Formerly held in Portland, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis/St.Paul, and Boston, the series has expanded in 2003 to include New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco.
While many running races are simply a "show up and run" affair, the RTSGW events, featuring 8K run and 5K fitness walks, are a chance for athletes and spectators to learn about environmental issues that affect everyone.
To further the educational component, GHN invites various nonprofit organizations to provide their expertise on the science and solutions of climate change. 2003 marks the first year that World Wildlife Fund has partnered with GHN and offered their endorsement.
GHN is working to provide an annual focus for a particular species or ecosystem that is being threatened by climate change, and this year, with the help of WWF, the focus is on educating participants about the plight of the polar bear.
"WWF is racing to implement solutions to global warming while it's still possible to prevent disaster for polar bears and other wildlife," said Katherine Silverthorne, director of WWF's U.S. Climate Change Program. "The U.S. public awareness and support generated by events like these is critical to putting in place solutions such as using clean, renewable energy and more energy efficient technologies and processes."
Supported by companies like Aveda, Nike, and Toyota, which support and develop environmentally sound business practices, the race series brings a diverse group of individuals from the fitness, business, and environmental communities together for a day of public collaboration and prizes.
"We are proud to be a part of the National Race to Stop Global Warming Series. These eight events will play a crucial role in focusing America's attention on the critical issue of global warming," says Mary Tkach, executive director of Environmental Sustainability at Aveda.
Over the past two years, the race series has succeeded in raising public awareness to address the problem of global warming. Green House Network intends to reinvest any race proceeds toward furthering its mission to educate and unite people in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"I've led the Portland Race to Stop Global Warming since it began in 2000," says three-time New York City Marathon winner Alberto Salazar. "As a runner, I depend on the natural environment, so making the connection between being an athlete and being an advocate for the health of the planet is a simple one.
"I'm proud to be a part of this event and excited to watch it grow each year as more cities come on board."
Races in the series are scheduled for the following cities and dates:
Twin Cities (St. Paul, Minn.)
For more information, visit www.racetostopgloblawarming.org, or call toll free at 1 (866) STOP-CO2, 1 (866) 786-7262. Questions about Green House Network can be directed to (503) 236-7221.