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Littering during running events

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  • 19-11-2019 1:29pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭


    Dublin was a complete mess after the Dublin marathon and still along the route, there are still bottles, energy gels, etc (where they are not covered up by leaves only to be discovered in Spring).

    What should/can be done about it? I appreciate that there often isn't enough/big enough bins provided along the routes, I've also seen people throw bottles into/over ditches, etc in running events before.

    Is there enough education here, i.e do people realise that sometimes you have to carry a bottle for a few minutes after you finish but you will eventually come across one?

    Or should there be some form of undercover "litter warden" and if people are seen littering (you have their identity from their bib) they should be fined or something, just like littering any other day of the week?


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Comments

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,497 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal


    You wouldn't happen to be starting this thread because of this? :)

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-50389804
    Runners at north Wales' largest running event were warned they would be disqualified if they dropped litter during the race.

    Organisers of Sunday's Conwy Half Marathon said the measures had been introduced as plastic was becoming an "increasing problem".

    The Run Wales website said runners would also be "taken off the results if seen discarding their rubbish outside of a water stop or not with a marshal".

    Personally the littering that goes on during races really bothers me, most race organisers make a big effort by providing lots of bins and making it very clear that littering is not on.
    But that doesn't stop some dickeads throwing gel wrappers into ditches, fields and in the cause of Dublin people's front gardens.

    There's more then enough education on littering, after all people know littering is not ok. So there's no excuse for doing it.
    If people try throw stuff into a bin near a water stop when running and they miss its not a big deal, but when they throw the item into a ditch or on the road 1mile up the road thats simply not ok.

    At the weekend I ran Stook 10mile Road Race in Kilkenny, this year they made a big effort to reduce waste by not printing lots of useless stuff and they switched all the plastic cups to reusable cups from https://refill.ie/ .
    Are cups ideal to drink out of when you are trying to run fast? Nope. But feck it I'll take the hit if it means less plastic is wasted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭KevRossi


    Littering and caught on camera is an automatic disqualification would sort most of it out.

    Need far more bins.

    Could go back to having water in paper cups like they did years ago.

    Carlingford have reusable cups in their half marathon, so could chat to them about their experiences.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    From the Maratona cycle in Italy

    26.2 Participants are asked not to throw litter on the roads, but to put it in the special containers at the refreshment points identified by a start and end of refreshments. Competitors who litter outside the marked areas will be excluded from participation the following 3 years


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,376 ✭✭✭diego_b


    Bins at every mark/km marker would be great if feasible, just let the people know in briefing or faqs where they will be. I'd be in favour of disqualification for littering.
    Drives me nuts when you see someone fling a bottle into a field (most races I do are in the countryside)....I guess they think safer there than on the road but don't see why they can't hang onto the bottles etc until the next station.
    One thing though in almost every race the bin for the bottles are too near the water station, be nice to be to pick up your bottle...be able to hang onto it for a min or two as you run and then a bin up the road a bit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭PhilOssophy


    Cabaal wrote: »
    You wouldn't happen to be starting this thread because of this? :)

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-50389804


    1st I'd heard of it! Great idea though


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,814 ✭✭✭Tigerandahalf


    It is definitely a problem when the field is crowded like in DCM. Sometimes you are in the middle of a pack and it is not safe to weave to the side to get rid of bottles etc.

    With the clamp down on plastic I am beginning to wonder if people should just carry a water bladder in a running backpack. You would then eliminate the need for water bottles to be supplied.

    Maybe runners should carry their own bottles and have refill stations along the way. I see a lot of races now using reuseable plastic cups.

    In running Dublin this year there was a guy in front of me with a bladder in a backpack. He had his own water supply (possibly with electrolyte included) and didn't have to weave in and out at water stations. On a hot day it could make the difference.

    They seem to be more in use in ultra events.


