August 14, 2015— EUGENE, OR—Cincinnati Marathon, Inc., producer of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, has earned Gold Level certification by the Council for Responsible Sport (Council) for its social and environmental initiatives. This is the third certification for the May 3, 2015 event— the first was in 2011, the second was a Silver certification in 2013.
Organizers met criteria for 52 of the 61 total best practice standards offered by the Council across five categories including: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy. Nearly 40,000 participants joined in between the marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, kids events and dog run.
“We are so honored to receive this award from the Council for Responsible Sport,” said Iris Simpson Bush, executive director of the Flying Pig Marathon. “We have worked very hard to be responsible in our environmental efforts and we are thrilled to have our hard work be recognized.”
Highlights from the event weekend included diverting 70 percent of the waste generated from the landfill. Other ways the event reduced and reused included efforts such as collecting 250 pairs of shoes for redistribution through EcoSneakers, passing along 5,000 pounds of food to Northern Kentucky food banks and donating 940 pounds of vinyl banners to Matthew 25 Ministries, which provides disaster relief services around the globe.
The event neutralized its contribution to climate change by purchasing verified greenhouse gas emission offsets from Native Energy. Participant travel to and from the event constituted more than 90% of the event’s carbon footprint, so organizers encouraged participants to use alternative transportation options such as Cincinnati’s bike share, Red Bike. More than 750 people took advantage of Red Bike and a free bike valet nearby on the event weekend.
The Flying Pig partnered with students from both Xavier and Miami Universities to engage visitors of the event expo. Guests could spin a wheel to answer trivia questions about water conservation, or get help calculating their own carbon footprint and plotting the results on a map of the Flying Pig course for a chance to win a free race entry for 2016 and other prizes.
“The Flying Pig team does an excellent job of finding opportunities to get creative and improve on programs and the Council sees how those efforts create consistently great experiences for participants,” said Shelley Villalobos, certification director at the Council for Responsible Sport.
Social inclusivity is another key event element. In 2015, $1.1 million was raised for 292 participating charities. 69 scholarship entries were given to children in the Cincinnati Recreation Program plus another five to the Most Valuable Kids Program, which benefits youth in low-‐income households. 269 discounted entry scholarships were distributed amongst all the local YMCA After School programs.
About the Flying Pig Marathon:
Cincinnati Marathon, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that hosts the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, which raises money for charities. The mission is to provide a premier event open to athletes of all abilities that is dedicated to supporting charities. The event should inspire community celebration and reward the emotions of all participants, sponsors, volunteers and spectators. The 18th annual Flying Pig Marathon will take place May 1, 2016. http://flyingpigmarathon.com/
About the Council for Responsible Sport:
Our vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm. Our 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.4.1) 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