Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Green Running Give Away

I was really blessed this week and was the recipient of some really cool presents & prizes so I wanted to share my good fortune by doing my first give away on my blog!

Before I get to the good stuff though, a little back story...

As you probably know if you read my blog, I bike commute to work. In fact, I made a vow that I would ride/run more miles than I drive in a year and I try to take my car out only one day a week, usually on the weekend to run errands. I started bike commuting to lose weight and save money but now it's more about trying to live green. However, I ran into a little conflict when I started running and racing.

When I started running, I decided to use that as the impetus to explore our beautiful country & see new places. I decided I would do either a half marathon or a marathon in every state and so far I've raced in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and New York and I'll be adding Utah next month! But traveling does not exactly leave the best footprint on our planet so I made 2 rules for this venture.

1. If I can drive there in less than a day (8 hours max), then I can take my car since that mileage will be included in my yearly mileage goal.
2. If I'm going to a race that's too far away to drive to, then I will fly but I have to pick a race where public transportation is abundant and easy to use so I don't have to rent a car. That way, I can get around by foot or public transportation and still keep to my rules/goals with regards to driving.

As I started racing, I also decided that I would try to be even greener and always carry my own water/drink so I wouldn't use the cups at the aid stations and contribute to the trash from the race. So far, it's worked out really well. I've carried my own water bottle in every race since my first marathon except for races 10K or less. For shorter races like that I don't usually drink during them so it's not an issue.

I have a pretty large water bottle collection but the two that are my favorites are my Ultimate Direction bottles. For shortish runs (up to 13 miles), I use my Ultimate Direction Fastdraw (at right). It holds 10 oz of liquid, is comfortable to hold and has a pocket to stash money, keys, a gel, etc. I used it both days of the back-to-back half marathons I ran in April and it was perfect.

My favorite for long runs is the Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Plus (at right). It's a 20 oz bottle and it has a larger pocket. But the real kicker (yes, pun intended - see below) for me is the valve! It totally rocks. It never leaks, lets me drink without having to pull the top up, and let's me take the right amount every time. The finger loop lets me hold the bottle various ways so I don't get tired. In short, I absolutely love this bottle! They now have the Fastdraw Extreme which is insulated and I may have to get that for next summer. Here's a little more information about the Fastdraw Plus:

The only issue is that since I usually carry Gu Brew in my Fastdraw Plus, I sometimes wish I had a way to carry a little bit of water. And what do you know...a company called HydraPouch did just that! I just ordered a few of these to try on my runs and see how they go. I've heard nothing but good things about them so I have high hopes. You can check out a review of it here.

So, here's the deal. I am going to give a way two hydration systems:
1. A Fastdraw Plus w/a HydraPouch
2. A Fuel Belt R20

Don't worry, the Fastdraw Plus is new! Like I'd give away my favorite bottle, sheesh. ;) And the Fuel Belt is the Revenge R20 and it is new too. It's like the one shown but in blue and it's adjustable. I bought it but never used it because I ended up buying a Nathan Hydration Vest too and it works better for me. If I could have gotten the Fuel Belt to stay around my hips like Halle Berry's utility belt as a Bond Girl Jinx, then that would have made me happy but I couldn't make it work. ;) So someone gets to try it out!So...I'll pick two lucky readers for this give away. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what you do to be a "green" runner/cyclist/triathlete. You can also specify which one you would like to receive the bottle/HydraPouch or the belt and I'll do a separate drawing for each.

The contest ends on Sunday, September 25th and I'll announce the winners on Monday, the 26th.

By the way, I found 2 bonus advantages to carrying my own water/drink in a race:
1. I don't have to worry about what the race will provide.
2. I don't have to worry about navigating aid stations and I can save time! I just say "Nothing, but thank you." as I breeze through the aid station.

Here are the links to the websites for UD, Hydrapouch, and Fuel Belt if you are interested in checking out their other products:
Ultimate Direction
Fuel Belt


  1. Since I am a member of the New York Road Runners at & @nyrr I still think it's funny I am the roadrunner and you are the coyote! But that's OK, I already know you are faster!

