In addition to its course running along the scenic California coast, the Half Moon Bay International Marathon is seeking to extend its cutting edge through becoming certified as a sporting event that meets a set of socially and environmentally responsible standards.
Marathon officials announced yesterday that they will seek certification through the Portland, Ore.-based Council for Responsible Sport, a nonprofit organization considered by many as administering the leading group of green standards for the industry.
Largely unheard of just a few years ago, the first-ever certified event through the Council took place in 2008.
Scheduled for September 25, the marathon will seek a "gold" certification, the second-highest level of certification offered. "Evergreen" is the top-tier level, while "Silver" and "Certified" round out the four levels of the Council's certification.
According to the Council, the standards were developed using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards as a model.
Jennifer Dill has been named the race's "Chief Green Officer" by the marathon's executive board. Dill will work with environmental consultants Athletes for a Fit Planet to meet the Council's gold certification standards, marathon officials said yesterday.
“Our mission is to preserve and protect our beautiful coastal habitat by minimizing the impact as much as possible on our delicate eco-system,” said Dill. “We are committed to building an environmentally-conscious event that is sustainable for years to come.”
To achieve gold certification, the race will need to earn between 33 to 37 credits out of 41 total possible credits throughout the following categories:
- Waste (9 credits available) - reduce landfill waste and increase recycling
- Climate (10 credits available) - make mass transit options available for participants, vendors, and spectators
- Equipment and Materials (8 credits available) - use electronic and phone registration in lieu of paper registration
- Community and Outreach (6 credits available) - use event to benefit local nonprofit organization(s)
- Health Promotion (5 credits available) - event should include and benefit at least one underrepresented population (people with disabilities, for example)
- Innovation (3 credits available) - include feature(s) that increase event's sustainability
Evergreen-certified events require at least 38 credits; Silver requires 27-32 credits; Certified requires 22-26 credits. To view the entire list of possible credits, click on the PDF document in the media box to the right.
Eric Vaughan, the marathon's Executive Director, also announced yesterday that the race was completely sold out — including the wait list. Participants from 25 states and 4 countries have signed up for the event, he said.
"In our inaugural year, we're very grateful for the amazing response we've received from athletes," Vaughan said. "I think it's reflective of the unique draw of all Half Moon Bay has to offer coupled with the first-class event we're striving for."
Half Moon Bay businesses , the , The Graphic Works, and (located in Princeton) will be sponsors, along with Brooks Running and Clif Bar. To read more about the race sponsors, click .
"It's very reassuring that we're on the right track to creating one of the premier, destination marathons in the U.S.," Vaughan said of the race sponsors' support.
Despite its sold-out status, the Half Moon Bay International Marathon is still seeking volunteers. For more information about how to sign up, click here.