Going Green


Previously, the MCM was awarded Silver level certification in 2009 and again in 2011, and first earned gold in 2014.

The MCM earned credit for both meeting and exceeding standards in all five categories of the certification framework: (1) effective planning and communications; (2) aligning procurement of products and services with partners that account for and mitigate their environmental impacts; (3) resource management; (4) efforts to increase accessibility and inclusion for under-represented community groups; and (5) for ongoing efforts toward building a positive legacy in the broader community.

green stats


The Capital Area Food Bank – Washington D.C. food donation amounted to 23,797 pounds. That’s equal to 19,831 meals!

Runners donated 1476 pounds of clothing from the course.

Runners donated 1,998 pounds of shoes.


Over 18,000 pounds of unused perishable and non-perishable items were donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. The environmental savings of the donation was equivalent to burning 3,212 pounds of coal.

Runners donated over 150 pairs of shoes to charity.


In conjunction with Arlington County’s Solid Waste Bureau, nearly 2,550 pounds of banana and orange peels were collected from runners for composting, along with compostable cups used at water stations for the first time, while 9 tons of plastic jugs and cardboard boxes were recycled.

Additionally, the MCM and its partners collected 4,000 pounds of clothing that were cleaned and donated to local Arlington and Washington, DC-area shelters following the Marathon. The MCMO also worked closely with AMVETS, a service organization, to collect gently used shoes during the Expo, an initiative that supported sustainability and military veterans. In total, 244 pairs of shoes were collected over two days.

A Greening Wall was also displayed during the Health & Fitness Expo to educate runners on the MCM’s sustainability efforts, including all the ways they can help.

As a result of the comprehensive waste reduction system implemented in 2019, 54.4% of the waste generated over the three-day weekend was diverted out of landfills.

adopt a mile

The MCM annually recruits dedicated volunteer groups for the ‘Adopt-a-Mile’ program. This volunteer assignment includes augmenting clean-up efforts along the Marathon course. Groups provide a minimum of 18 volunteers (minimum age of 10) to clean the grass and roadways of any event-generated debris along an assigned mile of the MCM course. Each group participating in the Adopt-a-Mile program receives a monetary stipend for their support of the runners and U.S. Marines.

A contingent of the Adopt-a-Mile ensures that none of the event-generated debris on Rock Creek Parkway, miles six through nine, contaminates the water of Rock Creek, a stream that runs along the course.

climate action

The Council for Responsible Sport announced that the Marine Corps Marathon was an early signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) “Sports for Climate Action Initiative.”

The “Sports for Climate Action Initiative” invites sport event hosts to declare their recognition of “the critical need for cities, regions, companies and investors from around the globe to help implement the Paris Climate Agreement and accelerate the transformative change needed to reach greenhouse gas (GHG) emission neutrality in the second half of the twenty-first century.” It offers five principles to guide forward action that leverages the global popularity of sport to help make a real difference in the battle against climate change, as well as help minimize the environmental footprint of sporting.