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Marine Corps Marathon Earns Gold Certification for Social and Environmental Initiatives

April 15, 2020

Council for Responsible Sport recognizes the MCM for enacting best practice standards at 2019 event

Portland, OR—April 15, 2020—The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) has achieved Gold level certification by the Council for Responsible Sport (Council) for being socially and environmentally responsible as a world-class running event. The MCM has been recognized for enacting 48 specific best practices during the 44th edition of the event, held on Oct. 27, 2019. The MCM is the second largest U.S. marathon behind the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to earn certification as an environmentally-conscious sporting event, hosting over 18,355 finishers in 2019.

The MCM earned credit for both meeting and exceeding standards in all five categories of the Council’s certification framework, including; (1) effective planning and communications; (2) aligning procurement of products and services with partners that account for and mitigate their environmental impacts; (3) Resource Management; (4) efforts to increase accessibility and inclusion for under-represented community groups; and (5) for ongoing efforts toward building a positive legacy in the broader community.

“The Marine Corps Marathon was an early adopter of the Council for Responsible Sport standards and has long been committed to continual improvement. This new gold level certification is an indication of the competence and thoughtfulness the organizers pour into this event year after year to make it the unique experience it is.” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director of the Council.

This is the MCM’s second gold certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. The MCM was awarded Silver level certification in 2009 and again in 2011, and first earned gold in 2014.

Prior to the 44th MCM, the organization initiated a robust plan to reduce the carbon footprint of travel and operations, minimize waste and energy consumption while also sharing messages with MCM participants to be environmentally aware in the lead up to the event.

53 short tons of trash was collected during the MCM weekend, of which over half (54.4 percent) was diverted from the landfill through the enaction of a detailed waste diversion strategy. 2,500 pounds of banana and orange peels were collected from runners for composting, along with compostable cups used at water stations for the first time, while nine tons of plastic jugs and cardboard boxes were recycled.

Other efforts included the recycling of leftover medals and ribbons, the donation of 5,000 pounds of leftover unserved food to the Capital Food Bank, and 4,000 pounds of clothing deserted at the start line donated to the Clothing Recycling Company.

MCM partnered with the Washington Metro Transit Authority to provide runners an early opening to arrive on time to the start line and encouraged all participants and spectators to take advantage of the free shuttles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, the MCM headquarters and warehouse have been utilizing emissions-free electricity since installing solar panels on the roof in 2008.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Council of Responsible Sport as a Gold-level sustainable event for the second time,” stated Angela Anderson, Deputy Director of the Marine Corps Marathon Organization. “The MCM Organization and our entire running community, including sponsors and partners, remain committed to ensuring we are continually improving our sustainability efforts and encouraging practicing green behaviors at all of our events.”

More information about the MCM’s environmental efforts is available at www.marinemarathon.com. The 45th Marine Corps Marathon will be held on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 in Arlington, VA and throughout the nation’s capital.

About the Council for Responsible Sport

The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014. www.CouncilforResponsibleSport.org

About the Marine Corps Marathon

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), the third largest marathon in the United States and eighth largest in the world is voted “Best Marathon in the Mid Atlantic” and “Best Marathon for Spectators.” The MCM honors the dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism of its participants. Also known as “The People’s Marathon,” runners from all walks of life participate in the MCM, the largest marathon not to offer prize money. The 40th MCM will be held on October 25, 2015 in Arlington, VA. No federal or Marine Corps endorsement is implied. #RunWithTheMarines