    Thanks for the post! I know that we all help by the environment merely by BEING runners and I am sure many of your readers are better than me at being green while running. But I humble submit my entry here with special interest in Fastdraw Plus :)

    - I run in rain, snow, sleet or storm and save electricity that otherwise goes to treadmill training as a means of bailing out!

    - Once a week, like this morning, my commute includes walking 41 city blocks (2+ miles) from Grand Central Station to our MLB HQ. No taxi or subway or personal car use. I consider that part of my training, trying to keep weight off.

    - I recycle shoes by donating retired pairs to organizations such as these listed here:,7120,s6-240-323--10041-0,00.html

    - I usually hand-wash, and always hang to dry, my running gear. Sometimes I don't have time hand-wash these days and use cold/gentle cycle. We use green laundry products for everything (not really crazy about them).

    - I carry water in my hand with an (outdated!) Nathan holder. So I am not buying plastic bottles somewhere on my run. Also, I hydrate before each race with Accelerade and tap water.

    - Sometimes I pee during a trail run when no one is looking. No flushing!!!!!!!! Have done other stuff involving leaves.

    - Dec. 1 is my 5-year anniversary of trading a box of KOOLS for a box of ASICS and vowing to become a marathoner. Over the last 5 years I have spared the world any second-hand smoke and have not contributed to that industry. I don't know if this is green in any way really!

    - On the nutrition front, we are an organics family. I have been sucked into this way of thinking by my wife and her daughter. Now I don't even think twice about it. If I hadn't become a runner I undoubtedly would not have such a concern about this. Thanks, running!

    - I dispose of my GU. OK, it's usually ina regular trash. So I don't really know how much good I'm doing here. GU is the only gel I like.

    - I don't buy physical CDs or DVDs that have to eventually go somewhere. I download.

    - And I support environment-friendly retailers for my gear and such!

    Thanks for making me think about it, Lisa!!!

    Mark @marathoner

  2. Thanks, Lisa! Throw me in the drawing for the Fastdraw -- I bought a hydro belt a few years back, but it never felt right for me.

    Anyway, I'm green by running or biking to work everyday. I live in brooklyn, and teach 3.5 miles from my house. I bike to work Mondays and Fridays, to cary supplies on my bike, and run Tuesdays through Thursdays. I've always been a subway commuter, which is pretty green, but this year my job is closer, so I'm even greener : )

    Shoes wise, I donate my old shoes at Jackrabbit, where they are sent to running programs in less privileged countries. Currently, all my running is done in reduced and minimalist footwear, and because they don't have the EVA foam that breaks down, they last a LOT longer than traditional running shoes (600-800 miles plus) they need to be replaced less often. The ultra minimalist shoes I'm wearing (invisible shoes hauraches and softstar runamoc dashs) have very little material at all, and are made in the USA, so they aren't shipped over from Taiwan or China.

    I also always take my own fuel and drink for races and runs -- I buy HEED and Hammer gel in bulk, and take a water bottle and gel flask.

    Thanks for the give-away, and the great blog!

  3. I'm impressed! Great ideas on being green. Thanks for sharing.

    Mark - Congrats on the Zero Kools life! I appreciate the non 2nd hand smoke. I'm with you on the non-treadmill running. Not so much, the peeing in the woods. ;)

    UTR - I thought I was bada$$ for riding to work, kudos for running to work! Also impressed with your shoe choices. I'm trying to go the less route there as well but I don't know if I'll ever get to where you are.

  4. -i always start my training runs from my house and rarely do races that aren't here in town

    -i wait until my shoes and running clothes are on their last legs to buy new ones

    -i don't run with a watch! that counts right? no watch batteries?


  5. Oh, and I'd be super happy to win either thing, having no hydration system at present. But if I have to pick one, I'll submit for the belt. Thanks!!

  6. Sure that counts! Nice list! :) Thanks for dropping by.