20 MAR 2014 General News Copenhagen, Denmark

Electric vehicles and second-hand clothes are Copenhagen’s foot prints – IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships

The official cars for the 2014 IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships (Jakob Larsen)The official cars for the 2014 IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships (Jakob Larsen) © Copyright

Light turquoise with a touch of royal blue is probably the most accurate description of the official colour of the 2014 IAAF/AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships. But green is also an equally appropriate colour for the giant international running event to be held in Copenhagen 29 March.

The sustainable initiatives within the event are specifically collection of the windbreakers and other warm-up clothes that the 30,000 runners throw away before their 13.1 mile run through the Danish capital.

And when the runners cross the finish line and quench their thirst with water from a half-litre plastic bottle, this bottle will also be collected and re-cycled. The money from the sale of clothes and empty bottles go to charity.

“Copenhagen is Green Capital of Europe in 2014,” says Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen who will also participate in the World Half Marathon himself. “We are proud to show the world how small differences for large events can help to make a significant, sustainable difference without destroying the quality of the event.”

Other environmental considerations of the weekend's World Half Marathon Championships is to provide electronic press kits on USB sticks instead of print for the more than 70 accredited journalists from around the world.

Finally, electric vehicles are being used when the IAAF president Lamine Diack and other members of the IAAF need transportation from the airport to the hotel and around the city during their stay in Copenhagen.

Last but not least, the leading car in front of 300 of the world's fastest runners and 30,000 recreational runners is also electric: an epic Tesla!

“With the contract for the collection and recycling of clothes and plastic bottles, the IAAF World Half Marathon sends an important signal that we need to think in sustainable solutions when organizing events,” says Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, one of the partners behind the event. “And we note that the runners on Facebook also have welcomed the green initiatives very positively.”

Danish Athletics for the IAAF