The Atlanta Track Club announced today that the AJC Peachtree Road Race has earned certification as a sustainable athletic event from the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS). With more than 55,000 timed finishers, the event is the largest race yet to achieve this certification, and the Atlanta Track Club, organizer of over 25 running events each year, is the largest race organizer to receive CRS certification.
"The Atlanta Track Club is elated that the AJC Peachtree Road Race has been awarded CRS Certification," said Tracey Russell, executive director of the Atlanta Track Club. "We've worked hard to create a sustainable event that minimizes the impact on our environment and we're excited our efforts have been recognized by the Council for Responsible Sport."
The CRS aims to provide "independent, third-party verification of the social and environmental sustainability of sporting events." CRS Certified events earn credits across six categories: waste, climate, materials and equipment, community and outreach, health promotion, and innovation. Events qualify for one of four levels of certification, depending on the number of credits earned. The certification levels are: Certified, Silver, Gold and Evergreen. The AJC Peachtree Road Race achieved 24 credits, earning "basic" CRS Certification.
To achieve certification, the 2011 AJC Peachtree Road Race increased the total recycled waste from 22,802 pounds in 2010 to 41,873 pounds. Increased recycling efforts included collecting all water cups along the course, gathering approximately 12,000 D-tag timing tags after the race and leftover food was distributed at local shelters. The increase in recycled materials brought the weight of trash per participant sent to the landfill to 0.52 pounds, down from 0.61 pounds per participant in 2010.
Continuing the green initiative, the Atlanta Track Club teamed with GreenSneakers, a program developed to provide environmentally friendly fundraising opportunities, to collect approximately 900 pairs of running shoes to be distributed in low-income countries. In addition, 2011 also marked the first year that all 60,000 entries for the event were paperless with individuals entering the event through an online registration system.
The AJC Peachtree Road Race will hold the Certified level of sustainability until 2013 when event recertification will be required.