Greening of the Pig

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: Planning and Communication, Procurement, Resource Management, Access and Equity, and Community Legacy.

Our goals for the 2016 Flying Pig Marathon are:

  • Reduce our environmental footprint by diverting at least 60% of our waste from the landfill;
  • Continue to reach out and include athletes of all abilities;
  • Measure our carbon footprint and water usage, and
  • Communicate the Flying Pig Marathon’s efforts to produce a more sustainable event that the city of Cincinnati and surrounding communities can be proud of.

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.

Carpool to the race on Sunday

  • Thanks to the management of Longworth Hall, free parking available to those who carpool on Sunday morning. Longworth Hall is .6 mile from the start line. Parking in this lot is permit only. You can pick up your permit at the P&G Health and Fitness Expo. After the race, shuttle service is provided from near the Finish Line on Mehring Way, back to Longworth Hall. The buses will run from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Recycle 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. 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.

The Flying Pig Certified as a Green Event

In 2015, the Flying Pig Marathon was certified as a green event at the Gold Level.  Some of the accomplishments for 2015 were:

  • 69.6% of all waste diverted from the landfill; of the 16.4 tons of waste, 11.42 tons were recycled or donated.
  • 249 pairs of shoes collected by ECOSNEAKERS to be shared with the homeless community.
  • 1710 pounds of clothing collected at the start of the race donated to Goodwill.
  • 5446 pounds of leftover food donated to local food pantries.
  • 940 pounds of outdated vinyl banners were donated to Matthew 25 Ministries, which distributes them for reuse as building and tent materials in developing regions.
  • 677 cars used carpool parking carrying 1958 passengers.
  • 292 charities benefited from the Flying Pig Marathon with $1.1 million raised.
  • 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 carbon footprint for travel was 3129.95 MT CO2 and event operations was 23.78 MT CO2. The Flying Pig planted trees to help offset the carbon footprint and purchased carbon credits to offset all of the event operations and 25% of long-distance travel.

Other Achievements

  • In 2011 The Flying Pig received the Excellence in Public Recycling award from the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District.
  • In 2013 and 2014 The Flying Pig was a finalist in the Green Business Award for Green Practices, sponsored by The Business Courier.
  • In 2015 The Flying Pig was the winner of the Green Business Award for Green Practices.

Future Plans for Greening Flying Pig Marathon

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.