Organisers have taken incredible steps to make the event this year more eco-friendly and have a stepped plan to help achieve this.

Having keen scuba divers, runners and nature lovers in the team, ReesLeisure, the organisers behind the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k have been inspired to do all they can in the next few years to create an eco-friendly race day and sustainable event.

Organisers have taken incredible steps to make the event more eco-friendly and have a stepped plan to help achieve this.

The 2019 event on Sunday 5th May will see many changes in a push to achieve a greener race, including:

  1. There will be an overall 99.96% decrease in single-use plastic bottles across the event.

New to this year, runners will be given the Drinq Smartpack which generates 90% less waste and uses 82% less plastic than PET bottles with a 75% reduction in carbon footprint. This is thanks to the new official water station partner, Utilita Energy.

  1. Along with the above, 100% of water at the finish line will come in reusable bottles, kindly donated as giveaways to the runners by Utilita.
  2. Organisers have made an extra effort this year to ensure that all goody bags are made from recyclable paper instead of plastic with the majority of leaflets being replaced by a virtual goody bag to compliment the physical one.
  3. This years lead car will be an electric car supplied by the official transport partners at Hendy.
  4. Any leftover food (bananas, snack bars etc) will be donated to the Society of St James, Hampshire’s leading homelessness charity.
  5. All finisher t-shirts that are not given out on race day will be given to friends at Safe Race who will distribute them to charities across Europe.

Whilst the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k event has taken these big steps to become a more environmentally friendly race, organisers, ReesLeisure, are working with suppliers to take further action to ensuring an even greener event for following years, which will result in Phase 2 of their sustainability plan.

Martin Long, Communications Executive at Utilita, said “Utilita takes the challenge to manage our environmental impact very seriously.

“Globally, we are a sponsor of the Aldabra Clean Up Project, an expedition to one of the largest coral atolls in the world to remove tonnes of ocean trash from its shores.

“We also back Earth Day, adopting Sparky and Flame - the ‘dual fuel’ sea turtles - as part of last year’s worldwide event.

“In addition, we expect to see a yearly CO2 reduction of more than 100 tonnes after launching a liftshare scheme for staff, while our Field Services fleet has won a green award.”

Hendy commercial director Mark Busby said “Hendy’s relationship with ReesLeisure goes back many years and we are delighted to be involved in what is sure to be another hugely successful event. The ABP Southampton Marathon is a key date in the local calendar and this year’s run, with its important environmental message, will provide a perfect opportunity for us to showcase the range of electric and hybrid vehicles we offer.

“We look forward to being a part of this popular day and wish all those taking part good luck, including Franny Benali, who we are also supporting as he concludes his Iron Fran challenge on the day.”

Nikki Rees, Managing Director for the ABP Southampton Marathon, said “We are happy to announce that this year we have taken some great steps towards creating a greener raceday to benefit both the city and the participants.

It’s been a great help having our sponsors, Utilita, new this year; and Hendy on board to help us push towards being more environmentally friendly. 

We have started this by vastly reducing the amount of plastic we are using in the races; having hybrid cars involved instead of fuel powered cars and reducing the amount of food and clothing waste left behind by donating to charities. We would also encourage any runners out on their training runs to partake in “plogging” (picking up litter whilst jogging). If every runner in the event picked up even one piece of litter on their training runs in the build up to the event, think how much cleaner the city would be!”

We know this is only the beginning, so after already making some drastic changes to our event this year we are in talks with suppliers to make further changes in the following years, and will continue to monitor for future developments.”

The ABP Southampton Marathon takes place on Sunday 5th May. It features a marathon, half marathon, a 10k and a children's fun run. All races start and finish in the heart of Southampton’s city centre, with the run course taking in iconic local landmarks including the Bargate, Itchen Bridge, Weston Shore, Riverside Park and the Common before reaching a stunning finish by the Guildhall in the city centre.


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