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A “green” umbrella over the Athens Marathon

Three “green” initiatives will be running from the sidelines of the 2018 Athens Marathon, it was announced Monday.

In addition to plastic bottle recycling and the shoe and clothing donation program “let them run again” already established from previous Marathons, this year will see the launch of an initiative called “the runner’s forest”.

In order to honour the victims of this summer’s destructive fires in Attica, the Hellenic Athletic Federation (SEGAS) plans to proceed to an afforestation of the affected areas, said coordinator Giorgios Kazantzopoulos speaking to Athens News Agency. To raise the funds required, SEGAS appeals to Athens Marathon’s sponsors (among them the Athens News Agency), the business community and also individual citizens who are invited to donate any sum they wish through the following crowd funding platform:

https://www.act4greece.gr/actions/Action_dasosdromeon

In a symbolic gesture, on the day of the competition runners will receive a green bandana to tie around their heads while crossing the 4.5 km of the Marathon route where the fire reduced the wood to cinders.

This is not the first time the Athens Marathon undertakes initiatives “seeking to link athleticism to the environment”, Kazantzopoulos said. Other examples include arranging free public transport for the runners and volunteers taking part in the competition so they don’t have to take their cars to the centre; and the “let them run again” donation program, which the NGO “Team for the World” has already been running for five years, collecting shoes and clothing during the Marathon to place them at the disposal of associations supporting people in need such as refugees, homeless and those who have lost their homes due to natural disasters.

The shoes and clothing people donate must be clean and in a good condition, Kazantzopoulos stressed.