Saturday, May 6th, 2023

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Plogging Run #1: Small, but Mighty

On Saturday, we held our first ever Wisconsin Marathon Plogging Run in Kenosha. The idea behind plogging is that you pick up trash as you run. I didn’t know if a lot of people would show up or if we would even have a lot of trash to collect as we went, but the point was to go out and do it for the good of the community and the good of the planet.

There were two of us that showed up to run.

Alderman, Kenosha Running Club member, and long-time runner of the Wisconsin Marathon, Dom Ruffalo joined me for a half hour run near the Simmons Island area. For the first few meters of the run, we didn’t see too much trash to grab (the park is very clean), but as we began to find items to clean up, we would see more and more. As we ran along the rocks separating the Kennedy Drive from the lake, we would find trash stuck in the cracks. We’d clean up a small section, run a few more meters down, see another item to pick up, inspect the area for more, clean that up, and continue on. We hadn’t even made it a mile down the street when we looked at our watches and realized we had already been out for twenty minutes!

After that, we cut through to the adjacent neighborhood, gathering whatever trash we would find on the street on the way back. In the end, we ended up running about a mile and a half in half an hour and we both completely filled up our bags. Running, stopping, bending down, and running again is actually a lot more tiring than it sounds.

Saturday morning was a perfect, crisp fall day for our first plog run. If you have the opportunity to do the same around your neighborhood, I recommend going out at some point and giving it a try. One of the nice things about it is that if you have a group of people that run at different paces, the constant starting and stopping helps to keep everyone together, so you may be able to get in a run with people that you haven’t run with before.

Thanks to Katherine Marks, too, with the City Of Kenosha Community Outreach for providing us with plastic gloves. We have already been in discussions to plan another plogging run this spring in conjunction with Earth Day, so keep an eye out for those details and help the group grow. (Especially if you now feel guilty about not coming out the first time.)

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