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Hospital Hill Run Is Now Greener Than Ever

Officials working on Kansas City's oldest race are proud of their environmental efforts.

Officials working on Kansas City’s oldest race are proud of their environmental efforts.

From: Running USA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hospital Hill Run has always been environmentally-conscience, but through innovative new partnerships the 2011 event – set for Saturday, June 4 – will be the “greenest” race in Kansas City’s history.

Hospital Hill Run Race Director Beth Salinger was looking to take the event’s “‘green racing” initiative to the next level. The Run had been recycling all plastic and reusing signage for years, but they were ready to make the 38th edition one of the most environmentally-friendly in the nation.

Salinger started researching to see if Kansas City had a Chief Environmental Officer and how others might be able to get involved with her cause.

“What I found was that Kansas City is so far ahead of other metro areas when it comes to city involvement in environmental efforts,” Salinger said. “Once I met with Kansas City’s Chief Environmental Officer, Dennis Murphey, we were really able to make strides in our efforts to make Hospital Hill Run even more environmentally-conscious.”

For the first time ever, the City of Kansas City, Missouri is partnering with a local race helping them to “go green.” The City is donating vehicles for race week, and all will be hybrid or electric. In correspondence with the City’s “no idling policy” all Hospital Hill Run vehicles will also refrain from idling the week of the race.

“The City of Kansas City welcomes the opportunity to partner with Hospital Hill Run to align the 2011 event with the city’s goal to achieve a triple-bottom line approach of simultaneously promoting the environmental, social, and economic vitality of our community. We hope to help make the 2011 Hospital Hill Run a nationally-recognized premier green running event,” Dennis Murphey said.

Hospital Hill Run is also partnering with Greenability Magazine to print the Race Weekend Magazine.

“By working with Greenability, the Hospital Hill Run organizers have made a huge commitment to making its magazine as green as possible,” said Julie Koppen, Greenability Publisher and Founder. “According to Green America’s Better Paper Project, more publications are using at least a percentage of recycled paper content. But the Hospital Hill Run magazine takes an even larger green step by reducing its environmental footprint by decreasing or eliminating use of coal-fired electricity, petroleum-based inks, virgin paper, chlorine for whitening and petroleum in transportation (by printing in Missouri).”

Race weekend and race day GREEN volunteers will be able to be easily spotted in green shirts and are directing trash traffic making sure the trash cans, recycling bins and compost bins are filled properly and not cross-contaminated.

“When people think of going green, they primarily think of recycling. They forget all about the ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’ which are also really important components of being environmentally-friendly,” Salinger added. “Through our partnerships with the City and Greenability, we’re really going to be able to practice what we preach.”

About Hospital Hill Run

Hospital Hill Run is the oldest road race in Kansas City and the one of the oldest half-marathons in the United States. First held in 1974 with a field of 99 athletes, Hospital Hill Run has grown in size and stature in the ensuing years, recently being named one of the top races in the country by Runner’s World magazine. Past competitors include such running legends as Olympic gold medalists Frank Shorter and Billy Mills and running legends Bill Rodgers and Jim Ryun, as well as over 100,000 ordinary Kansas and Missouri citizens running for the challenge, fun and fitness. In 2010, Hospital Hill Run hosted its largest field ever, when over 7,400 athletes took to the Kansas City streets. The 2011 Hospital Hill Run will take place on Saturday, June 4 at Crown Center.