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Countdown to race day


Incorporating environmentally and socially responsible practices is an important part of the operational planning, preparation, and execution of the Bank of America Chicago 13.1. The event sustainability program focuses on environmental stewardship, community engagement and outreach, accessibility, and innovation.

Race weekend

Packet Pick-up

  • Paperless Packet Pick-up – The packet pick-up email can be presented on the screen of a mobile device or tablet instead of printing, saving thousands of sheets of paper from being used.
  • Participant bag – Event participant bags are made from #4 LDPE, which is 100% recyclable through retailers offering plastic film and bag recycling – just remove the cotton drawstring beforehand. Made in California and printed with water-based ink, the bags contain 25% post-consumer recycled content and up to an additional 25% postindustrial scrap (in-house recycled content), reducing the amount of “virgin” petroleum used. To encourage reuse and ensure durability for gear check, the bag is designed to be reused multiple times before recycling.
  • Bibs – Bibs are made from Tyger material, which uses FSC Certified paper and are made in the USA.
  • Zero waste bins – Look for zero waste bins located at Packet Pick-up and in various venues at Garfield Park race weekend. The bins are made from repurposed coroplast materials from our warehouse, with overhead signage providing clear directions on how to sort your waste.
  • Participant travel survey – Volunteers will ask participants to complete a quick survey regarding their mode of transportation to Garfield Park on race day. This will help calculate the event’s overall participant travel carbon footprint.

Race day

Garfield Park and course

  • Zero Waste Stations – Waste disposed of in Garfield Park should be deposited at one of the Zero Waste Stations located throughout Runner Refresh and the festival area. Green Team volunteers will sort the refuse to help increase the amount of waste diverted from the landfill.
  • Collecting compostable material – Del Monte banana peels and other materials will be collected in Garfield Park for composting, as well as hydration cups from the course. The Urban Canopy, an urban farm on the South Side of Chicago, will be taking the organic materials to a processing facility where the organic waste will break down into finished compost, a nutrient rich soil amendment. By keeping wasted food and other organics out of the landfill, methane emissions are significantly reduced.
  • Aluminum cans – All beer cans are made of aluminum, an infinitely recyclable material. Recycling of aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source. Please dispose of cans in bins labeled “recycling”.
  • No styrofoam – Styrofoam products are not allowed at the Bank of America Chicago 13.1.
  • Race day recycling – Cardboard, plastic jugs, beer cans and water bottles will be collected by the event and recycled.
  • Eco-friendly portable toilet facilities – Paper products at portable restrooms rented for the event are made of 100% recycled content.
  • Closed loop course – The Bank of America Chicago 13.1, is a closed loop course, starting and finishing in Garfield Park, eliminating unnecessary travel often required by point-to-point courses.
  • Public transportation – Participants, spectators, and volunteers are highly encouraged to use public transportation race weekend, with the CTA offering convenient stops near the Roosevelt Collection and Garfield Park Conservatory. Garfield Park, the location of the Bank of America Chicago 13.1’s start and finish lines and festival, is in the heart of Chicago’s West Side.
  • Water filling stations – Participants are encouraged to refill water bottles and hydration cups at one of two Water Monster hydration stations located at the festival.

Beyond race weekend

  • Community effort – Event production, from distributing packets, beer and bananas, to marshaling the course, requires hundreds of volunteers. The event could not happen without community support and volunteers.
  • Composting organic waste – The finished compost from the event will be used in part to nourish the dense vegetable production on The Urban Canopy’s two-acre farm in the Englewood neighborhood.
  • Packet paper recycling – Printed confirmation tickets will be recycled at Packet Pick-up.
  • 100% Paperless online registration – All Bank of America Chicago 13.1 participants and volunteers will register online, eliminating the use of paper registration forms.
  • Event information – All information for Bank of America Chicago 13.1 participants, volunteers and media is available digitally. These pieces include the participant guide, confirmation e-mails, results, e-newsletters, media guide, event updates and more.

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