  • Registered Users Posts: 351 ✭✭boydkev


    I ran Rotterdam 2 years ago and they had a good solution to the plastic, They use paper cups with a round 1 inch sponge with 2 V's cup out of them and i had no problem drinking out of them and when you have drunk enough you can take the sponge put to wipe your face etc. I know this does not solve the litter issue but they are probably more recyclable.
    rotterdam-smart-drinking1.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,851 ✭✭✭✭average_runner


    Alot of the races I have done, had big skips after the water stations and again 500m after it. So its not that hard to throw the cup or bottles into that area.


    Some people will never change, 25,000 people running the marathon, you are bound to get 1,000 that don't really care and think the race is about them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭Hedgehoggy


    boydkev wrote: »
    I ran Rotterdam 2 years ago and they had a good solution to the plastic, They use paper cups with a round 1 inch sponge with 2 V's cup out of them and i had no problem drinking out of them and when you have drunk enough you can take the sponge put to wipe your face etc. I know this does not solve the litter issue but they are probably more recyclable.
    rotterdam-smart-drinking1.jpg



    I like the sound of these paper cups... Are the sponges recyclable?

    During Dublin 2018 was really struck by the waste at the water stop around mile 19/20. Made me much more conscious this year of not just throwing the bottle on the ground and instead putting waste into bins provided and carrying any wrappers from gels with me - really isn't that hard. I'm sure the vast majority of people wouldn't throw their rubbish on the ground if they were just walking down Grafton st on a busy day - so it's just a case of being a bit more thoughtful. A few signs and a line or two in the magazine might make a difference.


  • Registered Users Posts: 979 ✭✭✭pc11


    KevRossi wrote: »
    Littering and caught on camera is an automatic disqualification would sort most of it out.

    Need far more bins.

    Could go back to having water in paper cups like they did years ago.

    Carlingford have reusable cups in their half marathon, so could chat to them about their experiences.


    Someone would need to explain to me how this would help?! Paper cups will just be discarded as you can't carry them. Small squeeze bottles can be carried and used for a while. This is what I do in a HM or marathon and I carry them and sip from them until I see a bin. I can't be alone on doing this. Taking a sip from a bottle and throwing it away makes zero sense.

    The ultimate solution is for people to stop being dicks, of course.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 20,366 Mod ✭✭✭✭RacoonQueen


    pc11 wrote: »
    Someone would need to explain to me how this would help?! Paper cups will just be discarded as you can't carry them. Small squeeze bottles can be carried and used for a while. This is what I do in a HM or marathon and I carry them and sip from them until I see a bin. I can't be alone on doing this. Taking a sip from a bottle and throwing it away makes zero sense.

    The ultimate solution is for people to stop being dicks, of course.

    But given you can't carry the cups like you can bottles, the cups would be discarded near the water station. So easier to clean up.

    In Ironman events there are litter zones, if you discard anything outside the litter zones, you're penalised. Running needs to be more open to DQs for dangerous and ignorant behaviour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,228 ✭✭✭plodder


    I remember exchanging a few emails about littering with the RD after my first DCM in 2004 but it's still a persistent problem. The second year I volunteered at it, I did the cleanup at the start which was an interesting experience. But, that's fine, you have to be able to discard stuff at the start and it's contained in a small area.

    Out on the course litter zones sounds like a pragmatic solution. It has to start with information and education though. If you don't know where to expect skips or litter zones etc what can you do?

    Also, you see people flinging bottles way off the course maybe in the belief that dropping them on the course could cause people to trip. I'm fairly sure they do a road sweep of the whole course afterwards. But, it's just not acceptable to fling stuff into places that are hard to pick up. I'd consider DQ'ing for that offense at least.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    I will always remember one year running DCM as a pacer and one of my group just flung his water bottle across a fence into someone's garden.

    Total dickhead behaviour. Years later I still wish I had said something, I guess I was just too taken aback but that sheer mindless act.

