Making Marathons & Races More Green With Sustainable Hydration

mbg Editorial Assistant By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Editorial Assistant
Eliza Sullivan is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She has bachelor's degrees in journalism and english literature from Boston University.
Group of Friends Running Outdoors in Cold Weather

Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy

Following the use of Ooho's "edible water bottles" at last spring's London Marathon, another running community is trialing a different way to cut down on single-use cups at races and events.

Mascot Sports, a sports experiences brand, has announced an effort to make all Oakland Run Co. events "cupless" in 2020. Cupless may be a bit of misnomer, however. Contestants in races this year will be given cups: but just one per person, and it's reusable.

The specific product is from Hydrapak and called the SpeedCup. It's designed to be easy to hold and lightweight, so racers can carry it in hand as they run or clip it onto their gear. They market it as for anything from "racing in the Rockies" to "backpacking in the Himalayas," and the cup is also collapsible for travel.

In tackling the problem of single-use cups at races, Mascot Sports has partnered with hydration brand Nuun. We've spoken with Nuun CEO Kevin Rutherford about some of the myths surrounding hydration (apparently, just water isn't always enough).

Throughout racecourses, Nuun will set up hydration stands. When runners arrive, cup in hand, they'll be able to hydrate without the litter of paper or plastic cups along the side of the road that usually goes with races. This effort will eliminate thousands of single-use cups at each event. Oakland Run Co. plans everything from half-marathons to turkey trots each year, and maybe their effort will inspire other similar groups to try similar initiatives.

London Marathon Ooho

Image by Charlie Crowhurst / Getty Images

In London last Spring, Ooho completed the largest "test" of their edible water packs to date, with 30,000 being consumed by the end of the race. We first covered the brand in 2015, when they won an E.U. Sustainability Award. Using seaweed to create a membrane, they encase water in an edible blob, for lack of a better (or at least more appetizing) word. The bods have been used at other events to encase everything from energy drinks to condiments.

There's definitely a trend happening in making athletic events more sustainable, and brands are stepping up. While it's been a while since single-use water bottles were a common sight at the gym, they're still there, and these large sporting events produce tons of waste too.

If you're looking to update your fitness routine to make it more green, we've rounded up our favorite (philanthropic) water bottle brands and even sneakers you can feel good about buying knowing they're eco-friendly.

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