Plastic-free racing

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No plastic racing Baviaanskloof Jessica Trollip (2nd overall) women's winner with cup by Craig Muller TRAIL 17
The cup attached to Jessica Trollip’s pack didn’t slow her down. In fact, she won the women’s race and placed second overall. photo Craig Muller

The route is just over 40km, with only one feed station. This reduces the impact on the environment, and makes the event a bit more extreme.

There is a strict no cup, no run rule. Bladders packs don’t count as you can’t get a cup of soup or Eno mix into a runner through them. The feed station does not have cups. Period.

The personal cup rule was introduced at the Baviaanskloof‘s inception event in 2009. It was a world-first for trail events. I have never had a runner argue or debate it.

Another method of keeping plastic out of the conservation area is to mark the route with small stone walls, and lumo orange fabric on bushes which the sweep team collects. We have never used any plastic, especially not that horrid red and white hazard tape.

Our standard littering rule applies: anyone seen littering is disqualified and banned from future events. Even if they miss the litter boxes at the feed station by millimetres. If it’s not in the box, it’s littering.

Other South African events which are plastic-free include Addo Elephant Trail Run, and Alexandria Trail Run. Are there any others? Let us know in the comments!

This article was originally printed on page 34 of TRAIL 17, in the Trail Planet section.

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