As today is #GivingTuesday, it seems appropriate to announce our new initiative. We are rolling out a new volunteer position based on the Swedish trend of plogging – a combination of jogging and picking up litter. We hope this will allow us to give back to the communities that we run in, as well as reward our environmentally conscious participants.
We know that races produce trash. It is a sad side effect of our events and we have tried in the past to mitigate how much effect our races have on our environment. We have made some changes in recent years to minimize the amount of trash we produce, but there is still some opportunities to be had. The biggest issues are gel packets and cups from our aid stations. While we ask our aid station volunteers to police the 1/2 mi. that surrounds their aid station, wind can blow the cups, etc.. farther than this, participants can drop trash away from an aid station, and more. Our Rhode Crew tries to monitor this as they pick up cones and signs, but things get missed, through no fault of anyone involved. Race day is a long day for everyone.
So how do we fix this? In the past, the day after a race we have driven the course to pick up stray trash, we have run various parts to find more trash, but without running the entire course, we know that we are always bound to miss some.
And then we started reading about plogging, and knew that this mirrored what we did on the day after a race. So we thought we would ask for help. We are a small team and running the entire length of a half or full marathon course and picking up trash would take a LONG time.
SO – we will be giving away free race entries to anyone willing to join us the day after a race to PLOG – run the course and pick up any trash that may have gotten left behind. We will provide bags and gloves and assign you a 2-5 mile section of the course. When you turn in a bag of trash, we will award you a free entry to any Rhode Race of your choice.
We think this is a win-win. This allows us to be more environmentally conscious about the beautiful communities that we run in, and we get to reward our loyal participants with a free race in exchange.
We are opening this up to Newport and Providence to start, space is limited so you can sign up on our volunteer pages.
We hope that you will join us in this new initiative!