Texas race sets new “green” standards for the running industry
In a city known for entertainment, the LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon and Half Marathon (AMHM) has become a signature event in the Live Music Capital of the World. With live bands along a course that runs through some of Austin’s most scenic and historic areas, it’s no wonder that AMHM sells out every year. The event celebrates its 20th anniversary on February 20, 2011 and will welcome nearly 20,000 participants to the start line.
In addition to being a leader in endurance event management, AMHM has also raised the bar in the industry for its green initiatives. Voted “Greenest Marathon” by Runner’s World in 2008, the race organizers have made significant efforts to implement eco-conscious features that have been hugely popular with the participants and the community at large.
Having a great course in a city full of entertainment, AMHM is one of the lucky few that turn away participants. With race numbers in high demand and a supportive group of sponsors and volunteers, the event’s main challenge has been to stay ahead of the high expectations that are set each year. From the beginning, AMHM has been an early adopter of some of the newest management tactics and technology. In 2004, AMHM chose to go online and automated with Active Network’s race registration software, which includes industry-leading event management and marketing services. Plus, the event is closely connected to a progressive community that is passionate about green initiatives. AMHM’s goal is to strive to reduce its environmental footprint by taking a year-by-year approach to ever aggressive green standards. “Austin is a very green city,” mentions Kristin Zimmerman Nelson of AMHM. “Our marathon reflects that attitude and we are always looking for ways to incorporate eco-conscious features that improve the race while protecting the environment.”
Part of AMHM’s strategy for success is to let technology do as much of the manual work as possible. Active Network’s online race registration and marketing solutions automate, centralize and streamline daily tasks so the event organizers can focus on more important things. Here are a few of the features that AMHM finds the most helpful:
Named the “Greenest Marathon” in 2008 by Runner’s World, it’s obvious that AMHM is passionate about being eco-conscious. For the past two years, the event has been part of Active’s Pledge of Sustainability, partnered with Athletes for a Fit Planet, to promote environmentally-friendly race management. AMHM has also been certified by the Council for Responsible Sport (ReSport), which provides independent, comprehensive certification for sustainable athletic events. Here are a few of the ways AMHM “goes green”:
“Our green program makes the event more appealing to everyone involved,” notes Kristin. “We definitely get more interest from runners, the city, sponsors, and partners.”
To read more about AMHM’s green initiatives, visit: www.youraustinmarathon.com/recycle
Who wouldn’t want to run along a well-managed course in a fun city, with organizers who are focused on composting and recycling? There’s a reason that AMHM sells out every year and that’s because it leads the industry in efficient event management and innovative features for participants. With such high standards, what’s next? “In 2011, we’ll be using Water Monster tanks for water distribution along the course and as refill stations at our finish line,” says Michelle Sandquist of AMHM. “Use of Water Monster tanks helps us reduce the amount of trash and recyclables considerably. We’ll also be composting 500,000 Gatorade cups and approximately 500,000 water cups. This is a first for us because in the past these cups were trash. Thanks to Gatorade and a local composting company, Organics By Gosh, we are taking the next steps in our sustainable efforts. We’re always trying to do what’s best for the runner and for the environment.” AMHM will be pursuing its recertification with ReSport in 2011 as well.