Today’s Editorial December 13: Littering runners not cool

Less than a month ago, we appealed to the public not to litter after noticing the unpleasant condition Bodden Town was left in after its Pirates Week Heritage night.

We spoke about the disgraceful condition of our roadsides, where people seem to routinely toss from their cars fast foot bags, empty soda cans, beer bottles and a variety of other trash.

We didn’t event mention areas like construction sites, where workers seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to just drop their foam lunch containers on the ground after they finish eating.

Nor did we talk about the practice of people dumping their oversized waste products – even old cars – in the bush somewhere.

And we couldn’t even imagine we’d have to talk about runners, who might treat their bodies like temples, but who apparently think humankind’s body – the earth – is their personal garbage dump.

A week ago Sunday, some 300 runners participated in the fourth annual Cayman Islands Marathon, something which most people would agree is a good event for the country.

Yet some 10 days later, the roadside along the route the race took remains strewn with water and Gatorade bottles, plastic cups, empty Powerade Gel packs and Powerbar wrappers.

While the organisers no doubt picked up a lot of the mess these runners left, there is plenty they did not get. Part of that is their fault for not placing enough trash receptacles in the right places, but a good deal of the problem lies with the runners themselves.

It’s bad enough that runners think they don’t have to throw their trash in a bin, but some reason runners think they have to fling their cups and such aside like they see the world class athletes do on television. As a result, the trash is not easily seen by the race organisers and often ends up half-concealed in the bushes.

There’s just no justification for this behaviour by the runners. These people aren’t Olympians or even world class athletes; they’re basically only hobbyists. Just because they are participating in an organised race doesn’t give them the right to litter.

These runners aren’t being cool when they drop their fancy energy gel packs and Gatorade bottles on the ground; they’re just common litterers, who really should be enlightened enough to know better.

This was not a unique occurrence, either. It seem whenever there is a race that offers water stations, runners – and even walkers – can’t respect the environment enough to actually throw their garbage in the trash bin. It’s a stupid, disgusting and disrespectful habit, and it needs to stop.

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