This is not the first time and unfortunately will probably not be the last time this subject is written about. It has become far to common to see this at obstacle course races around the global. The problem, littering. The majority of the littering is from energy gel packaging’s being discarded on the ground. The bigger the race, the more garbage finds itself on course.
My aim is not to point fingers, but to bring this topic to the forefront and hopefully wakeup racers to issue and hopefully to a solution. For me I have found tucking used wrappers into my arm sleeve is the best way to keep my trash off the course. OCR companies and racers can do more to help prevent garbage being left on these beautiful woods we get to use for each race. For OCR companies, encourage racers to keep the courses clean; it would only help prevent the pollution of our woods. Place garbage bins throughout the course and make sure the MC's and pre-race motivators are educating and encouraging all racers to discard all trash in these bins and/or also hand any garbage to volunteers and staff. Race companies could even take it a step further and remove anyone caught on course littering or at the minimum require racers pick up their garbage and have to complete a penalty. A more extreme solution would be the OCR community create a Facebook page of shame and anyone that is caught littering and is posted on this Facebook page. I see this as the last resort and most extreme way to help prevent littering, unfortunately sometimes this is the only way to get a very select group of bad apples to play well with others. It’s sad but if the fear of being caught and pointed out on Facebook exists, it will prevent some from littering moving forward. The feasibility of this option is slim but it's time to think out of the box and get serious about littering.
Recently, I had a conversation with a few industry insiders. One industry professional had the opinion it was the sole responsibility of the OCR’s to provide ways for the course to be kept clean and if needed to be cleaned up, they (the OCR’s) handle it. They are of the opinion, racers pay good money to use the course and land, so it’s the OCR’s responsibility to leave the land the same way they were provided it. Is this an opinion shared by many?
We are blessed to be able to run these courses in the best places nature has to offer. A street cleaner is not an option for post-race cleaning. We all need to step up and take charge and keep our lands clean and pristine as we enjoy our sport.
What is your opinion?
Have you seen a lot of litter on a course?
Do you have a suggestion on how to clean up our courses?
What would your solution be for this problem?
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