    DCM do clean up afterwards, of course they do, but there's not much they can do about stuff like that. When there are thousands of people taking part in an event there will always be a number of idiots amongst them.

    I'd have no issue with DQing them, none whatsoever.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,585 ✭✭✭djemba djemba


    boydkev wrote: »
    I ran Rotterdam 2 years ago and they had a good solution to the plastic, They use paper cups with a round 1 inch sponge with 2 V's cup out of them and i had no problem drinking out of them and when you have drunk enough you can take the sponge put to wipe your face etc. I know this does not solve the litter issue but they are probably more recyclable.
    rotterdam-smart-drinking1.jpg

    The other thing I noticed about Rotterdam was, there large bins were targets. The had like a soccer goalposts sitting on top of the bin so the bottle hit the net and slipped into the bin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭solidasarock


    Its one of my pet peeves.

    I carry a hand strapped bottle with a large mouth that is easy to refill at water stops and only touch gels when I see a bin up a head.


    Its not a perfect solution but a mix of paper cups and bottles at stops would probably be better then just bottles. Cups for people who just take a sip and toss and bottles for people who want something to carry and sip while they go. Running through stops and seeing people take a sip of a fresh bottle and tossing it always annoys me.


    Gosh. I remember the RnR half marathon last year was real bad. Like walking through a crowd at the end of a concert at points it felt like you where running over more plastic then road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭Hedgehoggy


    I will always remember one year running DCM as a pacer and one of my group just flung his water bottle across a fence into someone's garden.

    Total dickhead behaviour. Years later I still wish I had said something, I guess I was just too taken aback but that sheer mindless act.

    DCM do clean up afterwards, of course they do, but there's not much they can do about stuff like that. When there are thousands of people taking part in an event there will always be a number of idiots amongst them.

    I'd have no issue with DQing them, none whatsoever.


    I'm not 100% certain, but I think I saw someone bring old clothes out of their house to leave by the side of the road during the marathon this year - presumably to be taken away by DCM clean up crew. Obviously you're going by quickly enough so I could be wrong on this!


  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭wookiesleep


    The cups seem like a good idea. Anything to cut down on the plastic waste is good. I have to say i've seen some awful littering during the Dublin Marathons. People throwing bottles over the wall into the park was always the worst. Until this year of course when I saw someone throw a bottle into the liffey over Chapelizod bridge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,707 ✭✭✭BeardySi


    Camelbak in a race vest - works for me!

    The bottles are a huge and obvious source of litter, but gel wrappers/sachets are nearly worse. Many don't get caught up in the sweepers. I was finding them for weeks around the Belfast route I doubt it's much different anywhere else.

    Not just on the course either, but littered along all of the popular training routes for weeks beforehand. Some people are just filthy ignorant fcukers :mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,440 ✭✭✭The Davestator


    Doing the half marathon in Carlingford a few years back and a man threw a bottle into a field. I told him what a stupid thing it was to do and what a k&%b he was.

    We then ran basically shoulder to shoulder at the same pace in an awkward silence for the next hour or so!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,096 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph


    A lot of races could do more to help things.

    Massive bins, with a big target on them so that you have something to aim at and can also see them from afar, and have those bins up to at least a km after the water station. 1km is really not that far if you go past a water station and are then negotiating your way out of a crowd, extracting a gel, consuming your gel, downing some water, putting the empty wrapper back in your pocket, trying not to trip over discarded bottles, drinking some more water... and then you find you are past the last bin as the people setting up thought 100m afterwards was a long way.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,376 ✭✭✭diego_b


    Doing the half marathon in Carlingford a few years back and a man threw a bottle into a field. I told him what a stupid thing it was to do and what a k&%b he was.

    We then ran basically shoulder to shoulder at the same pace in an awkward silence for the next hour or so!


