Earth Day~ Green Up and Ham
Not to be confused with Green Eggs and Ham is the Gunflint Green Up and the Ham Run on the Gunflint Trail this May 1-3rd. The theme is green with people planting trees, trees sprouting new leaves and the environmentally friendly green practices implemented by the Ham Run Race Committee.
The Ham Run is being referred to as the "Greenest of Them All," "Minnesota’s Greenest Race" and the "Green Run" due to all of the measures being taken to keep the event green. There are other races recognized for having some eco-practices but none as many as the Ham Run.
The Ham Run Half Marathon has been recognized by Endurance Magazine as one of only 5 Race Without a Trace Events in 2009. Thys Wind, director of events at Endurance Magazine states, "Our role in developing the Race Without a Trace series is to create as much influence for environmental sustainability as possible." The Ham Run is held just after Earth Day in Northeastern Minnesota’s pristine wilderness area. According to Race Director Margo Furcht, "Conducting a green race was never a question in our minds, it was the natural choice for a race in our community. It’s a bonus to be recognized by Endurance Magazine as a Race Without a Trace event."
The Ham Run Half Marathon and 5 k Fun Run organizers did a great job being green last year and plan to do even better this year. Organizers are encouraging participants to bring along their own water bottle to use during the race to reduce cup use. But if racers choose not to then they will drink out of cups made of corn that can be composted. Last year’s T-shirts were made from organic cotton and this year’s will be made from recycled material. Participants from last year’s event were encouraged to turn in their re-usable bib number unless they knew they would be returning this year. All items that could be recycled at last year’s event were sorted including the fruit peelings that could be composted. In addition to winner’s medals made from down dead birch trees all participants received a re-usable green bag and a pine seedling to be planted to offset the carbon used in traveling to the race. Transportation via vans and buses was provided and this year’s partcipants as well as spectators will be encouraged to ride instead of drive individual vehicles. Online registration, downloadable race information and pre-race communication via e-mail all helped to reduce paper used for this year’s event. "Our goal is to create a race you can feel good about participating in. In this time when the environment and economy are so precious we know how important green is and you can be assured this event is an investment you’ll be happy you made." says Sue Prom Co-Race Director.
More information is available online about the Ham Run Half Marathon and 5k Fun Run at http://www.hamrunhalfmarathon.com. While it isn’t Green Eggs and Ham there will be ham as well as live music at the post-race party. It sounds like a great way to support green efforts so plan to hop on a bus and join in the fun on Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 for the 2nd Annual Ham Run Half Marathon and 5k Fun Run.