A very Green Marathon in the Mad River Valley July 7

This year participants in the Mad Marathon in the Mad River Valley on July 7 will raise funds for sustainability. At left, a scene for last year’s event.

This year participants in the Mad Marathon in the Mad River Valley on July 7 will raise funds for sustainability. At left, a scene for last year’s event.

This month I decided to look beyond the borders of Shelburne to explore happenings on the environmental landscape.  What I found was pretty exciting–an event taking place that everyone can participate in, and feel good about! The Mad Marathon and 1% for the Planet are joining forces to host the first marathon dedicated to raising funds for sustainability. The marathon will showcase and support local and regional environmental non-profit partners and takes place on July 7 in the Mad River Valley (about an hour drive from Shelburne).

With headquarters in the Mad River Valley, 1% for the Planet is a growing global movement of hundreds of member companies all around the world that donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide.  “The marathon offers a way to celebrate our local community, our global member businesses, and the good work of New England non-profit partnerships” says Barbara Friedsam, 1% for the Planet’s Director of Marketing and New England.

Dori Ingalls, Race Director for the Mad Marathon, created the “World’s Most Beautiful Marathon” in Waitsfield and Warren two years ago. Since then runners from 48 states and 12 countries have come to Vermont to participate. “The marathon is special because it celebrates our beautiful community and environment,” Ingalls notes. “Our partnership with 1% for the Planet with its mission to create a healthy planet ensures that the marathon will stand for something more.”

Terry Kellogg, current CEO of 1% for the Planet is a former resident of Shelburne. Under his 4-year leadership, membership has grown from 92 to over 1,000 companies. Established in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia and Craig Matthews, owner of Blue Ribbon Files, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. The global movement of more than 1,000 member companies in 45 countries donate one percent of sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide. Musicians Jack Johnson and Jackson Browne are included in this committed 1% member group.  To date the network has achieved over 100 million in cumulative giving.

Ingalls says, “I wanted to create a friendly local race experience in the valley I call home. Runners always want to run for a cause and this has been a green course from the beginning. Solidifying the partnership with 1% for the Planet allows the legacy of local environmental stewardship to live in a larger way.”

Not a marathon runner or even a runner? You are in luck!  This year the Mad Marathon has added options for participating with “Take it Easy or Take it Tough,” making the race accessible to teams and families as well as challenging for seasoned marathon runners.  “These opportunities align with the message of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Running the marathon alone or on a team is just one of the many ways to do so,” says Friedsam. “We see the partnership as a way to engage people to support environmental organizations and come see why this region is so unique. We are excited to raise awareness and have a lot of fun along the way.”

I am personally excited to participate in this years Marathon that offers the opportunity to challenge myself and be part of something very exciting. I am not a runner and have set my goal to walk/jog 13.1 miles on what I know is clearly the World’s Most Beautiful Marathon to raise scholarship funds  for the Stern Center for Language and Learning.  Teaming up with such a worthy and highly regarded organization, 1% for the Planet makes this event even better.

Find out more about how you can participate at www.madmarathon.com or email info@madmarathon.com. To learn more about 1%, visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.

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