    Imagine how the tool felt getting to think for the next hour or so that this guy beside me thinks I'm a k&%b....he had good long time to let the thought settle as to what he did! Hopefully he's now programmed to never do it again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭CCR


    For a race I usually carry a widemouth bottle and refill along route same as I would for a long run.

    What really annoys me is gel wrappers on ground. If you are carrying gels you can carry the wrappers.

    Not only a race issue, I often see gel wrappers along canals when training. This could be the cyclists though ðŸ˜


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,678 ✭✭✭John_Rambo


    I spent an hour with three other surfers clearing plastic bottles out of the water when some bright spark organised a running race on a beach on a rising tide. We only got about half of them. :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 229 ✭✭patob


    All runners and race organisers need to take this seriously. I would urge runners to enquire about waste policy before entering races and hence only enter races that take this issue seriously.
    Runners need to be educated like the wider population. Monitoring and disqualification of runners for littering would help address this. Race organisers should be fined for inadequate clean up after events by local authorities. Unfortunately I have not heard of many instances of this.
    How about rating events for their waste management and Green credentials, maybe here on Boards?


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,497 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal


    But given you can't carry the cups like you can bottles, the cups would be discarded near the water station. So easier to clean up.

    In Ironman events there are litter zones, if you discard anything outside the litter zones, you're penalised. Running needs to be more open to DQs for dangerous and ignorant behaviour.

    Agreed,
    Problem is, if most events won't DQ for unsafe practices like headphone wearing despite warnings then we'll be waiting a long time for DQ's for littering :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭PhilOssophy


    Cabaal wrote: »
    Agreed,
    Problem is, if most events won't DQ for unsafe practices like headphone wearing despite warnings then we'll be waiting a long time for DQ's for littering :(

    While I agree with you, wearing headphones is just a bit stupid rather than leaving a mess behind you for somebody else to clean up.

    I think plain clothed "litter wardens" during running events would be a great idea, that way every single person standing there could result in your DQ. Warn people before the events in the e-mails that are circulated, have it everywhere at the start line, no excuses then.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭mrshopkeeper


    Much discussion here rightly focuses on responsibility of runners. Nevertheless, I believe that Event organisers have an obligation to ensure that they countryside is cleaned up after the event.
    It is not right that a company can make big profits after hosting and move onto another area without investing in a thorough cleanup. Charity event organisers unfortunately probably need to plan for this necessity also when allocating duties to volunteers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭KJ


    Didn't London use water capsules made from seaweed before? I wonder why other races haven't followed suit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,678 ✭✭✭John_Rambo


    Much discussion here rightly focuses on responsibility of runners. Nevertheless, I believe that Event organisers have an obligation to ensure that they countryside is cleaned up after the event.
    It is not right that a company can make big profits after hosting and move onto another area without investing in a thorough cleanup. Charity event organisers unfortunately probably need to plan for this necessity also when allocating duties to volunteers.

    Organisers should fine competitors or delete their results for littering or not using bins. That would rapidly sort out the problem.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,634 ✭✭✭✭28064212


    John_Rambo wrote: »
    Organisers should fine competitors or delete their results for littering or not using bins. That would rapidly sort out the problem.
    Seen this mentioned multiple times in the thread: how is it envisaged that it would work? Dedicated trash-spotting marshals? A network of cameras? The majority of races are stretched both in personnel and funds, so both of those are out. Runner reports? One runner's word against another might not go down very well, not to mention most runners who see someone throwing rubbish aren't going to be able to see the offender's number.
    Much discussion here rightly focuses on responsibility of runners. Nevertheless, I believe that Event organisers have an obligation to ensure that they countryside is cleaned up after the event.
    It is not right that a company can make big profits after hosting and move onto another area without investing in a thorough cleanup. Charity event organisers unfortunately probably need to plan for this necessity also when allocating duties to volunteers.
    There aren't many companies making big profits (or any profits) off races in Ireland. And the one's that do are running big races in consultation with the councils, which normally require a clean-up as part of the conditions

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