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Our Commitment to Sustainability ♻️

With great beauty comes great responsibility. Given Leadville’s uniquely stunning panoramas and high-mountain trails, we take our responsibilities to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve our environment seriously at the Leadville Race Series. From the sparkling lakes to towering peaks, our entire crew is committed to creating sustainable event experiences for the riders and runners who visit Leadville from all over the world every year.

In honor of Earth Day 2023, we wanted to highlight a few ways we’re working toward reducing our ecological impact and writing a better future for our beautiful planet.

1. Partnership with Cloud City Conservation (C4)

If you’ve attended any Leadville Race Series event, you’ve seen the army of green-shirt-wearing recycling heroes from Cloud City Conservation (C4). As a local non-profit, C4 is dedicated to driving conservation efforts in Leadville and Lake County, and like us, the C4 team is committed to “living in a sustainable manner so that we may pass on what we have here to future generations.” Given our shared values for sustainability, we partner with C4 to manage our recycling, compost and trash efforts at each of our LRS events.

At the 2022 Leadville Trail 100 Run presented by La Sportiva, C4 director Emily Olson led a sustainability panel to continue the conversation around climate action, featuring Magdalena Boulet, Roxanne Vogel, Connor Ryan, Zoe Rom and soon-to-be race winner Clare Gallagher. 

Cloud City Conservation leading the charge.

2. “Zero Waste” at Every Corner

Every LRS race is considered a “Zero Waste” event, meaning we prioritize recycling and compost over landfill. To meet this goal, we work with our vendors to ensure that only recyclable and compostable materials are brought on site, effectively diverting more than 90% of waste from landfills at every event. 

Volunteers from C4 sorting trash, compost and recycling at an aid station.

3. Reducing T-Shirt Waste 

In 2023, for the first time, we added a registration option for all of our events that allows participants to opt out of receiving a race t-shirt. Although we take pride in the uniqueness and character of our event shirts, we also understand that not everyone needs to take one home. So, to help reduce any potential waste, riders and runners can now choose whether or not to accept their piece of Leadville gear.

4. Reducing Food Waste

In a similar fashion, we’re providing LRS athletes the option to opt out of post-race meals in 2023. This option helps our caterers more accurately prepare for our event weekends, which will, in turn, help reduce both food waste and excess serving materials.

5. Compostable Everything

It takes a lot of fuel to get our riders and runners across the Rocky Mountain peaks and through the finish line in downtown Leadville. From soup at Hope Pass to PB+Js at Twin Lakes, we serve up plenty of energy at our aid stations and event venues, and for that reason, we prioritize compostable products with everything we serve.

All of the cups used at our aid stations are compostable.

6. Partnership with GU TerraCycle 

As an official partner of GU’s TerraCycle program, we are committed to keeping single-use energy gel wrappers out of landfills. Since the program launched, more than 1.7 million pieces of hard-to-recycle waste have been upcycled.

GU pioneered the Energy Gel and revolutionized the way athletes fuel by using single serve, portable packets. While we love seeing the ways GU helps athletes achieve their goals, there is nothing more deflating than seeing spent gel packets out on trails. That is why GU partners with TerraCycle, helping divert waste from landfills, and keeping them off the trails.

Because of the support from Leadville Race Series, and all the athletes, measurable impact is made in keeping your trails clean. In 2022, Leadville managed to collecte 68lbs of wrappers! GU is a proud partner once again and look forward to repeating this kind of success in 2023.

The best part? The program doesn’t stop on race day. You can join the cause by saving your gel wrappers (from any brand, not just GU), printing off a (free) shipping label and mailing them to TerraCycle from anywhere. Learn more.

GU and Terra Cycle turn wrappers into magic.

7. Goodbye Plastic Bottles

We’ve partnered with Proud Source to bring their infinitely recyclable aluminum water bottles to every Leadville Race Series event. Every athlete will have ice-cold water waiting for them at the finish line, free of plastic waste.

We serve up Spring Water in an infinitely recyclable (and reusable) can.

In addition to the items outlined above, the Life Time and Leadville Race Series team will continue to pioneer new ways to make our events less impactful to our environment and more sustainable. Thank you for joining us in our efforts to preserve our beautiful landscape and build a healthier planet in 2023 and beyond.

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