Taking place for the second time, this year’s Mattoni Liberec Nature Run will not only be remembered as a beautiful race through nature, but also one that went down in athletics history. The running community and the world of ecology will forever cherish this final race of the RunCzech season in the Czech Republic for its trail concept, but also a unique project which will catapult it to global acclaim.
The Mattoni Liberec Nature Run is committed to being an all round natural, pure and, above all, environmentally friendly race. And this is why on 5th October it will become the world’s first circular race! What does this mean in practice?
At refreshment stands around the course, runners can look forward to a unique edition of Mattoni Eco natural mineral water poured into cups from 80% rPET 1.5 litre bottles. Following the race a special cleaning crew will be put in charge of collecting any used plastic bottles.
“As a longstanding RunCzech race partner, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to prove that our commitment to the “bottle to bottle” motto is achievable. We have developed a special edition of Mattoni bottles made from 80% rPET plastic which are subsequently recycled and used to produce new bottles with the same features. This allows us to achieve complete circularity with our plastic bottles which in turn makes it the world’s first circular race. It is something we plan to also introduce to subsequent RunCzech races” Alessandro Pasquale, CEO of Mattoni 1873 reveals.
Part of the magic of the entire project involves longstanding sustainability and continuous care of the local environment. A group of runners will be put in charge of eliminating waste and plastic from the course both prior to and following the race. “A group of avid long-distance runners from Jablonec and Liberec along with the Mattoni FreeRun coach already began a so-called ‘plogging’ initiative following last year’s Mattoni Liberec Nature Run. This means they regularly head out into the terrain to continuously clear the course from unwanted waste. There are a total of 50 coaches leading groups and the number is growing,” Štěpán Hickl, RunCzech’s Mattoni FreeRun project manager explains.
“Ecology and the environment are themes we care deeply about at RunCzech and we greatly appreciate the help from our North Bohemian Mattoni FreeRun groups. We would be delighted to see other amateur runners and their coaches involved. There are loads of places out in the countryside where you can head to for running and generally relaxing. And nowadays it is especially important to pay nature back for the experience by tending to these green spaces and keeping the environment clean and beautiful for everyone,” he adds.
3 700 runners will be taking part in this year’s Mattoni Liberec Nature Run. In the main race people get to choose between two courses. A longer 23-kilometre race or a shorter 12-kilometre version. A total of 3 000 enthusiastic amateur athletes will run in both categories. The event will kick off with the dm family run which will play host to 700 parent and children participants. A total of 5 382 litres of Mattoni natural mineral water will be consumed during this event.
In the spring of this year as part of a plea to encourage people to return PET bottles, RunCzech joined the Zálohujme! (Bring back!) initiative, which now involves 20 other large companies and organisations.