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Iconic city marathon asks participants to RunGreen ahead of World Environment Day

JUNE 1, 2017
Iconic city marathon asks participants to RunGreen ahead of World Environment Day

The annual Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is more than just a race. As Africa’s must-run iconic city marathon and a certified carbon-neutral event, it encourages all participants to get involved in its Run4Change legacy programme by taking the pledge to ‘RunGreen’.

This weekend festival of running, which takes place between 14 and 17 September this year, earned Gold Label Recognition from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) earlier in 2017. This year, in the run-up to the marathon, organisers are raising awareness for World Environment Day on 5 June by asking everyone involved in the four-day event to join its RunGreen campaign.

By taking up the RunGreen pledge, participants have the opportunity to play an active role in environmental initiatives. The RunGreen campaign encourages runners not to litter, to respect the environment by running for nature, to measure and offset their carbon footprint, and to support broader carbon-neutral projects. 

RunGreen is part of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon’s Run4Change legacy programme, which aims to make a significant and positive impact on society through a dedicated focus on five key pillars: health and wellness; fundraising and charities; peace and sport; sustainable events; and the development and empowerment of South African athletes.

With assistance from the Climate Neutral Group, a recognised provider of carbon management and offsetting services, the marathon strives to facilitate a positive environmental impact in South Africa. To this end, it supports the Greenpop Urban Greening and Reforestation programme, the Wonderbag Project, the Joburg Waste to Energy programme, and the Basa Magogo Project.

Elana van Zyl - Meyer, ambassador for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, says, “All runners can support the ‘sustainable events’ initiative by taking the pledge to RunGreen, and help unite our country in looking after our beautiful city, country and planet.” Participants can support this cause via our recognised charities, at all activations or at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Expo at the charity and partner stands. A minimum fee of R50 paid prior to the event gives participants Run4Change socks to be worn during their race and a pledge sticker. The sticker can be affixed to the ‘pledge wall’ at the expo, together with a message to RunGreen.

With participants from over 60 countries winging their way to South Africa for the event, supporting GreenPop, which plants trees across South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania, is the perfect way to offset their carbon footprint. Since its establishment in 2010, GreenPop has planted over 79 000 indigenous and fruit trees, providing daily benefits to 350 000 people. You are able to estimate your carbon impact with a custom made application brought to you by Sanlam. Click on this link: http://greenup.herokuapp.com/events/9/users/new

This marathon has also established ‘chuck zones’ along the route for the disposal of litter and to prevent runners from throwing empty water sachets on the street. Runners are encouraged to carry their own water where possible, in a hydration pack or water-bottle belt.

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race director Janet Welham says that supporting any or all of these initiatives, however small, makes a huge impact on the environment as whole.

Many road races across the globe are finding creative ways to become climate neutral. The Austin Marathon in Texas uses solar generators and recycles over 6 000kg of waste, while Nature’s Path Whidbey Island Marathon in Washington awards medallions made of recycled glass and all goodie bags are made from 100% recycled paper.

The races on the cards for this year's action-packed road running spectacle include the 12km and 22km Sanlam Cape Town Peace Trail Runs, the Sanlam Cape Town 10km Peace Run, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 42.2km race, and the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Peace Fun Run.

Entries for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon are open. To find out more, go to www.sanlamcapetownmarathon.com