WESTON, Conn. -- The 21st annual Weston 5K road race that will kick off at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, May 24, will be a little greener, officials said.
Runners and walkers at the Weston 5K road race will wind their way through residential neighborhoods shaded by huge oak trees on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
The race committee, which sponsors the 5K to raise money for the Weston High School PTO, will also conduct a Fun Run for children in grades K-5.
"The race will be a little greener this year," according to this year’s race co-directors David Allon and Sue Mattison.
"Empty plastic water bottles and goody bags filled with paper advertisements produce a lot of waste that can be reduced with a few simple measures," representatives said.
The race directors decided as a first step to inaugurate a virtual goody bag to reduce paper handouts, following discussions with groups such as the Pequot Running Club.
“Participants love free ‘swag’ at events,” Allon said. “But, this year, runners will receive a code to unlock an online bag with exclusive offers from sponsors and local businesses.”
The first 500 participants to register will receive race shirts and physical goodies from sponsors, but shirts and swag will be found in the registration packet instead of in a separate bag, according to the release.
“The virtual bag is a terrific way to allow our sponsors to connect directly with race participants without creating a lot of waste paper. At the same time, participants will be given the opportunity to save on products and services that interest them,” Allon said.
In keeping with the green initiative, TTEndurance, a local fitness and training facility, will provide cyclists to lead the runners through the race course, according to the release.
“Whether you run, walk or just come out to cheer on the participants, the race environment is electric,” Mattison said. “You can practically see the post-race endorphins flying around.”
Children can run 100, 400 or 1600 meters on the High School varsity track in the Fun Run, which begins at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 24.
Registration for both races is available at the Weston 5K website. Those who would like to help on race day with the 5K or the Fun Run are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.