Air Force Marathon achieves silver for conservation efforts

  • Published
  • By Stacey Geiger
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Council for Responsible Sport awarded silver level certification to the Air Force Marathon for their efforts in taking environmental action to minimize waste and improve conservation at the 2019 Air Force Marathon Sept. 19-21.

“We are extremely excited to achieve this status and to work with the Council for Responsible Sport in obtaining a more environmentally friendly event,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director. “We’ve worked hard to educate ourselves, and in turn educate those on our base and in our community, to make a positive impact on our environment. We are looking forward to using what we have learned and building upon it to continue creating a cleaner environment and a more unified community as the Air Force Marathon.”

The Council for Responsible Sport is a nonprofit that provides objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work that sporting event organizers do to make a difference in their communities.

“The Council was impressed by the intentionality the Air Force Marathon organizing team brought to the certification effort” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director of the Council. “The event demonstrated a genuine willingness to rethink operations and decision-making with an eye for the broader implications of those decisions and a desire to improve. They were ambitious and deserve recognition for this well-earned certification.”

The Air Force Marathon is the fifth sporting event in the state of Ohio to be certified.

Earlier this year, the Air Force Marathon office made the decision to become more environmentally conscious and signed on to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change to continue efforts to make a difference in the environment and community by minimizing waste and improve conservation. As part of the certification, the marathon office developed a three-year environmental action plan to minimize waste reduction and increase recycling for a 12,000 attended event.

By joining the movement, the marathon office committed to adhere to the five principles of the UN Climate Change: undertake systematic efforts to promote a greater responsibility, reduce overall climate impact, educate for climate action, promote sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocate for climate action through communication.

Thirty-six best practices across those five principles were executed at this year’s marathon and recognized by the Council for Responsible Sport and in turn are awarding the silver level certification. Some of those practices that were recognized:  

  • Developed guidelines for decreasing the event’s environmental footprint, including waste reduction and water conservation scheme
  • Developed a formal three-year plan to improve event’s impact on and involvement with local community
  • Source 100 percent post-consumer recycled material for printed event signage
  • Utilized ‘Water Monsters’ to serve in bulk, replacing single-use plastic water bottles
  • Incorporated compost bins alongside landfill and recycling bins for the first time
  • Established an educational space at the Expo to help teach the attendees about the impacts of pro-environmental waste disposal as well as local river clean up in the Miami Valley
  • Partnered with local transit authority to provide event bussing and subsidized transit to event participants
  • Donated leftover unserved food to the USO

In step with increasing recycling efforts, from this year’s event, the Air Force marathon recycled 500 pounds of cardboard, 500 pounds of plastic bottles and 200 pounds of paper. 

The Air Force Marathon, presented by Northrop Grumman, USAA and Boeing, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The Health & Fitness Expo is held at Wright State University’s Nutter Center and is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17, and Friday, Sept. 18. The event will also feature a Breakfast of Champions and Gourmet Pasta Dinner scheduled for Friday, Sept. 18. The featured aircraft for 2020 will be the HH-60G Pave Hawk. Get more information about the race at