Bank of America Chicago Marathon Earns Silver Level Certification from Council for Responsible Sport Making it the Largest Certified Running Event in the World

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Photo courtesy of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

EUGENE, OR (July 31, 2015) – The Council for Responsible Sport announced today that the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been awarded Silver Level Certification for achieving 41 of the best practice standards offered in the Council’s certification program for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events.

The marathon is the second largest in the world, with 40,659 participants finishing the 2014 event in front of over a million spectators. It is the largest marathon to have earned certification from the Council since the organization was founded in 2008. After earning Basic Level Certification in 2010 and 2012, the marathon claims Silver Level status for the first time in 2014.

“The commitment to sustainably producing an event the size of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has broad impacts—from influencing the supply chain to inspiring participants and spectators to exhibit healthy, low-impact behaviors such as recycling and taking alternative transportation,” said Shelley Villalobos, certification director at the Council for Responsible Sport. “The Council is both impressed by, and grateful for the dedication of the Chicago Marathon to being a global leader in the movement towards greater responsibility in sport.”


Certification is achieved by complying with standards across five categories: planning and communications, procurement, access and equity, resource management and community legacy. Efforts that highlighted the 2014 certification bid included:

• Participant T-shirts, a product of Nike’s Considered Design line, were made from 100% recycled polyester fibers.
• 77% of all waste at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo—19.46 tons of fiber, wood, plastic, and metal—was recycled.
• McCormick Place, home to the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo, is the world’s largest convention center to be a certified sustainable venue under the APEX-ASTM standard pertaining to venues for environmentally sustainable meetings, events, trade shows and conferences.
• Over 60 Green Team volunteers were stationed in Grant Park’s Runner Refreshment and gear check areas to oversee material collection and waste diversion efforts, as well as assist with clothing collection for donation on the start line.
• More than 25,000 pounds of remaining food and water was donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository post-race.
• A catalyst for community involvement and volunteerism, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon involves 10,000 volunteers from over 100 local groups.

“As an event, we realized early on the responsibility we have to the environment and the communities that our race runs through,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director, Carey Pinkowski. “It has been rewarding to see the positive impact of our sustainability initiatives and the enthusiasm put forth by our volunteers, sponsors, runners and spectators to make the Bank of America Chicago Marathon as sustainable as possible.”