We, The Green Runners, are celebrating our members who will be lining up at the Montane Winter Spine Race start line. The renowned Winter Spine Race is one of the toughest ultra races in the world. Runners traverse the entire length of the Pennine Way (268 miles) in the depth of winter! So, we are in awe of everyone who undertakes this event.
Damian Hall, one of our co-founders and winner of the previous Winter Spine Race, is using the race to highlight our campaign to end sportswashing. Sportswashing describes the practice of high carbon companies using the positive image of sport to deflect from their problematic practices.
“In the face of the climate emergency we need organisations to take a stand and promote a greener future and not be tainted by their association with fossil fuels. Aligning with the right type of sponsor is critical as the wrong type of sponsor can easily negate the positive environmental work events have achieved. I believe that fossil fuel sponsorship will go the same way as tobacco sponsorship, and the sooner the better. I urge sports organisations to sign up to the Game Changer Sponsorship Pledge and make a public statement to this effect.”Damian Hall
A good example, or should that be bad example, of sportswashing is Chevron’s sponsorship of the Houston Marathon. This event takes place at the same time as the Winter Spine Race in 2024. Chevron have been one of the worst companies for lobbying against climate policy to tackle global warming. Moreover, last year it was reported that Chevron relies on “junk” carbon offsets and “unviable” technologies. These do little to offset its vast greenhouse gas emissions and in some cases may actually be causing communities harm.
“Chevron’s junk climate action agenda is destructive and reckless, especially in light of climate science underscoring the only viable way forward is an equitable and urgent fossil fuel phase-out.”Rachel Rose Jackson, Corporate Accountability
We are proud that Damian is using his platform to speak out against those contributing to the climate breakdown.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Green Runners are an international running community of over 1,000 members making changes for a fitter planet. Our mission is to use the power of community to challenge ourselves and the running industry, by taking individual pledges and organising collective actionism around our four pillars of how we travel, eat, kit up and speak out. Some of our founding members include GB ultrarunners Damian Hall, Jasmin Paris and Dan Lawson.
You can find out more about the Game Changer Sponsorship Pledge here: Sports Sponsorship Pledge — Badvertising (badverts.org)
Damian Hall is a record-breaking ultramarathon runner who represented Great Britain aged 40 and continues to record competitive results in the world’s toughest races (mostly powered by tea). He’s featured in several films, books and national media. Damian is a co-founder of The Green Runners and wrote about the environmental impact of running in his book “We Can’t Run Away From This”. Damian won the Winter Spine Race in 2023 in a new male record time.
Montane Winter Spine Race – Racing non-stop along the English Pennine Way in the depth of the British winter, entrants experience the full ferocity and magnitude of this iconic route. The race attracts supporters from around the world, with people avidly “dot-watching” from the comfort of their homes.