Tag Archives: BYOB


#75: Nice – Cannes Marathon Part 1: Stirring the Pot

If someone said to you: “Come to my country <<where you cannot speak the language)>> because you <<who is an unknown person>> can inspire the nation to be more environmentally conscious” – would you go?

I met Jean Jacques (JJ), a charismatic French adventurer, at Rovaniemi 150 in 2017. He was intrigued about Lumi, my lovely 15kg ice tyre that would was part of my gear…

JJ’s great adventure for 2019 is to drive in a Tuk-Tuk from France to Japan
To follow his great escapade see here

After the event, we kept in touch and he suggested that I should be part of the Nice Marathon as they would welcome someone encouraging more ecological actions in events. As “je parle Français tres mal” and had no confidence that my presence could create change, I made an excuse for 2017.

In May 2018, JJ encouraged me again to come over as he believed I could inspire the people and raise general awareness about waste and disposable plastic. To ensure I did not make another excuse, JJ provided the contact details of the Nice-Cannes marathon organisation’s President. I checked the organisations eco-regulations and knew they could improve http://www.marathon06.com/2018/AN/infospratiques/ecomarathon.htm

Hence I wrote to the organisation and presented two agendas:

  1. To pull a tyre and start early
  2. To help reduce waste at the event with a potential for the event to go cupless & single-use plastic free in the future

The Nice-Cannes Marathon organisers responded that I participate and observe how the event was run. Then as part of a 2-3 year plan to go cupless…..


Yes – it would be awesome for a mass event over 10,000 participants to go cupless and single-use plastic free. Of course I had to go! ….And to ensure participants supported the cause I had to be part of the expo, even if it meant learning to parlez Francais by watching YouTube videos 3 days before leaving for Nice, France. Love a challenge 😉

Before arriving to Nice articles announced my imminent arrival:
10 Oct: https://www.nicematin.com/insolite/elle-va-courir-le-marathon-des-alpes-maritimes-en-tractant-un-pneu-de-10-kg-267963

29 Oct: https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/decouvrez-cette-coureuse-du-marathon-alpes-maritimes-qui-fera-course-tractant-pneu-10-kg-1559926.html

30 Oct: https://moveitmoveit.konbini.com/news/decouvrez-rima-chang-la-marathonienne-qui-trainait-un-pneu

Thank you to the Race to The Kings organisers for providing me free use of the photograph that has been used within the articles.

Wednesday: Arrived in Nice.

JJ had organised an interview with a journalist and had painted a tyre with a glossy white. However, materials were still required for the expo such as a spare tyre for participants to try out at the expo.

Finding A tyre

Finding Gage Pneu – the Pledge tyre

Thursday 1 Nov 2018: Preparation Day

  • Design Tee-ra Wates – the Nice Marathon racing tyre
    – she wanted to represent the fish in the ocean with plastic fish spiraling above
  • Design signs for the expo – JJ is way more professional and routed out a sign + created up some frames to place the signs on.

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Friday 2nd Nov 2018: Expo Day

Picked up my bib number + a back pack within a plastic bag within another plastic bag that contained samples and vouchers. Lots of exhibitors giving away “stuff”. I looked away.

The marathon organisation had provided a Sustainability Statement board to be signed. Despite Thursday being an expo day, no one had signed the board. It was time we got to work and parlez Frenchiese.

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My Frenchchessi: Excuseze-moi. Ecritez-vous le nom pour l’ecological reasons. Par que je n’aime pas plastique unique et je vois marathoniers bring their own bottle to all events + put all their waste in the bin…La Signe si vous plait. The eco-wall after a couple of hours!

With backup from the team: JJ and Uncle were speaking to everyone about reducing waste and Bring Your Own Reusable bottle / cup / hydration pack and to put their rubbish in the bin.

I could wander off and see if anyone wanted to play with Gage Pneu.

Je tire un pneu dans la marathon en Dimanche. Voulez-vous tire moi pneu?

This got me lots of strange looks. JJ again supported my bad French and explained.

