Ten Miler not so wasteful after all

Ten Miler not so wasteful after all

Happy Monday, greenies. This is a special day for me—the annual Monday-after-the-Ten-Miler, on which I browse race results and get impressed by people I know who had times much better than my own, and generally reminisce about the fun party-on-running-shoes that is the race. This is the third time I’ve run the Ten Miler. It’s kind of a Charlottesville rite of passage, and I’m forever surprised by the variety of human bodies that can go the distance.

One of the reasons running is my workout of choice is that it can be very light on resources. You don’t need tons of gear—really just shoes, when you come down to it—though you certainly can go crazy buying a lot of other geegaws like pedometers and flashing lights and so forth. If you’re lucky like me, you can run right outside your front door; I almost never do any driving associated with exercise. And running outside means that your workout doesn’t require a big machine to plug in, or a building that has to be lit, heated and/or cooled. Same thing with walking. And jumping jacks.

That said, like any other big event, the Ten Miler has the potential to create a lot of waste. I was kind of prepared to grumble about that, but I was pleasantly surprised by one major change: This year, there was no plastic bag full of flyers and other stuff handed out to each runner. Instead, you just got your shirt, the race number and a bumper sticker. That really cheers me up.

Other stuff to work on in the future: Somebody needs to invent another way to give runners water and Gatorade along the course that doesn’t involve thousands of plastic cups hastily tossed on the ground. And maybe, to offset all the travel required to get 2,300 runners to the start line, you could get five minutes off your time if you showed up in a hybrid car. (I know I just lost you, seriously competitive runners. Sorry.)

One more thing: I’m due for a new pair of shoes now, and I think I’ll check into some of these shoe-recycling programs.

What do you think, readers—what’s the most eco-friendly way to stay in shape you can think of? Any tips for greening one’s workout?

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