Protect our trails 

Firstly some of you will already have notifications about it and I won’t bore you with technical drivel, but when I started writing this blog I did not expect it to take the direction that it has and the platform I was using was ideal for the job, but now looking forward and with the plans I have I will need a site with a bit more freedom that will hopefully let this blog and my future business grow together, and so I will be moving this blog to poweredbytheveg.com (some of you may already be reading this there). Don’t worry everything on poweredbythevegblog.wordpress.com will be on the new site and if you have signed up to email notifications you should still get them. Hopefully this switch won’t cause too many problems and I am really excited to tell you about what the future holds in a future blog, anyway……… 

Whilst out running in my local woods this morning I came across 45 plastic bottles that had been left behind by competitors from an event the day before, not a running event I might quickly add but I’m sure that us runners aren’t completely blame free of littering at some point. 

I was 10 miles into a run and had no way of stashing them so couldn’t pick them up, unfortunately my hydration vest doesn’t have a 45 bottle pocket, so going against everything I believe in I had to leave them there, but I will return in the car tomorrow to see if they are still there and will collect them all if they are.

As I carried on with my run, now feeling very angry it got me thinking…….. how much of a impact do we as runners have on the natural world? As trail runners we are usually lovers of our natural surroundings and that’s why we prefer to run on trails rather than roads right? We get pleasure from spending time out on the mountains and hills or in the forests and woods, but does that mean we care enough to protect the trails we run on? 

I have on occasions seen litter left behind on the trails by runners, gel packets etc. I’ve always thought maybe naively that they were dropped by accident and that the person who dropped them hadn’t noticed, who knows?  I for one would be devistated if I found out I’d left litter behind, but do other trail runners feel the same? I’d like to think they do, after all who would want to see the natural world, our playground full of litter? If the event here in my local woods had been a running event would it have been any different? 

I’m pretty sure I already know the answer, I still believe that the answer is “yes”, that we would have struggled to leave the litter behind, that spending hours upon hours running in the countryside has made us appreciate its natural beauty and that we would be horrified to see litter, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to protect our trails…. 

Don’t worry I’m not suggesting you need to carry a huge bin bag around with you running, but maybe think about where you are going to store your litter before you can get to a bin. While I’m not out running I’m a surfer and I know a lot of surfers who won’t leave the beach without picking up one piece of rubbish first, maybe as runners we should do the same? Most of us wear hydration packs or shorts with pockets in maybe next time you are out running you could pick up one piece of litter no matter what size or who left it and take it to a bin, maybe we could all do this one tiny thing to help protect our trails and to keep our amazing playground clean and beautiful just as it’s meant to be

Neil 

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