Photos: Reg Caldecott

#RunClean Picking Up Pace


The comments about our #RunClean campaign to clean up the litter problem in our races keep coming in, so we know we have struck the right note with the running community. – COMPILED BY SEAN FALCONER

More Feedback from Readers

David Haefele: Did you see the marker board that says “No rubbish after this point?” If you didn’t, then open your eyes.
Donovan Gould: I am embarrassed as a runner by litterbugs… my planet is not your dustbin!
Alison Smith: I called a runner out on throwing a sachet into the bushes during a race. He turned around and gave me a thousand words, telling me that the person who picked up the kilometre board would get it… not that it was close to the board. He clearly has no conscience, which makes the problem a lot bigger than we may think. So sad.
Ally Lewis: It is about changing runners' mindsets. We need to embark on an aggressive campaign to stop this. I think people should be fined – if they can't take responsibility for their litter, they must pay the price. I run with mine tucked into my running vest until I pass a bin. If we can carry GU and phones and other paraphernalia, what's a sachet of plastic? Perhaps include a block on entry forms that runners must tick, committing themselves to running clean?
Martin Bongers: If all races commit to having at least one bin per kilometre marker, then a runner will only have to carry an empty sachet for a maximum of one kilometre. Not all runners have shorts with pockets, so let's make it easier for all our runners to comply by asking all races to adhere to a frequent bin policy.
Tracey Ann Ranson Jones: Unfortunately most sachets don't make the bins even when they are plentiful…
Teresa Morris: Agreed, put more litter boxes between water points, not just at the water tables, because not everybody drinks the water straight away.
Leon Visser: I ran the tough Satori Camel Run 16km for the first time this year and it was a prerequisite to bring your own water. I thought, how are those without hydration packs going to survive. Well, we all did – and no littered sachets, no mess, no clean-up! At 8km there was a refill water tank, and I was thinking, why not start doing this on all 5km fun runs and 10km runs? Do we really need that much liquid on a 10km run, because I'm sure a water bottle will be enough to carry you through.

Letter to the Editor: We Need a RunClean Badge
It is a great article in the July issue of your magazine about us runners littering and expecting others to clean up. Being on my club committee, I would like to suggest that we as Vaal Athletic Club become active in this campaign, #RunClean. I cannot agree more that we need to address this issue very seriously, or we might lose the privilege to even run Chapman’s Peak. Once you have manned a water table and done the clean-up job, then you realise the effort it takes.

Do you perhaps envisage this as a slogan badge or something that can be sown on the running vest for others to see? I was thinking it must be visible advertising, and by having it on the vest or shorts, it will be seen by other runners. I just hope that they will then comply! – Roelof van Wyk, Vaal Athletic Club

Great idea, Roelof, and something we are already talking about here at Modern Athlete, in order to take this campaign to the next level. – Ed.

We would love to hear from you about your efforts to #RunClean, so send your letters, photographs or ideas to

Think before you throw – #RunClean