I felt complelled to pen this post following my recent Sunriver Marathon for a Cause, though it has been bubbling for a while. As the mist from the chilly morning slowly started to rise off the golf links, and Mt. Bachelor looped mighty in the distance, I took a deep breath of crisp morning air, felt truly at peace in my surroundings…and then proceeded to see dozens of water cups and a handful of gu packets littering the ground around me.
At this year’s Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Portland, there was one aid station that had literally hundreds of cups within a 15 foot radius of a giant, mostly empty, trash can.
As I was running through the gorgeous Rogue Hopyards during the Independence Day 10k, there were energy packets hastily deposited on the fertile soil, even though the race was only a series of 5k loops.
I am not sure that anyone would be able to convince me that they have an excuse to just carelessly litter like this while racing. I don’t care how fast you are, I am not seeing how holding onto a cup for a few hundred meters (or even a couple of miles…gasp) is going to slow someone down enough where tossing a cup to the ground is necessary (we’re not bloody Olympic marathoners).
I also understand that there are volunteers out there whose “job” it is to take care of things like this. But is it really necessary for someone freely contributing their time and energy to have to clean up after people, especially when there is a can right there?
And by God, we spend hundreds (thousands?!) of dollars on running gear each year. You can’t tell me that there isn’t a pair of shorts with pockets or a running belt or a water pack that doesn’t have the ability to hold your trash. I mean, you had to carry your Gu packet somewhere with you during the race, right!? And even if you don’t use any of that gear, you have two fantastic inventions that seem like they were just made to carry things – hands.
All I’m saying is that it is really disheartening and sad to see stuff like this going on, especially when we are so awesome and lucky. We are better than that. Let’s add mindful to that list too.
Lost in a Sea of Water Cups (and sadness)