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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Bothma

JOIN ME #RunClean

Running Clean is something that is very important to me. Today I went to the Helderberg Harriers's Spookhill Road race to help promote the #RunClean movement and encourage runners to think before they throw. This race participated in an initiative to help reduce litter where they had runners carry their own water bottles that they could refill at the water stations on the route. Not only does this reduce the impact of litter on the road, but it also aids in safety for runners and helps makes it easier for the organizers to clean up the roads after the race is completed.

I have never taken water during a race, I just make sure I rehydrate before and immediately afterwards. However, depending on the time or distance you are running on the road and the weather conditions, you may feel the need to take in fluids or gels during the race. At the races thousands and thousands of water sachets are being thrown down mindlessly, oblivious to the obligations it leaves to the race organizers who has to clean up or the dangers it may have to other runners on the road. When I fell less than 4km into the Two Oceans Half Marathon my race was over. It was pitch dark, raining, and the road was wet I stepped on a water sachet slipped and fell straight on my back. Coming off a very serious back injury it was absolutely terrifying falling on my back again and risking being re-injure. (Read my post #RunClean for the whole story.) Since my fall, I have felt even stronger about the #Runclean movement than before and will do my best to promote it on the roads

I participated in the 5K Fun Run as a tempo run. It was a hilly course and an extremely windy run, but I certainly had fun while clocking 16:50 for 1st overall. The organizer did a great job and the event had a lively atmosphere despite the dark clouds and gusty winds. Thank you to everyone from Helderberg Harriers Running Club who contributed to the success of the day, as well as Sean Falconer from Modern Athlete for being such an animated host.

There was a small clip going of the 2019 Comrades Champion Gerda Steyn throwing away her trash while running on record breaking pace for the Up Run. If even elite athletes can throw away their water sachets everyone can. Nedbank Running Club runs clean and we encourage other runners around the country to join us in this movement to create safer and cleaner running environment for all.

I feel privileged and proud to be associated with this movement and are thankful for race organizers, like Helderberg Harriers, who deiced on encouraging runners to run clean by taking out water sachets completely and following alternative methods to keep runners hydrated on the road. It doesn't matter whether you are an elite runner in the front of the pack or socially jogging at the middle or back, we all have the obligation to #RunClean.

Think before you throw

- Annie

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