Wharf to Wharf Sustainability Movement

Wharf to Wharf Goes for Gold with Council for Responsible Sport

47th running of the “best little road race in California” on Saturday, July 28 seeks Gold level certification by Council for Responsible Sport as well as the first certified CRS event in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2011; event will replace 32,000 single-use plastic bottles at finish line with PATHWATER’s purified water in reusable and recyclable aluminum bottles


SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – (July 18, 2019) – The 47th running of one of the country’s most classic road races, Wharf to Wharf, on Sunday, July 28, has embarked on an ambitious project to achieve the Gold level ranking awarded by the Council for Responsible Sport, becoming the first event in Santa Cruz County as well as the first in the San Francisco Bay Area to achieve that status since 2011.


The CRS’s social and environmental sustainability program has certified more than 100 road races globally, but only four have earned the Evergreen level, its highest ranking, and to-date, only 20 Gold level U.S. road races. Gold level means an event achieved 75% of total best practices per CRS’ standards.


At Wharf to Wharf, 16,000-plus runners race from the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to the picturesque seaside town of Capitola, a six-mile journey. Along the course, runners enjoy incredible community support, 50-plus bands and a celebratory atmosphere. Now its race director, Scott McConville, wants to elevate the event further. With an Environmental Sciences degree as well as an accomplished runner, McConville convinced the Wharf to Wharf non-profit board to approve funding to make the event one of the most socially and environmentally friendly events in the country.


“By further reducing Wharf to Wharf’s environmental footprint, our 2019 goal is to earn the Council for Responsible Sport’s Gold ranking,” said McConville. “We know the ranking bar is high, but together, with our partners, we can achieve Gold this year.”


“Striving towards a zero waste to landfill event goal is a noble and difficult endeavor, and Responsible Sport certification is a rigorous process, and on top of that, it’s voluntary, so that tells you something about the kind of event Wharf to Wharf is,” said Shelley Villalobos, managing director, Council for Responsible Sport. “Certification entails planning, purchasing, waste diversion, transportation and climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the social aspects of increasing access for under-represented groups and welcoming new people of all abilities to the event.”


To meet 75% of CRS’ best practices and reduce the event’s environmental footprint, Wharf to Wharf will replace the 32,000 single-use plastic bottles of water provided to finishers. After researching a number of options, McConville found a cost-effective and sustainable solution by partnering with San Francisco-based PATHWATER, an innovative company selling purified water in refillable and recyclable aluminum bottles. This year, participants will receive refreshing PATHWATER bottles to enjoy not only on race day, but long after the event.


“By implementing reusable bottled water with PATHWATER, Wharf to Wharf will not only prevent plastic bottles from entering the waste stream on race day but beyond as runners keep and refill their bottles,”


said Ali Orabi, co-founder and vice president of marketing of PATHWATER. “PATHWATER is a great option for runners since the reusable BPA-free, aluminum bottles keep water cooler for longer, and aluminum is the only material that offers 100% endless recyclability. We challenge more races to follow in Wharf to Wharf’s footsteps to eliminate single-use plastic bottled water waste and improve the experience for runners and the planet, alike.”


Results from year one and accompanying certification levels will occur later this year. 2019 Wharf to Wharf is partnering with Blue Strike Environmental to ensure sustainability efforts run smoothly.


To learn more about the event and its sustainability initiatives visit: wharftowharf.com


Share and follow along the event using hashtags #WharfToWharf #ResponsibleSport



Widely acclaimed “The best little road race in California”, Wharf to Wharf is the biggest summer event of its kind on the West Coast infusing more than 8 million dollars into the Santa Cruz County economy. The Race is produced and administered by Wharf to Wharf Race Inc., a California nonprofit chartered to promote running as a means to health and fitness. The Race has, since its inception, contributed more than $6 million dollars to Santa Cruz County youth sports programs in general and the running community in particular. Learn more at https://wharftowharf.com



Since 2007, the Council for Responsible Sport has been helping people measure and manage the social & environmental impacts of their events. Its certified events are some of the world’s leading examples of responsible sport in action.


The Council for Responsible Sport is comprised of the event hosting organizations that have adopted the Certify framework, a network of professional third-party evaluators who independently review evidence against the best practice criteria for individual events, and a small staff. An active volunteer board of directors stewards the development of the organization. Visit www.councilforresponsiblesport.orgfor more information.


PATHWATER is the first beverage company to introduce reusability with a new hybrid that combines purified water in a reusable bottle. The PATHWATER bottle is solving the dilemma of single-use plastic bottles by creating a superior option that is environmentally friendly. When taken from the refrigerator section, the bottle makes for an extremely cold drinking experience, unmatched by plastic water bottles. PATHWATER is on a dedicated mission to provide solutions to the plastics crisis for bottled water consumers and to disrupt the beverage industry as a whole.


PATHWATER‘S three main goals are: (1) to provide a sustainable option to reduce and reuse; (2) to educate others about the plastics crisis; (3) change a stagnant, polluting industry of single-use plastics. PATHWATER is the first in the beverage industry to offer reusable packaging bottled water that finally puts people and the planet before profits. Visit www.drinkpathwater.comfor more information.