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 and give back to their community. When registering for any Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend event, participants can select this race option to divert part of their registration fee to a charity of their choice within the Desjardins Charity Challenge, in lieu of a medal. Since its inception in 2021, participants have donated over $23,500 to charities by selecting Green Bib at registration!
SpeedCups by HydraPak
As part of Run Ottawa’s green initiatives program, participants can pick up a FREE Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend SpeedCup at the Health and Fitness Expo to use on-course instead of using a disposable cup. Look for the volunteers with pitchers at the aid stations!
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
Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend partners with 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 partnership with the Education Foundation of Ottawa.
We recycle all 700,000 cups used on the course at water stations are recycled with the help of Cascades Recovery+ and on course and at the race site recycling stations taking organics, paper, plastics and mylar heat blankets. Along with this initiative, we also work with our nutrition partners, like Xact Nutrition, to ensure their packaging meets our standards around either composting or recycling.
In addition, we have eliminated non-recyclable sponges on race day by adding more misting units.
Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend considers the recyclability of all products for the events, such as paper and plastic cups, and actively even recycle left over race medals (although we sure hope that you hang on to yours 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.
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.
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 shuttle, 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).