The Reason Behind the Race

OUR PURPOSE: The Urban Wildland Half Marathon & 5K began in 2003 to save Wood Lake Nature Center's environmental education partnership with the Richfield Public Schools, which was in jeopardy due to cuts in local government aid.  Since Wood Lake Nature Center's opening in 1971, Richfield's K-6 students had visited Wood Lake multiple times a year as part of their science curriculum. Thanks to the Urban Wildland, the program was spared and has continued every year with the proceeds from this event.

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SUPPORT LOCAL YOUTH:

  • Your donations helps put children on the start line to an active, healthy lifestyle. We launched and support "Youth Moves" wellness programming in Richfield that allows youth 18 years and younger to run the Urban Wildland 5K race for free! 
  • 100% of the proceeds from the race pay for Richfield Students to visit Wood Lake Nature Center multiple times per year for free to meet their environmental educational needs. 
SUSTAINABILITY:

MINNESOTA'S GREEN RACE
 The Urban Wildland prides itself for being a green race and has become an opportunity to demonstrate environmentally-friendly practices.  Most materials used for the race are either recyclable, reusable, or compostable and every aspect of the race has been considered in an effort to leave a gentle footprint on the environment.

VIRTUAL RUNNER BAGS
Each runner receives an email with links to sponsor deals made available only to our registrants.

WATER
We use water from fire hydrants, sparing the use of thousands of plastic water bottles and jugs per year.
 

FOOD
Healthy race snacks are offered with minimal or no plastic packaging. All leftover food is donated to a local charity.
  

SHOE RECYCLING
Bring your lightly worn sneakers to the race. We will have mailers available to send them to Sneakers 4 Funds, an organization that will send them to developing nations for micro-entrepreneurs to resell. Shoes too worn to sell are recycled to make new products like insulation, furniture stuffing, etc.
 For more information, visit www.sneakers4funds.com.

SOLAR POWER
The UWHM5K is off-the-grid.  All electricity required at the finish line (chip timing and music) is generated with solar power, thanks to Powerfully Green.

PAPERLESS REGISTRATION
Registration is completely paperless (by phone, walk-in, or online).  Click here for registration information.

COMPOST, REUSE, RECYCLE
Most race materials are either compostable, reusable, or recyclable.  Water stop cups are made of compostable sugar cane material, finish line water is served in cups made of compostable corn material, and other plastic and paper products are recycled. 
Race medals are made of natural materials (in 2020, the medals will be made of wood and leather). 
Leftover race shirts are donated.