Earlier this year Rima Chang, aka Tyre Lady, accepted the invitation to be the sustainability development ambassador for two running events: Mujalonga Sul Mar 10K in Trieste, Italy and the Geneva Marathon, Switzerland. Races are notorious for their waste and she has helped several events significantly reduce the amount generated.
With 79 marathons or ultramarathons under her belt, all whilst pulling a tyre behind her, Tyre Lady has become a recognised name in both the running and sustainability worlds. She has been a long-term supporter of Earthwatch, and uses her platform to highlight the impact humans are making on the world. Always in pursuit of raising awareness and educating people, she decided to add an extra challenge to the Italian and Swiss races; making her journey to the events low carbon and zero waste.
With the exception of an occasional spin class, Tyre Lady admits that she had not cycled in over 20 years, yet she had decided to embark on a 4000km round journey to reduce her own carbon output and hopefully inspire others to make changes in their lives.
“We need to be bolder in our actions and if I can inspire some people to use more carbon neutral methods of travelling, reduce the temperature in their house, learn to hang up clothes to reduce ironing… then it is worth it.”
Tyre Lady’s Low Carbon, Zero Waste Rules
- I must endeavour to take the lowest carbon option available – cycling is a strong possibility. I could take a solar powered vehicle!
- Accommodation choices should be as low carbon as possible – camping is an option where possible without being illegal!
- Food choices must be at least locally sourced as much as possible.
- All disposables must be minimised to hopefully nothing & I will carry all the waste generated except for toilet waste
- Anything purchased for the trip must either be preloved/second hand, borrowed or from what I have
She is proof that we can all make changes to help fight the climate crisis.
Thinking about running for us in the future (we have places in Royal Parks Half Marathon and will be taking applications for next years London Marathon soon) but worried about running in polluted areas?
Here are five top tips to help with training in polluted areas:
- Run before or after rush hour
- Running first thing in the morning, or later in the evening will mean there is less pollution as there are fewer pollutants, such as cars, around. It is also likely to be cooler during these times and high pollution levels do tend to correspond with higher temperatures.
- Run in the wind or rain
- If you’re a fair-weather runner, like me, this might seem like an awful idea but bear with… the wind and rain can naturally decrease air pollution! Just make sure you’re not heading out in dangerous conditions and that you have a windproof jacket to keep you warm before and after the run.
- Try to find green areas to run
- The greener the area, the cleaner the air! Finding a local park to train in has many benefits including a lower level of air pollution. The trees and shrubbery release oxygen and there won’t be traffic around to emit pollutants, plus you won’t have to try and cross the roads and it’s great to see local wildlife!
- Eat the right foods
- Eating foods with high levels of antioxidants will help the body to eliminate the toxic substances from air pollution. Look for foods that are rich in vitamins E & C, such as fruits and green-leafy vegetables.
- Don’t run along busy main roads
- It’s not always possible to avoid running along busy roads, but if it is possible to go one street over to a quieter, more residential street, the air will be slightly cleaner and your run slightly better!