Zero Waste Initiative

As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Our goal is to send less than one bag of actual “trash” to the landfill after each event. We have managed to meet this goal at events with over 3,000 participants!

So far in 2023 we've collected:

 < Numbers as gallons >

Customers served! 0 gal gallons
non-recyclable trash
Customers served! 0 gal gallons
recyclable waste
Customers served! 0 gal gallons
composted food and
organic waste
Customers served! 0 truck* gallons
full of recyclable cardboard

*16 wheeler truck

 < Numbers as bags >

Customers served! 0 bags gallons
non-recyclable trash
Customers served! 0 bags gallons
recyclable waste
Customers served! 0 barrels gallons
composted food and
organic waste
Customers served! 0 truck* gallons
full of recyclable cardboard

*16 wheeler trucks

Insert text contextualizing our current amount of landfill trash. Basically: it's a huge improvement, but we can always do better.

How we're staying sustainable...

Cup-free Racing

Single-use plastic is a huge source of waste at any public event. We have reduced that impact by making our events "cup-free". 

What does that mean for you?

Coolers of Water and Gnarly Hydrate (electrolyte drink) are available at all aid stations, but cups will not be provided on course or at the finish line. In order to stay hydrated, you'll need to bring your own hydration device.

Check for Nathan Cups during race registration!

We offer a free reusable Nathan cup at many of our events. In order to claim this foldable, portable cup, you'll need to request is during registration. We will not have extras available at the race.

Zero Waste Team


At each event, we have a dedicated team of volunteers or a local organization helping us to sort through waste and make sure we only bring necessary waste to the landfill.

It's a messy job but somebody's got to do it - and we are thankful!

Compost Toilets



We've introduced our very our Go Toilets at several events. These waterless composting toilets take human waste and convert it into nutrient-rich fertilizer.


1) Organic material goes into the compost system

2) Microorganisms start breaking down the organic material

3) Air and water help to sustain the process until all materials are fully broken down

4) Now, we have compost!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!


Ever wonder what happens to extra medals, merch, and race guides? Explanation of our efforts to up-cycle or recycle these items:
- Medals get melted down for reuse.
- Ribbons are turned into bags and accessories for sale at the merch tent.
- Race guides are turned into pulp to be reborn as recycle paper.
- Other things?

...and how you can help us!

Bring Your Own Hydration

In order to stay hydrated, we ask you to bring one of the following:

1. Reusable water bottle

2. Nathan reusable cup - These light-weight cups fold into a pocket or waistband. Request one when you sign up to run!

3. Hydration pack - These are refillable backpacks meant for running that allow you to access fluid via a built-in straw.

image of the foldable Nathan cup next to a person folding the cup into their waistbag

Stay hydrated on course with a reusable cup!

Keep Track of Your Waste

Waste Bins e1667926097423

Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through!

  • Compostables: Organic goods like banana peels and most food items (without the wrapper please!)
  • Recyclables: Paper, aluminum, cardboard, steel, and glass. Please dump out any liquids into the compost bin BEFORE recycling the container.
  • Everything Else: Non-recyclable food wrappers like from used gel packets and styrofoam. Please dump out any food matter BEFORE throwing away the container.

Volunteer for a Zero Waste shift

Get your hands dirty! We have positions for Zero Waste volunteers at all of our domestic events. You'll work a 3-4 hours shift with us sorting banana peels, snack wrappers, and more into categories to be composted, recycled, or (sadly) dumped.

In return, we offer you a $50-100 credit for a future VR race!

Ready to Get Involved?

Head to the "Register" tab on any domestic event page and you'll find a link to the RunSignup volunteer sign-up forms. You will then get an email around one month before the event with specific shift times and positions where we need support!

Thank You to Our Partners in Sustainability

Call out any sponsors that specifically help us with our sustainability efforts OR who have their own sustainability pledge/efforts?

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