Ragnar Relay Strives to be Greener in 2017

From the spacious skies of Ragnar Luckenbach and the amber waves of grain of Ragnar Great River to the purple mountain majesty of Ragnar Colorado and the fruited plains of Ragnar Michigan, Reebok Ragnar Relays wind through some of the most breathtaking parts of the world. In 2017, Ragnar is making a big effort to decrease our environmental impact. We believe it is not only our right as Ragnarians but our duty to leave our trails, bike paths and roads better than we found it. Here’s what we plan to do:

New in 2017: Reebok Ragnar Relays are Going Cupless
What does this mean? There will no longer be paper or plastic cups at the start line, water stations, major exchanges, minor exchanges, the finish line or anywhere throughout the course. No more one-use paper cups sitting by water coolers getting thrown away after two sips. Runners will still have access to water on the longer legs without van support, at major exchanges and at the start and finish lines but all runners will need to bring their own water bottles with them. Not sure what to bring? Check out Nathan hydration belts, packs and bottles for ways to carry water with you. Then practice running with them on your training runs. Approximately 50 billion paper cups end up in the landfill every year in the U.S., removing cups from our races is a simple way we can make a big impact.


New for 2017: Recycle Your Slap Bracelet
Sure, your favorite post run tradition is fighting over the damp slap bracelet, which always ends up looking a bit like a game of hot potato. This year, instead of taking your teammates’ sweat with you as memorabilia, choose to recycle your slap bracelet. There will be buckets at the finish line where Ragnar staff will take it off your hands (or wrist) and then proceed to deep clean them in a Simple Green and water solution. This is optional, so if you’re a keep-sake person, you can still take the bracelet home to hang on your wall.


New and Improved for 2017: Trash and Recycling Bags for Every Van
This year, recycle more and throw away less. Each van will receive blue recycling bags (in addition to trash bags) to sort their waste into trash and recycling. Then, there will be trash and recycling bins throughout the course to dispose of your waste properly. RagnarSustainability

Pro- Tips: Together we can help reduce our environmental impact

We’re in this together. In order to reduce our environmental impact, we need your help! Here are simple things you can do:

  1. Turn your key, be idle free. When pulling over to support your runners or waiting at an exchange, please turn off your engine.
  2. Don’t bring single-use plastic water bottles. Bring a multi-gallon reusable water storage container in your van, and bring your own water bottle to refill.
  3. Bring a to-go mug with you. Every time you stop to get coffee ask them to fill your reusable mug. Plus, some coffee shops offer “Bring Your Own Mug” discounts.
  4. Drive the speed limit. Not only is it safer for everyone on the course, it helps conserve fuel. Score!
  5. Sharing is caring. Buy bulk to reduce the amount of individually wrapped items.
  6. Bring to-go containers or camping plates to local fundraisers to reduce the amount of trash produced.

Ragnar Relay has learned a lot from our Ragnar Trail Series and we’re looking forward to adopting their sustainability practices into our original Ragnar Relay series. Learn more about Ragnar sustainability here and find your next Ragnar Relay.

10 Responses to Ragnar Relay Strives to be Greener in 2017

  1. Nancy says:

    Love the ideas, I hate plastic water bottles!!

  2. Rebecca says:

    In Chicago 2015 (my first ever Ragnar), we had the blue and white bags for recycling, and we used them. But then at the end there were no recycling bins that we could see, so the whole bag got discarded in Chicago trash cans. It really bothered me. I hope recycling bins are plentiful and easy to find and access this year. I love that we’re being urged and supported to be greener 🙂

    • Nicole Ginley-Hidinger says:

      Hi Rebecca- This year there should be more available recycling bins. Thank you for your effort to keep recycling separate!

  3. I love the changes. While I rarely run with water, I can get used to the changes at the water stations. Thanks for the efforts to make a difference.

  4. Lisa Post says:

    This is awesome!! Is this the year Ragnar recognizes that alcohol is not a desired beverage for all runners. Will ragnar think more inclusive about the party and recognize those that can’t or won’t use alcohol, and offer them a beverage at the end of 200 miles. I believe you have even featured runners in recovery from addiction to inspire others. I love Ragnar, but every year when I finish this makes me sad and angry. I’m sure a sponsor would come forward.
    Thank you.

  5. Clark Coulam says:

    Really disappointed in the cups change, the provided water was always warm but at least we didn’t have to carry it with us. How about with the money you’ll be saving on cups you put that toward putting ice in the water coolers this year?

  6. Kristin Lozo says:

    Honestly was not a fan of the no cup thing at SoCal. I have never run with water, and traveling from NY I didn’t have time (or room) to buy and pack a hydration belt. I ended up becoming very dehydrated during my long runs (I ran the Ragnar leg) and found that very few people made use of the cupless water stations that were provided. It was a dangerous change for more people than just myself. Why not use cups made from recycled paper without wax and recycle them again after? Are there no other options?

    • Colleen says:

      Agreed. This could prove to be a dangerous change, especially for those with longer routes. Those mid-day temps can really make you feel like you’re cooking from the inside out. Hydration is a necessity. Ragnar really needs to rethink this one. Also, I’ve traveled by airplane to several different Ragnar events and there is only so much you can pack. Having to bring a belt is not ideal.

      • Nicole Ginley-Hidinger says:

        Hi Colleen- There is still water along the legs, but no cups. If you don’t want to bring a belt, you can bring a water bottle similar to the Nathan Insulated FlexShot, which is collapsable and packs up small.

        • Clark Coulam says:

          Sure, but the first time I see someone kneeling in front of a water cooler to get a drink because they don’t have their own bottle will be the last time I run Ragnar.

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