The organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend are committed to finding and using the best sustainable practices to reduce the environmental footprint of the event. In September of 2021, Run Ottawa joined the Sports for Climate Action Framework as part of the United Nations Global Climate Action plan. By signing the Letter of Commitment, we agreed to setting an interim and long-term emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030 and a net-zero target by 2040.
Here are several areas where we’re trying to make a positive impact.
Green Bib Fund
Run Ottawa offers a Green Bib option at registration for those wishing to reduce their environmental footprint. In lieu of a medal or any mailed amenities, you can choose to divert part of your registration fee to the Charity Challenge.
SpeedCups by HydraPak
As part of Run Ottawa’s green initiatives program, every 2022 participant can pick up a FREE Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend SpeedCup in the kit pick-up area at the Health and Fitness Expo.
SpeedCup by HydraPak is a quick and easy solution to hydrating on the run. It’s lightweight, easy to hold, reusable, and collapsible so you can store it almost anywhere. They are also BPA and PVC-free, easy to clean, and leak-proof. SpeedCups minimize waste on your training runs and at races.
Footwear 4 Kids
For 2022, we’ve partnered with the local organization Footwear 4 Kids to collect and recycle running shoes for kids and adults. You can bring your gently-used footwear to the Health and Fitness expo during Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and Footwear 4 Kids will distribute them to low-income children, youth, and families in need in the City of Ottawa through close collaboration with the Caldwell Family Centres Clothing Assistance Program.
The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend has been an active recycler for many years. We recycle all of our paper or plastic cups cups, our bottles, and the runners heat wraps. In fact we are one of the first races in the industry to recycle the mylar blankets.
We also consider the recyclability of our products, such as paper and plastic cups, and actively even recycle left over race medals (although we sure hope that you hang on to them forever).
We also consider how the runner can use what we hand them so every year at the Health and Fitness Expo we give out a bag to runners that can be filled with event swag and also reused again and again, whether you’re running to the gym or out running errands.
All the cups used on the course at water stations are recycled with the help of Cascades Recovery and on the race site we have partnered with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, Wittman Battlefield and the Ottawa Titans Water Polo team to service 20 recycling stations taking organics, paper, plastics and mylar heat blankets.
Discarded clothing and leftover recovery food are all donated to local shelters. And finally, we get water for the event from as many local sources we can, such as houses and public buildings, in order to reduce the need to have water carried in by truck or in plastic bottles.
Paper to digital
We have also put more and more event information online, allowing us to reduce the number of event guides we print every year by over 60 per cent, despite more and more runners and spectators joining us every year.
When it comes to staying in touch throughout the year, we send out e-newsletters and make use of social media in order to reduce the amount of printed material we send out and use.
By holding our event in the downtown core, we aim to make it possible for the greatest number of participants and spectators to walk, cycle and take public transit. Our start and finish lines, and Race Expo, are easily accessible by public transit and Ottawa’s famous multi-use pathways.
We also provide free monitored bike parking at the Race Expo and during the races (courtesy of our friends at the Nakkertok Nordic Cross Country Ski Club).