Talking Tyres

The tyre represents the burden of our waste to us. Would any of you like to see how that burden is to us if we continue with our “convenience” life style?

And many said they knew me as they had read about me! Many pulled the tyre to see what it would be like to pull a tyre…

In the programme on page 19: http://www.marathon06.com/2018/dl/MAM2018-programme.pdf

Friday evening, we were exhausted but happy the eco-board was now full.

Saturday 3rd Nov 2018: Expo + Press Conference

More of the same stuff – getting passer-bys to pull Gage Pneu and encouraging everyone that went by to sign the board that they do want to see change in events.


Finding space for folk to sign towards their environmental responsibility to the environment

15:30 – Another interview for a production company. I could no not speak French and found nor could I speak English!

16:30 – Press conference

Press Conference

And finally to present Gage Pneu to Pascal the president of the organisation.


Sunday is “run day”, time to head home into the mountains to sleep.

Going Home

Good Night

By the end of 2 full exhausting days, we had found many people who supported being greener, and for the organisation to take much bolder actions to reduce waste especially in the realm of disposable plastic.

Our environmental disaster where we have over 1 million animals dying mostly in the sea and some on land means this invisible oil spill (ocean plastic) needs to stop. We must switch off the disposable / single-use plastic tap at the source! At the same time, we need to look beyond an alternative convenience and grow up to take responsibility for our actions. Paper is not a substitute for plastic. Paper is from trees which are the lungs of our world! #BYOB #BYOR

As an adaptable society we can do this.

Thank you to Uncle, JJ, the marathon organisers for promoting the cause and everyone who signed supporting the cause.

We have one life to make it right! And everyone who signed the eco-board agreed that runners can and should bring their own reusable bottle / cup / water bladder to all run events with many pledging they will do so next time. #BYOR

Bon Courage Marathon Organisers! Bon Courage Marathoniens!


Achieving Beyond a Best Time

A personal record or personal best (frequently abbreviated to PR or PB) is an individual’s best performance in a given sporting discipline. It is most commonly found in athletic sports, such as track and field, other forms of running, swimming and weightlifting.

Source: Wiki Definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_record

Let’s not beat around the bush here – the majority of runners who enter a marathon or ½ marathon or 10 km run are doing it for the personal challenge. Less than 1% will actually put in the time and effort of an elite runner: that is training twice a day, doing 100-160 miles a week.

For professional athletes, a best time is nice to achieve but it is not the total measurement of how the athlete performed.

Yet if you talk to many non-professional runners, you would think the time element of a PB is the only component that defines a PB. Runners’ can be upset for days recounting the story of how they could have beaten their PB if they just ran that bit faster, or runners’ depression sets in when they haven’t seen sight of a best time for days, weeks or months.

Parkrun (a worldwide free 5K event that happens every Saturday) sets out some performance elements:

  • Personal best time
  • Personal Parkruns you’ve completed
  • Number of times you have volunteered to help the Parkrun community

Defining a Personal Best in a Run

If a PB = Best Performance, then a PB can relate to a culmination of many aspects, that can be treated like milestones. In addition to time, you can have a PB in your preparation, conduct and effort.


This means you can have multiple PBs in an event:

  • How much preparation did you really put in?
  • Were you able to put in more than your effort on the day?
  • Have you PBed in your conduct? ….”Hmmmm” I hear you say…


Your preparation should have included reading up on the rules of conduct for the event. Follow the guidelines below and you can say you PBed in your conduct. These are some typical rules of conduct:

  • For road events, keep on the inside close to the curb unless you’re over taking. In places like the UK & Singapore, keep on the left, unless overtaking on the right.
  • Drop all trash into a bin to keep the course clear and safe for other users and to prevent “run-away” trash.

