Vagamon ULtrail's Green Charter Themes
Vagamon ULtrail is organised in a remote location where its difficult to reach by public transport. There is public transport that the runners can leverage, but it is very inconvenient and impractical. For most people, they will be overwhelmed with lot of information and wouldn’t be able to make the best of the race, if they arrange their own logistics. Inorder to reduce the carbon footprint and from discouraging the participants to use individual and private transport, we are offering a transport package that allows the runners to use a bus service from the nearest City. In the previous years, about 30% of the participants utilised the facility. In this package, we also provide local transportation services between the start and finish thereby reducing further greenhouse emissions.
No Plastic Bottles
Plastic Bottles have never been used in any edition of the Vagamon ULtrail. Water is purchased in big 20L cans from certified and tested manufacturers and is served using a water dispenser and reusable hard shell plastic cups. These hard shell plastic cups are used in all our races and have been in service since 2014.
No Paper Cups
Paper Cups were needed in previous editions to serve warm drinks at the rest areas and the start and finish location. We had introduced the use of coconut shells in the 2021 edition, but it was not effectively used in the later editions. From 2024 edition onwards, we have pledged not to use any paper cups to serve Tea/Coffee/Soup. They will be served in Coconut Shells or reusable containers.
Protocol for Volunteer Travel
All the Volunteers who are part of the organising team live at least 100 Kms from the race venue. As a part of course recce and race management, volunteers typically make up to 25 trips a year to Vagamon. From 2024 edition onwards, the number of trips would be reduced. We will consciously use public transport or combine multiple activities into one trip and stay overnight and get more things done in one trip.
Segregation of Waste at Source
The waste at each aid station is segregated at the source itself. At all the aid stations, runners are provided and encouraged to use different bins kept separately for degradable and no degradable waste. This is also emphasised at the briefing session during BIB distribution. We also have a lead volunteer who collects all aid station consumables including waste and makes sure they are segregated before they are disposed of responsibly.
Every edition of Vagamon ULtrail has provided participants with a unique medal made out of clay. We understand that this could be better than a Metal medal, there are still greenhouse emissions associated with the manufacturing of a clay Medal. Starting 2024, we are planning to bring in a 100% biodegradable medal or in a worst case scenario provide an option to the participants to opt out of medals. But, the 2024 edition will definitely see us doing away with lanyards.
We have pioneered the thought process of optional T-shirts right from the very early days of Vagamon ULtrail. This is not only more power and value to the runners, but also prevents a lot of junk from ending up in the landfill. We will be going a step further in the 2024 edition and will not be even providing T-Shirt even as an optional item. The option of optional T-Shirts might be provided only once every 2 or 3 editions of the race.
Engagement with Local Communities
Over the years, we have engaged with local schools in providing support for books and sporting equipment. In the past, we have also plogged part of the course. The race is greatly supported by the locals. All food is always sourced locally. Activities like course marking, bush clearance where man labour is required is also always sourced locally. Equipment that are needed for race management are also hired locally. More awareness around segregation of waste and waste management is being planned from 2024 onwards.
Timing & BIB
We have used the most cost effective and sustainable timing solution in all the editions of Vagamon ULtrail except the first one. We use an App based timing, which saves a lot of cost to the runners and greenhouse emissions as the nearest timing vendor is located at least 700 Kms from Vagamon. From 2024 edition onwards, we also plan to implement reusable BIBs.
Majority of the markings are done using orange ribbons or using lime powder markings on rocks. The orange ribbons are untied and reused in the subsequent editions of the race. All mile markers have been reused for the last 3 years and we will continue doing so.