Following a rise in littering during races, the MRC have decided to take immediate action to minimise the impact of our sport upon our waterways. This is something the ICF are also considering and we have decided to make our stance very clear in advance of any international racing rule changes that may be introduced.
It is vital that we do our part to protect the environment and the waters that we enjoy. There have been concerns expressed that paddlers are being careless with drinking bags, energy bar wrappers and gel sachets. Such items must be disposed of properly and it is totally unacceptable that they are left littering the bank or left floating in waterways.
Therefore the MRC racing rules will, with immediate effect, be revised to include the following wording:
During the course of a competition any items discarded by a competitor anywhere other than in a proper bin, must be recovered by the athlete, their support crew or coach immediately. It is the athlete’s responsibility to ensure that this has happened.
An event official witnessing non-compliance with this rule shall report the infringement to the race organiser and the offending competitor will be disqualified from the competition. Any repeat infringements by the same competitor shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings by the Marathon Racing Committee.
The main focus of this rule change is to target the problem of discarded single use drink bags. The MRC will continue to review the unnecessary waste associated with their use and encourage athletes to adopt the reusable systems that are readily available.