US Trail Running Conference Earns Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport

Conference Recognized for Commitment to Sustainable Practices

The US Trail Running Conference has earned official certification of its annual conference by the Council for Responsible Sport (Council).

The Pikes Peak Ploggers with a haul of trash from the trails.

Until now, only competitive sporting events have become certified, making this a first-of-its-kind certification. The Council is an Oregon-based nonprofit that provides independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work that event organizers do to make a difference in their communities.

The US Trail Running Conference, an educational and networking gathering for the growing sport of trail running, has been hosted annually since 2013, and is organized by Active at Altitude in partnership with the American Trail Running Association.

The conference earned 30 credits based on best practice standards for producing events responsibly, as evaluated by a third party during the 2018 event, and continued engagement throughout 2019. Basic certification requires evidence and verification of at least 27 credits. The gathering earned credit in each of the program’s five categories, including planning and communications, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy.

Keith Peters from CFRS presenting at the 2017 Conference

“I am excited that the Conference has gained official certification from the Council for Responsible Sport. The certification process has been incredibly rewarding and enlightening and will help guide future developments for this industry leading event,” said Terry Chiplin, Event Director of the US Trail Running Conference and Owner of Active at Altitude.

Chiplin added, “This process has been key in helping us focus on creating a more inclusive and diverse event that is welcoming to as many participants as possible, while taking leadership as a responsible event. We are grateful that the path to certification with the Council was made possible by an initial sponsorship provided by Ragnar Events, an organization with longstanding dedication to responsibility in its own right.”

The 2018 the Conference moved for the first time outside of Colorado to San Luis Obispo, California and hosted guests at the Dairy Creek Golf Club. Dairy Creek Golf Club was in part selected for having earned awards for its zero waste efforts on the golf course. Those initiatives are focused on recycling on-site resources and nutrients from the various operations of the site—food waste from the kitchens and plant matter from the grounds gets composted with worm bins and a compost tea brewer, providing fertilizer for the golf course.

“One key to the successful completion of Council certification at a new venue, is stating your intentions and expectations in the RFP sent to potential event hosts. Terry did that, and found a great partner in the Dairy Creek Golf Club as a result,” said Keith Peters, who served as evaluator at the 2018 event.

“I’m so very proud of Terry’s commitment to the environment as evidenced through this certification,” said Nancy Hobbs, American Trail Running Association executive director. “He has worked with his team and alongside the hosting venues to ensure that expectations are met for a more sustainable event. I hope more race directors and event planners will learn from this example and work toward certifying their conferences and events – whether indoors, or outdoors –through the Council for Responsible Sport.”

See this link for further details on the 2020 US Trail Running Conference. Registration is open for race directors, trail runners, sponsors and exhibitors. Contact Event Director, Terry Chiplin for further information,, or 303-304-9159.

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About the US Trail Running Conference

The mission of the US Trail Running Conference is to lead, educate, connect and empower an inclusive tribe of trail runners, race directors and industry leaders working to share best practices with the trail running community. The 2020 US Trail Running Conference takes place in Fayetteville, Arkansas, October 21-24 and will feature the theme of ‘Trail Running Communities for Climate Action and Sustainability’. Fayetteville was selected in part due to their detailed and positive response to the RFP requirements generated from the Council for Responsible Sport Certification process. There are registration options for race directors, trail runners, sponsors and exhibitors. The 2020 Conference is the eighth edition of the industry leading event.

About the Council for Responsible Sport:

The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014.

Media may contact:

Shelley Villalobos
Council for Responsible Sport
530.570.2526 /

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