The Flying Pig Marathon is committed to research and implementation of policies and procedures to be a more sustainable event. As a certified green event, we adhere to principles in nine sustainability categories set forth by the Council for Responsible Sport: Waste, Climate & Energy, Procurement & Sourcing, Community Impact, Healthy Lifestyle, Community Involvement, Inclusion, Indoor Expos and Innovation.
For our efforts, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon has been invited to become a founding member of Sports Events Community of Practice to help lessen the carbon footprint of other sporting events.
What You Can Do
Use public transportation
- Take the bus to the P&G Health & Fitness Expo. There are 6 routes that stop at the Duke Energy Convention Center, 11 one block away and 28 bus routes the come to Government Square, just three blocks from the Expo. See map of buses and location. You can plan your route using Google Transit. Just put in your home address and the address of the Duke Energy Convention Center and get a list of buses and times to use. Bus stops near Duke Energy Convention Center
- The Flying Pig Marathon is partnering with Metro to provide a Flying Pig Day Pass for Sunday of race weekend. The pass will allow you to ride the Metro all day Sunday for one fee of $4.50. Use the pass to ride the bus to various locations on the course to cheer on your participant. Or after the race, ride the bus to nearby neighborhoods for a celebratory dinner. Passes will be available at the P&G Health and Fitness Expo. Download Metro Day Pass Reservation Form.
- Ride the Metro’s Early Morning Flying Pig Express to the Start on Sunday morning. Give your “piggies” a rest and ride hassle-free to the starting line early Sunday morning on May 4. “Pork” your car for free and leave the driving to us. Purchase your Flying Pig Express ticket for $4.50 at the P&G Health and Fitness Expo. Park behind Tri-County Mall conveniently located at the junction of I-75 and I-275. The bus will leave promptly at 5:15 a.m. and drop off at the corner of Third and Central Avenue downtown, three blocks from the Start Line. For return trips, board Rt. 78 Springdale – Vine bus only at 6th and Vine downtown and get off at the bus stop on Kemper in front of the mall. Flying Pig Day Pass for $4.50 covers your fare on both trips.
Carpool to the race on Sunday
- Free parking available to those who carpool on Sunday morning. Parking in this lot is permit only. You can pick up your permit at the P&G Health and Fitness Expo. Shuttle service after the race provided from near the Finish Line. The buses will run from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Download Carpool Parking Reservation Form.
Recycle and Compost on Race Day
- In the finish line recovery area and Post Race Party in Yeatman’s Cove, look for the Recycling Stations staffed by Green Team volunteers. This year the Flying Pig will be have 5 different collection containers in each Recycling Station to collect your waste for disposal; plastic water bottles, compost (food waste along with paper cups), chip bags, Dole fruit cups, mylar blankets and trash. The Green Team volunteers will assist you with the proper container for your waste.
Sustainability, as the word suggests is the ability to sustain. In order to create a more sustainable living environment and protect the future of humankind, we must treat the earth as our garden and make sure we are giving back as much as we are taking.
Flying Pig Marathon’s Sustainability Efforts
Many people may think that the participants of a marathon leave a small carbon footprint. Most of the time, this is not true. One of the biggest contributors to the carbon footprint left behind after a race is transportation, which is also one of the hardest to resolve. The potentially second biggest contributor that increases a marathons carbon footprint is waste. This can be more easily managed because we can choose materials that are easily reused or recycled. The Flying Pig Marathon has been taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and promote a more sustainable event.
Since 2009 the Flying Pig Marathon has been taking steps to be a more sustainable event by practicing the three R’s of waste management: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
We have reduced the amount of paper used by no longer printing 85,000 promotional brochures, results books and finisher certificates, which are all now done electronically. Also, with the introduction of the Virtual Goodie Bag in 2011, over 2 million pieces of paper have been eliminated from the waste stream.
The marathon collects discarded clothing at the start, and donates them to charities in the area. Any leftover food from the recovery area is donated to local food pantries. Banners and signage from the event are stored and reused the next year.
In 2013 the marathon increased its recycling efforts on the course and at the finish line/recovery area. With the help of our Green Team volunteers, we were able to increase our recycling by 53% over the previous year. We reduced our trash by 33% from 2012 and diverted over 9.24 tons or 65% of our waste from the landfill. Another 2.56 tons were recycled at the Expo.
The Flying Pig Certified as a Green Event
In 2013 the Flying Pig Marathon was certified as a green event at the Silver Level by the Council for Responsible Sport. In order to be certified as green, the marathon had to meet 24 standards in areas of waste, climate, equipment, community, outreach and health promotion. “The Flying Pig Marathon’s list of accomplishments is long, as is its commitment to supporting the missions of numerous charities while promoting health and fitness, stimulating the local economy and galvanizing the community,” said Keith Peters, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport. Among the many initiatives implemented and tracked throughout the 2013 event weekend, there were a few in particular that were notable and innovative:
- 64.8% of all waste was diverted from the landfill; of the 14.2 tons of waste, 3.06 tons were composted and 5.88 tons were recycled.
- 300 pounds of outdated vinyl banners were donated to Matthew 25 Ministries, which distributes them for reuse as building and tent materials in developing regions.
- The event Expo featured a ‘Green Zone’ where sustainability efforts were promoted in collaboration with five community partner groups. The area offered sign-ups for carpool parking, sold recycled bags made of race bibs and ribbons, and showed a sample recycling station.
The Flying Pig partnered with Metro, the local mass transit provider, to encourage participants and spectators to use public transportation on the race weekend. 250 spectators made use of an event-specific discounted day pass to enable people to support runners at various course locations and make it back downtown for the finish all by bus.
Future Plans for Greening Flying Pig Marathon
For the 2014 event the marathon partnered with Metro to offer a Early Morning Flying Pig Express to the Start on Sunday morning that allowed participants to ride the bus from TriCounty Mall to the start area of the race and not have to worry about parking downtown. The Metro also offered the Flying Pig Day Pass that gave family and friends an option to cheer on their participants out on the course. Equipped with custom-designed, color-coded maps, spectators were able to hop off and on Metro buses to designated stops along the marathon and half marathon courses. The programs were a success and the Flying Pig and Metro plan to continue the program in 2015.
The Flying Pig Marathon Board Members and Green Committee are working hard to find more solutions to become a fully sustainable event. Look for more sustainable projects on this website, on Facebook, Twitter, and our email newsletter, The Squeal.
Council for Responsible Sport
The Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) is about inspired innovation and unprecedented collaboration. As a Council, we were developed to provide a valuable roadmap and the resources necessary for event organizers to incorporate tenets of social and environmental responsibility into their organizations. The mission of CRS is to partner with and empower sport as catalysts for sustainable change. We provide the opportunity for sports events to pursue and receive certification, leaders to participate in peer-to-peer learning communities, access to online tools, case studies and strategic partners to assist the myriad stakeholders within the sports industry in their efforts to go green.
Founded in 2007 by the directors of The Freshwater Trust Portland Triathlon, the Council for Responsible Sport was created as a response to a growing need for planning models that take into consideration the social and environmental impacts of sports events.