.
  • We buy in bulk whenever possible to eliminate extra packaging. 
  • Our races are cupless, which means runners carry a collapsible cup to get electrolyte drink or water at the aid stations instead of us supplying single-use paper or plastic cups.
  • We encourage our racers to save their used gel packages at home and bring them to our races where we collect them, along with those used at the races, and recycle through GU’s program with Terracycle. 
  • There are labeled garbage cans at the start/finish area where participants can put their waste into the right container. We hand-sort through all the waste generated at our events, so that we can recycle or compost everything possible as items don’t always end up in the correct can. This ensures we are sending the smallest amount possible to the landfill. 
  • We serve coffee at our race starts and provide reusable Nike Trail camp cups for the runners that we wash and reuse. 
  • We are members of 1% for the Planet. 
  • Every race has a beneficiary and the majority are non-profit organizations that maintain the trails. 
  • We encourage carpooling and give runners and volunteers an online place to coordinate ridesharing, and reward those who carpool to our events.

XTERRA USA Championship Beaver Creek, Avon, CO.

In 2022, Xterra in partnership with the City of Avon, CO will prohibit single-use plastic at all events and the event festival. Additionally the event will send out a virtual swag bag including creative digital marketing material from sponsor and beneficiaries of the event.