Organizers in Fort Worth returned to live events in 2021 with resolve to keep community and sustainability efforts at the center
PORTLAND, November 9, 2021 – The Council for Responsible Sport (Council) announced today that The Cowtown Marathon (The Cowtown) has been awarded gold level Certification for its achievements as it returned to hosting in-person race events in Fort Worth, Texas. This is The Cowtown’s third consecutive responsible sport certification, earned by demonstrating adherence to robust standards for social and environmental responsibility to an independent third-party verifier.
The 2021 Cowtown included half marathon, 10K, 5K, and relay events on Saturday, May 8 in Fort Worth, and achieved certification by meeting standards across five categories in the Responsible Sport Standards for Events: planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity, and community legacy. The marathon earned 49 points out of a maximum 61 offered in the framework.
Among the efforts earning credit towards the certification was a new partnership with Green Mountain Energy to make the event carbon neutral for the first time by compensating the race’s 406-metric ton carbon footprint through verified renewable energy certificates, while educating participants about how they can reduce their climate impacts. The carbon footprint was calculated by graduate students at the University of Oregon in the spring in collaboration with organizers. In a clever campaign, Green Mountain Energy sponsored one pair of shoes for a local child for each participant to sign up to power their homes with 100 percent renewable-sourced electricity from Green Mountain Energy. The Cowtown’s award-winning C.A.L.F. program (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) introduces running to local youth in engaging, accessible ways and has equipped 40,000 kids with free new sneakers since 2009.
“The Cowtown is one of the most proactive events we’ve seen in terms of finding opportunities to integrate elements of sustainability that are a good fit for their particular race and place,” said Shelley Villalobos, executive director at the Council for Responsible Sport.
The event weekend diverted unavoidable waste by working with Cowboy Compost to turn organics like banana peels back into useful soil amendments, collected 450 pounds of electronic waste and 257 pairs of sneakers from participants households for proper recycling and redistribution.
“Large sporting events have an incredible impact on the communities they serve, from revenue to visibility. For some, that impact may include added pollution or an increase of disposable waste, but with our gold certification, The Cowtown is immensely proud to know that our legacy, our impact is unhindered and focused on Fort Worth, Texas being a sustainable destination for the lifelong love of health and running,” states Heidi Swartz, Executive Director of The Cowtown.
About the Cowtown Marathon, Inc.:
The 44th running of The Cowtown will take place on February 25 through 27, 2021 at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Run annually, The Cowtown is a Fort Worth tradition with a 10.5 million economic impact to the City. Proceeds from The Cowtown benefit the C.A.L.F. Program serving thousands of area youth in their pursuit of health and a lifelong love for running.
In order to ensure the safety of all athletes, volunteers, spectators, and sponsors many COVID protocols and accommodations will continue to apply in 2021. In person races this year including the Adult 5K and 10K will occur on Saturday and the Half Marathon, Full Marathon, and the Health Hig Marathon Relay will occur on Sunday. Virtual options to run all distances are available. Cowtown Marathon is a Gold certified event by the Council for Responsible Sport.
About the Council for Responsible Sport:
Since 2007, the Council for Responsible Sport has been helping people measure and manage the social and environmental impacts of their events. Council certified events are some of the world’s leading examples of responsible sport in action.
The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The Responsible Sport Standards (v4.1 for Events and v1 for Organizations) were developed by working groups of both sustainability and sport industry experts. Lookout in early ’22 for ReScore, a new web-based application designed to provide sport hosting organizations a turnkey tool to measure, improve and report on their social and environmental responsibility aims.