A successful workshop for networking and sharing solutions for sustainability in trail running

Imatge post

Green Trail Concept marks its first online workshop on sustainability in trail running.

This European project, funded by the program Erasmus+, prepared a workshop aimed at gathering information to create a sustainability certification for outdoor mountain running events.

The workshop was hosted on November 28 and was organized by Kilian Jornet Foundation and Associació Ecoserveis. The event explored the opportunities, solutions, challenges and limitations for making trail running events more sustainable and involved the participation of a diverse group of stakeholders involved in trail running: race organizations, volunteers in races, local administrations, social and environmental entities, researchers, managers of protected areas and more. This diversity allowed for the sharing and comparing of multiple points of view, gathering experiences and information from the different existing perspectives. These can then be used to build a set of sustainability performance indicators for the certification that are realistic and adapt to the capabilities and responsibilities of the different actors involved.

During the event, the Green Trail Concept initiative and its objectives were presented to the attendees, followed by a debate around the relevant topics corresponding to the 3 pillars of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental). Some key topics were: transport, waste, protection of flora and fauna, gender, social inclusion, local economy, tourism, energy, water, supplies and merchandising. For each one of the topics, the attendees discussed the opportunities of improvement and the limitations in implementing sustainability measures.

The information and opinions collected have been compared with the information previously gathered by the Green Train Concept team about the runners and audience, raising some important questions regarding the need for raising awareness among runners and the shared responsibility with the organizers and local authorities.

One important finding of the session is that organizers and local authorities are already taking actions to reduce the environmental impact of the trail running events, but on the other hand social aspects (like gender equality, accessibility, and social inclusion) are not so developed due to lack of knowledge, cultural biases, and social complexities.

The workshop was also an enriching experience for attendees, as it allowed for networking and learning from each other’s experiences and explored new options and solutions for sustainability that can be implemented.

The Green Trail Concept team thanks all the participants for their involvement and their support in contributing to the certification and to making mountain trail races sustainable.