No doubt thousands of you are preparing to compete in upcoming endurance events. The Chicago Marathon is October 22nd, the Marine Corp Marathon is October 29th, the New York City Marathon is November 5th, and the Hawaii Ironman is October 21st.
No matter which event you will be competing in, let's all make a concerted effort to keep our race course clean!
More and more race directors are receiving complaints from neighborhood associations and municipalities that runners, triathletes, and other competitive amateur athletes are...well...slobs. Littering on the race course has become a significant problem--to such an extent that certain races may have difficulty renewing their permit.
The solution is simple. We all know that eating and drinking along the route is a MUST. However, tossing our left-over wrappers and bottles into the adjacent yards and street shoulders along the enitre course is a MUST NOT. Race directors work very hard at setting up aid stations, sometimes at every mile, and volunteers dedicate their free time to a day's worth of picking up our trash.
At the very least, we in turn can (and should) make a concerted effort to dispose of our water bottles, bar and gel wrappers, tire tubes, and other garbage at or near the aid stations--within 100 yards is a safe distance. Beyond that point, if you have a wrapper to dispose of, put it in your pocket or tuck it in your shorts and wait for the next aid/garbage station.
I guarantee, the added weight will not slow you down.