London Marathon Runners "Ate" Their Water at This Year's Race

Just one of the things organizers are testing to make the race more eco-friendly

It's marathon season, and that means after the runners have crossed the finish line and the crowds have gone home, most marathons are left with thousands of discarded plastic water bottles tossed by the side of the road. According to, this year, the London Marathon tested some new things that organizers say cut down on the amount of waste the race generates, and will make the race more eco-friendly in the future.

The most unusual is a water "pod" called Ooho, filled with Europe's version of Gatorade, Lucozade . The pods are made out of seaweed which makes them edible and biodegradable. Runners were encouraged to simply toss the Ooho pods into their mouths and bite down to release the liquid, kind of like popping a cherry tomato in your mouth. They could also bite off a corner and drink the beverage.

Ooho pods are made from seaweed which makes them edible and biodegradable.

Three other drink stations offered Lucozad Sport drinks in compostable cups. And 700 runners tested "bottle belts" made of 90% percent recycled materials that allow them to carry their own water bottles along the course.

"We must balance providing proper runner welfare with reducing our environmental impact." Hugh Brasher, event director

Organizers say these efforts meant that runners used 215,000 fewer plastic bottles than last year's marathon. And every plastic bottle handed out was made of 100 percent recyclable material.

It's not just plastic that the London Marathon is going after. This year all race instructions and registration materials were digital rather than printed. And all clothing that runners discarded at the start of the race were gathered up and either recycled or set aside for the needy.

"We can't achieve everything in one event, in one year, but the changes and the trials we're introducing for this year have the potential to change how mass participation events are delivered in future," said event director Hugh Brasher. The marathon wants to achieve zero landfill waste by 2020.

(Images: Ooho Twitter page )

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
More stories you may love

How Saving A Church Is Saving Lives Too

A couple bought an abandoned church and turned it into a community center. What they've created is so much bigger.

They're Saluting Our Veterans Every Day of the Year

Meet the Pittsburghers who are making sure our returning vets have jobs, homes and food, and find out how you can help.

How Goats And The Volunteers Who Love Them Are Saving A Popular Park

They're keeping invasive plants from taking over Pittsburgh's Frick Park by doing what comes naturally. For the goats at least!

Our Mission
Have you ever felt like there's just too much bad news? Ever felt like the world is hopeless, and you're helpless to do anything about it? We did too. That's why we created Sparkt™.
At Sparkt™, we tell powerful stories about great people making a difference in their communities, and we show you how you can make a difference too. Join us, and together, let's #StartSomethingGood!
Sparkt Newsletter
Get positive, uplifting stories in your inbox
Follow Us on Social Media
Download the Mobile App
Sparkt™ is a Rabble Holdings, Inc. Media Brand. © 2020 Rabble Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.