    • Dropping your trash on the floor can cause other runners to slip/skid/trip causing them injury

BananaSkin Slip.JPG

    • Dropping your trash on the floor can create “run-away” trash:


  • If you run past the bins, then hold onto your trash until you come to a checkpoint. There are several bins there to deposit your rubbish.
    • TyreLadyBelieve me, you have the strength to carry a couple of grams to the next checkpoint….I drag a 10kg tyre! It just takes a little more effort and 1km is short compared to the distance you will achieve! In the Singapore Marathon there are bins about every 20 metres in the ECP area.
    • If it is a gel packet, then put it into your short’s pocket/underwear or for women put it into your bra top. For the “euwwers” out there, you are smelly and sticky anyway, or carry a small bag for your trash.SuperHeroVolunteer
  • Thank the volunteers for their time and help. They’ve been out longer than you, setting up and then waiting to help & encourage you. At the Singapore Marathon, many will have been setting up checkpoints since midnight, and then waiting for runners from 04:30 onwards. Give them energy and they will give you energy back.


  • Look out for each other. You are an immediate hero when you help someone.


The effort you can expand will depend on both your physical and mental preparation.  On the saying “90% mental, 10% physical” Ross, a sports scientist, says:

An athlete who lacks talent is exposed, as a junior in many cases, and never reaches the Olympic Games.  An athlete who has abundant talent, but lacks the mental edge, may fade into obscurity because they don’t have the drive or discipline to train, or because they don’t compete well.

The athlete who lacks confidence or self-belief stands out among the crowd eventually – they reach the “highest level of insecurity”, if you will, before being exposed, often spectacularly.  On the other hand, the athlete who lacks talent often disappears into the middle of the pack and obscurity.  Perhaps this is why we have identified mental aspects as so crucial, the source of the 90-10 principle?

Source: http://sportsscientists.com/2010/02/the-mental-edge-thoughts-and-opinions/

And finally an element that very few seem to spend time on is visualization. This can be done in bed some days before an event. This can help you go so much further than you expected as it can keep you positive throughout the event.

So next time you talk about your PB, remember you can PB in other areas other than time.


Tips for Runners at the Singapore Marathon


NB The Green Ambassadors are part of Green Nudge




Pisa Is Calling

Sometime end of Novemeber, someone from a running site (FetchEveryone) asks me if I am doing the Pisa Marathon.

I respond No.

She tells me I have been featured on their website. I had a look and sure enough there I was:


Of course it would be rude not to go. I looked at the most recent stats I could find, and it painted a bleak picture of recycling of plastics in Italy. At best it reached 4% in 2012.


Ok this is 2016, so there have been improvements. I know in Rome, shops have been charging for plastic bags and some have provided a small discount on your shopping. The Rome marathon gave away a good back pack and cloth bags as part of the “give away” to runners.

Last stat I’ve just seen shows about 35% of plastic is recycled in Italy overall and this is a pretty typical figure throughout the world. Here is a document about Plastic Recycling in Europe.

My Northern Italian friends have told me that the North is very good at recycling.

But the school children from a school I visited in Rome told me a bleak picture of toxic waste going to the South and of Northern waste being handled by Southern companies.

Medi was thrown down from the heavens to remind Italy about this toxic waste.



There have been newspaper articles about this, however thought you might like to read this directly from someone who lives in an affected area in the South.


….and sadly it appears this is still happening today.


I will not let the children down, and hope I can continue to highlight this back to the North of Italy via the Pisa Marathon so that they can hopefully review their own processes for waste disposal (including household waste) and not simply turn their back because they “paid” someone else to dispose of it for them. Because the Northern waste is ending up in illegal landfills, rivers and the Mediterranean ocean.

Let’s hope North Industries can take stock, review and change to improve practices. After all the lives that are suffering are people, animals and plants. Yes it costs to be sustainable but how about making this month onwards all about caring 🙂

I will continue to drag this waste issue out all the way to the Pisa Marathon because it is all about effort. And if people want to feel effort, try dragging an 8kg tyre non-stop through 26.2 miles.

Some great news, Pisa Marathon have just recently responded to my BYOB requests to runners. They will be using glasses instead of plastic cups……


Perhaps it is toughened glass! Anyway it’s a start and Italy appears to do a great job on recycling glass (@ 70%)- so bring it on.