Sports

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 Refinery29.com, 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 )

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