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Posted: February 6, 2013  

Athletics: Runner's World Event Earns Environmental Honor

Source: Council for Responsible Sport

2012 event exemplifies parent company Rodale's commitment to environmental and social responsibility

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Runner's World Half Marathon & Festival, held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, October 19-21, 2012, has earned silver certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. The Half Marathon & Festival becomes the first large running event in the U.S. to achieve such status in its launch year.

"Organizing a first-time running festival, including 5K, 10K, half marathon and kid's races is a huge challenge in itself," said Keith Peters, CRS Executive Director. "To add the significant challenge of producing the events in a socially and responsible manner, and documenting the effort is truly remarkable. The folks at Runner's World and LeadDog Marketing should be very proud of their accomplishments."

"We are proud to receive Silver Certification in our inaugural year of the Runner's World Half Marathon and Running Festival," said David Willey, SVP/Editor-in-Chief of Runner's World, published by Rodale Inc. "It's important to reduce the environmental impact of road races, bringing runners together to celebrate our sport in a way that is as sustainable as possible. Our staff and our partners hope to become even greener at the next Runner's World Half in October."

As you would expect from the worldwide authority on running information, Runner's World scored highly in the areas of promoting healthy lifestyles and inclusion. And, as active members of the Bethlehem community since the 1930s, they were fully committed to maximizing community involvement and positive community impact.

Here is a partial list of credits earned:

  • In partnership with Clothes-Pin, a Center City Philadelphia nonprofit, 1,100 articles of clothing and 200 pairs of used running shoes were collected and donated to the Allen Rescue Mission in Bethlehem, PA.
  • Left over food was donated to Victory House of Lehigh Valley, which shared the bounty with Children's Home of Easton and Holy Infancy Church of Bethlehem.
  • Much of the food served at the event was procured locally, including 73 bushels of apples from Pappy's Orchard in Coopersburg, PA. And all bushels were returned to Pappy's for reuse.
  • 15 members of the cross country team from Dierhuff High School were given running shoes and had their entry fees waived for the 5k, then volunteered to help with the half marathon the next day.
  • New York Road Runners Mighty Milers program was featured throughout race weekend, with the hope of getting local elementary schools involved in the program. The effort raised $3,480 and two Lehigh Valley schools have already adopted the program, with five others expressing interest.
  • Measures were taken to reduce the carbon footprint of runners traveling to the event, including shuttle bus service from New York City, race day shuttles in and around Bethlehem, encouragement of carpooling and the availability of secure bike parking.
  • Benchmark metrics for water use and carbon footprint of runners traveling to the festival were calculated to be 6,175 gallons and 392 metric tonnes respectively, giving event organizers valuable reference points as they try to reduce both water and carbon footprints in the future.

For more information on the event, visit

To learn more about the Council for Responsible Sport, visit

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